Not getting a prostate cancer screening could kill you — really

Not getting a prostate cancer screening could kill you — really

Does your area offer free cancer screenings? Take it. They don't? Take it anyway. It could save you life.

It’s not exactly the most comfortable thing in the world, but at the end of the day, you’ll be glad you got one.

Hearing the snap of the doctor’s glove and seeing the needle for the blood test as he prepares to check you for prostate cancer isn’t a pleasant feeling, but it’s the best way to tell if you have the dreaded C word: prostate cancer, in this case, and early detection is key, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Treatment is most effective in the early stages of prostate cancer, so getting a normal prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test along with a digital rectal exam can help reassure you that you’re healthy.

That doesn’t mean you should immediately rush out to your doctor to get checked. A PSA test is not necessary for men 75 years of age and older. And some organizations differ on their recommendations on who should or should get a PSA screening.

Generally, it’s encouraged for men who are aged between 40 and 75, as these are the most likely to get prostate cancer.

There are lots of benefits to getting PSA screening: the most obvious is early detection of cancer, when it is most easy to treat. Also, it’s a simple test that often requires little more than a blood test. Also, wouldn’t you like to be reassured that you’re perfectly healthy rather than wondering?

There are some drawbacks, though. For one thing, prostate cancers can be slow-growing and may never spread beyond the prostate gland. Also, not all prostate cancers need treatment, and treating it may carry risks of side effects with your intestines and bowels.

PSA tests can also give false positives, which can cause anxiety and confusion.

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