Prostate: the exams to do

After a certain age, performing prostate tests annually allows early diagnosis of a possible tumor, increasing the chances of healing.

Every year, in Italy, 30 thousand new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed. When the diagnosis is made early, there are excellent prospects of recovery. Here are the useful exams.

The Italian Society of Urology suggests keeping the prostate under control, through a series of tests. From the age of 50 upwards for everyone and from 45 in case of familiarity with the tumor, it is good to do a check-up every year.


PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, is a protein that the prostate normally produces. It can be a useful indicator of its state of health because its production increases when something is wrong.

In particular, PSA levels, which are measured through a normal blood test, may be elevated in the presence of prostatitis (inflammation of the gland), prostatic hypertrophy or prostate cancer.

The attention threshold is equal to:

Age range PSA Values
Up to 60 years 2.5 ng/ml
Between 60 and 70 years 4 ng/ml
Over 70 years 5-5.5ng/ml

When the PSA values of an under 60 are between 4 and 10 it is appropriate to consider the ratio between free and total PSA.

If this ratio is less than 15 percent, a tumor may be suspected, above a benign hypertrophy.

It is also important to evaluate changes in the PSA value over time. The tumor is usually characterized by a slow but steady growth of the antigen in the blood.

Most doctors, in Italy and internationally, do not consider mass PSA screening useful.

Because altered PSA values alone do not give certainty of the tumor, they simply lead to think that something is not going as it should.

For this reason, in most cases it is necessary to associate digitorectal exploration and transrectal ultrasound with PSA.

Digito-rectal examination

The examination consists of introducing a finger, after the urologist has put on a lubricated glove, into the patient’s anus.

It is used to ascertain the volume and consistency of the prostate, as well as the possible presence of suspicious prostate nodules.

Transrectal ultrasound

The examination consists of inserting a thin probe, sprinkled with lubricating gel, into the patient’s anus.

It is used to assess the size and morphology of the gland, identifying the presence of any lesions or abnormal formations.

It is usually performed when the PSA values suggest the presence of prostate cancer.

Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

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