All 9Health Fairs offer a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening and here are some guidelines about who might need the test. The United States Preventative Service Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against PSA screening for all men without any signs or symptoms of potential prostate problems. This does not include men who are already diagnosed with prostate cancer and are using PSA testing for post treatment surveillance.
Only a small number of diagnosed prostate cancers are the kind that can cause death, the large majority stay within the prostate itself and cause no problems during the life of that individual. Treatment of prostate cancer with radiation and/or surgery can cause significant problems including erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence and other issues. Therefore in most cases, the harm of treatment causes more problems than the disease itself.
Current testing techniques on early detected prostate cancers do not allow health care providers to identify if one has the more common form of prostate cancer that doesn't cause problems or the kind that might cause death. New tests that can differentiate the two are in various stages of development.
The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health estimates that there will be 238,590 new cases of prostate cancer found in 2013 and 29,720 deaths due to prostate cancer. The USPSTF estimates that your chance of dying from prostate cancer in your lifetime is approximately 2.8%. While these quantifiable risk factors seem small, there are still risks of problems especially if you are having signs of prostate problems or if you had a close male relative that passed away from prostate cancer. Please talk with your primary care provider if you have either of these problems.