Help your patients make an informed decision about prostate cancer screenings.
Delaware has the fifth-highest incidence rate for prostate cancer in the U.S. Overall, prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men. It is a major health issue. There have been differing opinions on whether prostate cancer screenings should be recommended. The American Cancer Society and the Delaware Cancer Consortium recommend that men should make an informed decision — considering the risks and benefits of screening — to decide what’s best for them.
Who Should Be Screened?
Baseline screening recommendations for prostate cancer:
- Average risk — men 50 years and older.
- High risk — men 45 years and older; high-risk men include African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative who was diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age. Early age is defined as less than 65 years old.
- Higher risk — men 40 years and older who have more than one first-degree relative who was diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (under 65).
Discuss the Potential Risks of a Screening with Your Patient
Your patient should be informed that:
- There’s the potential for a false positive, which could lead to a biopsy that could cause fever, infection, bleeding problems, and pain.
- A diagnosis of a slow-growing, non-life-threatening cancer could result in treatment that causes complications, such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
If Your Patients Are Underinsured or Don’t Have Insurance, They May Qualify for a Free Screening.
Screening for Life may pay for the prostate screening if the patient:
- Is age 18 to 64
- Is age 65 or older and does not qualify for Medicare
- Meets the income guidelines of Screening for Life (income scale is based on a family’s size and can be obtained by calling Delaware 2-1-1, toll-free)