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Cancer Screening Guidelines

Screening for high risk men

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has guidelines for  cancer screening in men who are at high risk for cancer due to an inherited mutation.

  • Black men should consider annual screening with and DRE beginning at age 40.
  • Men with an inherited mutation, should begin annual screening with and DRE at age 40.
  • Men with an inherited , or mutation should consider annual screening with and DRE beginning at age 40.
  • There has not been enough research to show a benefit from early, or annual screening for cancer in men who have an , , , , , , or other mutations linked to cancer. For these men, experts recommend managing these risks based on family history of cancer.  

Men at high risk for cancer should consider enrolling in a screening clinical trial. 

Screening for average risk men

There are several different guidelines for cancer screening in average risk men:

  • NCCN recommends beginning at age 45, men should have a conversation with their doctor about their risk for cancer and the benefits, risks and limitations of cancer screening using and DRE.
    • For men who choose to undergo screening, and DRE should be performed every 2-4 years as long as DRE is normal and is low (<1 ng/ml).
    • For men with slightly elevated of 1-3 ng/ml and normal DRE, screening should be repeated every 1-2 years. 
    • After age 75, screening every 1-4 years should be considered for healthy men. 
  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force () recommends that men who are 55 to 69 years old should talk to their doctor about the benefits and harms of screening for cancer and make their own decisions about being screened for cancer with a specific antigen () test.
    • Men who are 70 years old and older should not be screened for cancer routinely.
  • The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends beginning at age 50, men should discuss the benefits, risks, and limitations of cancer screening with their doctor in order to make an informed decision about whether to be screened for cancer.
    • For men who choose screening,  and DRE should be performed every 2 years as long as DRE is normal and is low (<2.5 ng/ml).
    • For men who choose screening,  and DRE should be performed every year if DRE is normal and is 2.5 ng/ml or higher.
Last updated February 14, 2024

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updated: 10/18/2023

Open Clinical Trials
Open Clinical Trials

The following are studies looking at ways to screen for cancer in people at high risk: 

updated: 03/12/2023