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Prostate cancer awareness month is just a few days away, and experts are urging men to seek PSA testing if they have any of the common risk factors for the condition, which include age.
Dr. Brian Miles, a urologist at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, said that PSA testing plays such a critical role in fighting prostate cancer because the vast majority of cases are diagnosed this way. Digital rectal exams, or DREs, may offer some benefits, but he said the PSA test is still the most important preventative step.
"Some men are not comfortable with the DRE, so, in that case, they should undergo a PSA test because 80 percent of cancers are detected through this test alone, while only 20 percent are detected with a digital rectal exam alone," he said.
However, he added that a DRE may clarify suspicious PSA test results and should still be considered for men who are at the highest risk.
For individuals who have put off PSA testing, prostate cancer awareness month may provide the perfect opportunity to get checked out. It may be the procedure that saves their life.
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