When To Start PSA Screening?

Last Modified: March 1, 2011

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Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

If I have no family history of cancer of any kind - do I really need to have a PSA? And at what age?


Alan J. Wein, MD, Professor and Chair of the Division of Urology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, responds:

There is some disagreement about this. My felling is age 50, age 40 for African American and those with a history of a first-degree relative having had prostate cancer.

John Christodouleas, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at Penn Medicine, responds:

When to start PSA screening or whether a man should be screened by PSA at all is a major controversy in our field. Fortunately, there are two very large screening studies (one from the U.S. and one from Europe) that will give us valuable information to help guide men in the future. Until we get long-term results from these studies, men should take time to discuss the pros and cons of PSA screening with their primary care doctors.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. See the full transcript of Prostate cancer treatment: where are we now?

ACOG recommends cytology screening start at age 21 regardless of the onset of sexual activity

Jul 23, 2010 - Although prior recommendations of major societies advised cervical cytology screening in adolescents based on onset of vaginal intercourse, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommends that screening begin at age 21, regardless of sexual activity, due to the rarity of cervical cancer in women under 21. These recommendations have been published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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