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Cancer screenings can often find signs of cancer before symptoms appear. Their goal is to identify cancer in its earliest stages, when it’s most treatable. For men, there are four commonly recommended types of cancer screenings.
Dignity Health Central California offers the latest advances in cancer detection and diagnosis. We pair our expertise with humankindness, so you receive the respectful, thoughtful care you deserve. Find a Doctor who can perform cancer screenings for men in Central California.
Starting at age 50, men should have a colonoscopy every 10 years. However, if you have an increased risk of colon cancer, you should start screening earlier. Most men can stop getting this test at age 75.
During a colonoscopy, your doctor inserts a flexible, lighted tube through the rectum into the large intestine (colon). You will need to clean out your colon before the procedure. In addition to examining your colon, your doctor can remove any suspicious growths (polyps) during the exam. You will receive sedation to keep you comfortable.
Men should also start prostate cancer screening at age 50. Those at a higher risk for the disease should begin screening at age 40. Prostate cancer screening includes a digital rectal exam (DRE), a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, or both.
During a digital rectal exam, your doctor feels your prostate gland by inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum. The exam is brief, but can be uncomfortable for some men. Digital rectal exams are not able to find all prostate cancer tumors, so they are considered less effective than prostate specific antigen tests.
Prostate-specific antigen tests are blood tests. A high level of prostate-specific antigen can be due to prostate cancer or other causes. You will need to repeat the test or have additional tests if your prostate specific antigen level is high.
Men who were heavy smokers in the past or have a long history of smoking should have a yearly low-dose CT scan of their lungs starting at age 50. Testing should continue through age 74.
Low-dose CT scans use X-rays to create highly detailed images of your lungs. Your doctor can use these images to find small tumors. You may need additional tests to confirm a diagnosis.
Regardless of age, skin cancer screening should be a part of every man’s annual physical exam. You may need to see a dermatologist for more frequent screenings if you are at increased risk for skin cancer.
During the test, your doctor looks at the entire surface of your skin. This includes your scalp, buttocks, groin, between your toes, and behind your ears.
Our experts want to do everything we can to help you have a healthy, cancer-free future. Talk to your doctor about scheduling cancer screenings and taking steps to prevent cancer.