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Prostate & Testicular Screening

Screening for prostate and testicular cancer is crucial for early detection and prevention. The American Cancer Society provides recommendations for men at different risk levels.

Prostate Cancer Screening
  • Men at average risk should consider screening at age 50.
  • High-risk men, such as African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father/brother) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (65 or younger), should consider screening at age 45.
  • Men with multiple first-degree relatives diagnosed with prostate cancer should consider screening at age 40.
  • The PSA blood test and digital rectal exam are common screening methods.
  • Screening frequency depends on PSA levels.
    • Men who have a PSA of less than 2.5 ng/mL may only need to be retested every 2 years.
    • Screening should be done yearly for men whose PSA level is 2.5 ng/mL or higher.
  • Men without symptoms who have less than a 10-year life expectancy should not be screened.
Testicular Cancer Screening
  • Most testicular cancers are found at an early stage.
  • Doctors recommend monthly self-exams (after puberty).
    • Additionally, most doctors agree an examination of the testicles should be performed during all routine check-ups for adult men
  • Look for lumps, swelling, or changes in size or shape of the testicles.
  • Report any changes to a doctor immediately.
  • Regular self-exams can help detect abnormalities early.
How to perform a self-examination of the testicles
  • Examine each testicle separately.
  • Hold the testicle between your fingers and thumbs with both hands and roll it gently.
  • Feel for any hard lumps or any change in the size and shape of the testicles.

It’s normal for one testicle to be slightly larger or to hang lower than the other. Each normal testicle also has a small, coiled tube called the epididymis that may feel like a small bump on the upper or middle outer side. Testicles also contain blood vessels, supporting tissues, and tubes that carry sperm, which may at first be confused with abnormal lumps. A testicle can get larger for many reasons other than cancer. Report any concerns to your doctor.

Early detection is key to successful treatment of prostate and testicular cancer. Regular screenings and self-exams can save lives.

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