What you should know – PCFA guidelines
Men over age 50, or 40 with a family history of prostate cancer, should talk to their doctor about testing for prostate cancer as part of their annual health check-up. Men should make an individual informed decision about testing based on the latest available evidence on the benefits and potential harms of testing and subsequent treatment for prostate cancer.
A doctor will usually do a blood test and/or physical examination to check the health of the prostate.
- Blood test (Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test): The result shows whether there is an increase in this specific protein. Depending on the result, you might need further investigation by a specialist. A high PSA test result does not necessarily mean cancer. Prostate diseases other than cancer can also cause a higher than normal PSA level.
- Digital Rectal Examination (DRE): Because of where the prostate is located, the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to check the size of the prostate and assess if there are any abnormalities. A normal DRE result does not necessarily rule out prostate cancer.
Reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer
While there is no direct evidence that the following protective factors can stop prostate cancer from developing, they can improve your overall health and possibly reduce the risk of prostate cancer:
- Diet: Eat meals that are nutritious. Refer to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. What is good for the heart is good for the prostate.
- Physical activity/exercise: There is some evidence to show that physical activity and regular exercise can be protective factors for cancer. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes of a day.