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22nd February 2024

How often should prostate screening be done?


Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with Cancer Research UK reporting that more than 52,000 men are diagnosed every year. If it is caught early prostate cancer is very much treatable with a survival rate of up to 90%, which makes regular screenings for many men extremely important. In this guide we’ll be discussing how often prostate screenings should be done as well as other relevant information about screenings that you should know.


What is cancer screening?

Screening involves testing individuals for early stages of cancer or initial signs that could lead to cancer if left untreated. Cancer screenings do come with some risks, but they can be useful if they reliably detect cancers that need treatment and they ultimately do more good than harm for those who have one.

The most common method of screening for prostate cancer is a DRE (digital rectal examination) and a PSA blood test. This test measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. PSA is a protein that is produced by both normal prostate cells and cancerous ones.

Therefore, it’s typically normal to have a small amount of it in your blood, and it will increase slightly as you get older. However, an increased level of PSA could indicate that you have a problem with your prostate, but this doesn’t immediately mean its cancer.


What can affect your PSA level?

There are several factors aside from prostate cancer that could cause your PSA level to become elevated including:

  • Enlarged prostate
  • Prostatitis
  • Urine infection
  • Ejaculation
  • Vigorous exercise
  • Anal sex and prostate stimulation
  • Medications
  • Prostate biopsy
  • Urinary catheter

With this in mind, a PSA test alone normally can’t fully confirm that you have prostate cancer, but it plays an important role in determining whether further tests are needed, especially if the prostate examination also suggests there could be an issue.

How often should you get a prostate screening UK?
50 years and above

The risk of developing prostate cancer increases as men get older, so if you’re aged 50 or above it is usually recommended that you have a prostate screening annually. However, every person is different, if you have your first prostate screening and your PSA level is below 1ng/ml you might want to leave it a few or more years until you have another screening.

40-49 years old

If you know you’re at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer due to family history, personal history, or even race, it can be advisable to start semi-regular prostate screenings from the age of 40. This can be a PSA test and/or a DRE. The results of the test will likely determine how often you should get checked. If the PSA level is below 2.5ng/ml you might want to have regular tests every few years, especially if you’re higher risk.

How can VIDA help?

As experienced healthcare professionals the VIDA team are dedicated to helping our guests with their health concerns. In the past there have been taboos surrounding men getting prostate screenings, which could have meant they don’t get the treatment they need. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Prostate Cancer UK to encourage more men to get screened and potentially save lives.

We’re currently offering a private prostate cancer screening for £50, which includes a digital rectal examination and PSA blood test with rapid results, available in just 20 minutes! 10% of the screening fee will be donated to Prostate Cancer UK.

In order to promote this important cause and spread the message to encourage more men to get screened, we recently launched our ‘Face the Finger’ campaign. We’ve distributed beer mats to businesses throughout the Liverpool area to help support open discussions about men’s health. Screening saves lives. Book a prostate cancer screening today and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, queries, or concerns.

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