Prostate Exam Every 4 Years

The current guidelines of the American Cancer Society recommend that men over age 50 should be "offered" a prostate exam every year

The Story: A new European study has shown that a thorough screening for prostate cancer every 4 years is adequate. The screening comprises a PSA blood test, a digital rectal exam, and a transrectal ultrasound. "Very few, if any, aggressive prostate cancers escape (this) screening...."

Comment: It looks as if the American Cancer Society guidelines for prostate cancer screening may be changing. Transurethral ultrasound is a procedure used to examine the prostate. An instrument (the ultrasound probe) is inserted into the rectum, and sound waves bounce off the prostate. These sound waves create echoes, which a computer uses to create a picture called a sonogram of the prostate.

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Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors, MedicineNet.com