Talking to Your Doctor About Prostate Cancer Screenings

The prostate-specific antigen test, or PSA test, is the screening method used to detect prostate cancer. But for men 50 years and older, the decision to undergo a PSA is often a tough choice due to the varying pros and cons associated with the test that even some doctors have difficulty explaining to their patients.

One of the many reasons the screening decision is so tricky is because unlike other cancers, prostate cancer is so slow growing that many men who have it will never be affected or harmed by it.

Due to the high risk of urinary problems and erectile dysfunction associated with the main treatment options for the disease, men who decide to be screened for prostate cancer run the chance of sustaining permanent impairments from treating a cancer they never would have known they had.

Although the results of a large, long-term study did not support widespread screening for prostate cancer due to concerns of overdiagnosis, it’s crucial to talk to your doctor about all the pros and cons that accompany PSA testing to determine if screening is right for you and your lifestyle.

When discussing screenings with your doctor, be sure to ask all questions you have about the upsides, downsides and unknowns of both screening and treating prostate cancer, and be sure to weigh factors such as your health, age and family history into the decision-making process.

Louisville CyberKnife treats early-stage prostate cancer with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), an advanced radiation method that may reduce some side effects commonly linked to other treatment approaches. For more information on how our center treats prostate cancer with SBRT, click here.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.