Welcome to the Inova Saville Cancer Screening and Prevention Center

All men are at risk for prostate cancer. The older a man is, the greater his chances. Symptoms may not be obvious at first, as the cancer is often slow growing. However some prostate cancers are aggressive and can spread to other tissues and organs of the body. Fortunately, with early detection, the survival rate for prostate cancer is very good.

Importance of Prostate Cancer Screening

While prostate cancer may not cause any symptoms in its early stages, symptoms and signs of prostate cancer may include:

  • Frequent urination, often at night
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow or feeling the need to strain to empty the bladder
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pain or burning during urination

These symptoms may also be caused by other medical conditions not related to cancer. It is important to schedule a screening with your provider to be sure.

Screening: What to Expect

Two tests commonly used to screen for prostate cancer are:

  • prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test
  • digital rectal examination, in which your healthcare provider feels the prostate with a gloved finger and checks for any abnormalities

About the PSA Screening Test

The PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test measures the level of prostate-specific antigens, a substance made by the prostate, in the blood. Levels of PSA in the blood can be higher in men who have prostate cancer, although high PSA levels may also be due to other conditions affecting the prostate.

Because many factors can affect PSA levels, your doctor is the best person to interpret your test results.

Inherited genetic variants are thought to contribute to 10 to 15% of prostate cancers. Our providers can perform genetic testing to develop a personalized risk assessment for you.

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FAQ - Prostate Cancer Screening

Prostate cancer is rare in men under 40, but the chance of having prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50. About 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men older than 65. African American men and Caribbean men of African descent experience higher rates.

Although research is ongoing as to what may cause prostate cancer, studies have found several possible risk factors. They include:

  • Genetic changes or variants
  • Diet
  • Obesity
  • Chemical exposures, such as exposure to Agent Orange
  • Family history of prostate cancer
  • Inflammation of the prostate or prostatitis

There are things you can do to decrease colon cancer risk. They include:

  • Eating a healthy diet (limiting red and processed meat, for example)
  • Knowing your family history
  • Having genetic testing, if indicated
  • Getting screened as directed by your provider
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Not smoking
  • Limiting consumption of alcohol