It’s estimated that 11% of all men develop prostate cancer during their lifetime, with most cases diagnosed in men aged 65 and older. 

Deciding when to get screened for prostate cancer is a decision made by you and your physician based on your medical history, overall health, and other risk factors. Men with a high risk for prostate cancer usually get their first screening around age 40-45. If you have an average risk, your doctor may recommend waiting until age 50. 

Prostate cancer screenings include a digital rectal exam to check for tumors and a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Since both cancerous and noncancerous tissues produce PSA, high blood levels may indicate a condition other than cancer, such as an enlarged prostate.

Prostate cancer is often caught before you experience symptoms when you have regular screenings. Symptoms include: 

  • Frequent trips to the bathroom at night
  • Difficulty starting to urinate
  • Weak urine flow
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in semen
  • Smaller amount of semen at ejaculation
  • Lower back or hip pain
  • Swelling or pain in your legs

The severity of your symptoms depends on the size and location of the tumor. While other health problems can cause these symptoms, they’re more likely to signal prostate cancer when multiple symptoms are present, such as lower extremity swelling together with difficulty urinating or ejaculating.