Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer in men. The risk of developing prostate cancer is highest in blacks, lower in whites and lowest in American Indians and Asians. Most men with prostate cancer are over the age of 65. Having a close relative with prostate cancer increases one’ s risk of developing prostate cancer. Although obesity does not increase prostate cancer risk, obese men who develop prostate cancer are more likely to die from it.
Testing for prostate cancer antigen (PSA) in tandem with palpation of the prostate allows physicians to identify men who are at high risk for prostate cancer. Some men with an elevated PSA or an abnormal prostate exam have prostate cancer that has already become incurable by the time it is found. Other men who undergo screening for prostate cancer have cancer cells that are incapable of spreading to other parts of the body. In either case, screening for prostate cancer would not be beneficial. For this reason experts recommend that men consult with a physician before pursuing screening tests for prostate cancer.