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Are there any risks associated with prostate cancer screening?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

One in seven men will get prostate cancer in his lifetime, making it more common than breast cancer in women. However, since false-positive prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening may result in invasive testing or treatment that can cause long-term ill effects, prostate cancer screening is controversial. Talk with your doctor about what’s right for you.

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.

If you have risk factors for prostate cancer, you should get screened early, but talk to your doctor about what's right for you. Watch urologist Harry Fisch, MD, explain how men can protect themselves from prostate cancer and avoid unneeded treatment.

An inherent risk of screening for prostate cancer is the possibility of being told incorrectly that you have cancer based on a suspicious test result. Digital rectal exams (DREs) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests are far from perfect, as they can lead to suspicious results for reasons other than cancer. Many healthy men need to have biopsies done to make sure they don't have cancer. This can cause anxiety, in addition to the time, discomfort and possible side effects of having a biopsy done. You must be willing to accept this possibility.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.