Guidelines from professional groups, including the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Urological Association, and the United States Preventive Services Task Force advise men to discuss the pros and cons of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening with their doctors.
To help you decide whether screening is right for you, here are six key questions to consider and discuss with your doctor:
1. How high is my prostate cancer risk?
2. Am I willing to undergo a biopsy if my test comes back positive?
3. How would I feel if the biopsy revealed that my results were false-positive, which would mean that I had a procedure I didn’t need?
4. Do I want to learn that I have prostate cancer even if it might be slow growing and would never have caused harm?
5. Would I be willing to forego immediate treatment and choose active surveillance instead?
6. How would I feel if I developed prostate cancer after choosing not to be tested?
If you decide to get screened, you and your doctor should also discuss how often you should have the test; research suggests if your PSA level is low, it’s OK to wait two to four years to be retested.