Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States, after skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of death from cancer in men. Most men with prostate cancer are older than 65 years, with the disease occurring more often in African-American men than in white men.
Almost all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids), usually growing very slowly and often with no early symptoms.
Talk to your doctor about your risk of prostate cancer and whether you need screening tests.
Tests to detect (find) prostate cancer:
Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) – This is an exam of the rectum. The doctor or nurse inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the lower part of the rectum to feel the prostate for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) – This is a test that measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made mostly by the prostate that may be found in an increased amount in the blood of men who have prostate cancer. The level of PSA may also be high in men who have an infection or inflammation of the prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH; an enlarged, but noncancerous, prostate).
It is important to remember that your doctor does not necessarily think you have cancer if he or she suggests a screening test. Screening tests are given when you have no cancer symptoms. Screening tests may be repeated on a regular basis.
If a screening test result is abnormal, you may need to have more tests done to find out if you have cancer.
– Source: National Cancer Institute