More Information: Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer awareness ribbon

According to the CDC, Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among American men. Most prostate cancers grow slowly, and don’t cause any health problems in men who have them.

Governor Wolf says his case was caught early after a regular checkup revealed abnormalities.

Two tests are commonly used to screen for prostate cancer:

  • Digital rectal exam (DRE): A doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for lumps or other abnormalities.
  • Prostate specific antigen (PSA) test: Measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate. The levels of PSA in the blood can be higher in men who have prostate cancer. The PSA level may also be elevated in other conditions that affect the prostate.

As a rule, the higher the PSA level in the blood, the more likely a prostate problem is present. But many factors, such as age and race, can affect PSA levels. Some prostate glands make more PSA than others. PSA levels also can be affected by—

  • Certain medical procedures.
  • Certain medications.
  • An enlarged prostate.
  • A prostate infection.

Because many factors can affect PSA levels, your doctor is the best person to interpret your PSA test results.

A prostate specific antigen (PSA) test may find a prostate health problem, but treatment can cause serious side effects. Learn about prostate cancer and talk to your doctor before you decide to get tested or treated for prostate cancer. More information here

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