Why should you check for prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, however it’s often symptomless in its early stages. In our third blog for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we look at the reasons why you should get tested for prostate cancer and the benefits of cancer screening.

Why should I get tested?

You might want to get tested if you’re at higher risk of getting prostate cancer. This includes anyone over the age of 50, men of Black African or African-Caribbean descent, and men with a close family history of prostate cancer (father, brother, son). You can read more about risk factors in our first blog of the series: Who is at risk of prostate cancer

If you are not in a high-risk group but you are worried about prostate cancer, you might still want to get tested for peace of mind.

What are the benefits of cancer screening?

Cancer screening allows you to check for the disease when there are no symptoms and may detect the cancer at an early stage, improving the chances of curing the disease. This is especially important for diseases like prostate cancer which may not display any symptoms in the early stages.

There is no national screening programme for prostate cancer in the UK. This is because the UK National Screening Committee has decided that the disadvantages of regularly screening every man over 50 for prostate cancer using the PSA test outweigh the possible advantages. This is due to the risk of over-diagnosis and possible over-treatment of ‘harmless’ prostate cancers that wouldn’t cause a man any problems in his lifetime. 

The PSA test requires careful interpretation as a raised PSA level does not always mean that you have prostate cancer. For this reason, Check4Cancer offers PSACheck, a private prostate cancer screening test which includes an at-home finger prick blood test for PSA as well as a personalised prostate cancer screening programme. Our team of specialists will analyse your PSA test results and risk factors to determine what the next stage is for you. Find out more here.