Why do doctors start checking psa levels at age 50?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 154
   Posted 7/10/2007 9:05 PM (GMT -6)   

Why do doctors start checking psa levels after a man’s 50th birthday?  There are plenty of men here that are in there 40's and many in their early 50's.  Shouldn't doctors start running psa's at age 40 or earlier?  I'm just wondering what your opinions are on the subject matter.  When did your doctor first run the psa?




Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 7/10/2007 10:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Uh, Amen!
I have been severely frustrated by this subject. And it makes sense that if a doctor can say "colonoscopy at 40" then he can say an easier thing about PSA at age 40. PSA is not an expensive test. That stated, I did not have a physical at 40. And that's my fault. Knowing what I do now, I just might not be doing radiation and hormones after surgery and looking at mortality rates. Hindsight says that this recommended age for PSA is going to change. And it d.a.m.n well better. This simple stupid test should apply to every physical. Women have OBGYN's for a reason. Who's ours?



Post Edited (TC-LasVegas) : 7/10/2007 10:52:03 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 7/10/2007 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
As an Air Force reservist I was obligated to have a PSA test at 48. That was the first year it was required. I guess you can say I was lucky. I don't know why that is the benchmark for the Air Force but they also require a colonoscopy at age 50. Could be they have stats that lead them to belive this is the best time to check. I'm grateful that it was done at age 48 if I had waited a few more years who knows how things might have turned out.

The only thing I can say as to why they wait until 50 is that PC was thought to be something you got at a later point in your life but they havn't realized that the new testing procedures is catching it earlier and earlier.

just my opinion

Age: 48
Diagnosed: 02/19/07
PSA: 4.5
Gleason: 3+3=6
Surgery: April 09, 2007
Path results: 7% of prostate involved.  Margins clean 3+3=6
catheder to be removed April 19 07.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 357
   Posted 7/11/2007 3:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I was fortunate that I see a sports medicine doctor who ordered a PSA test for me at age 40. This was mixed in with a bunch of tests that were looking at nutrition/hormones (as I was trying to lose weight), and when I took the lab order to my regular physician's office to get the work done, my regular doctor said "your insurance is probably not going to cover all of these tests". Fortunately, I went ahead with it, and my regular physician immediately jumped on the follow-up to the resulting high PSA. None of the specialists that I subsequently saw could detect anything via DRE, yet my cancer, though capsule contained, was extensive. If I had my first PSA test at age 50, surgery would likely not have been an option, or at least not as simple an option.

I think more and more doctors are waking up to lowering the age to 45, and perhaps 40. I'd say make it 35. It seems lately there have been more and more men in their lower 40s here, and that is sad. Yet how many more are walking around in ignorance?

Prostate cancer diagnosed: May 15, 2006 (age 40)
Gleason score: pre-surgery 3+3=6; post-surgery 3+4=7
daVinci radical prostatectomy: July 25, 2006
size of tumor: approx 1.1 inches; negative margins from surgery

- number of pads/day at 3 months after surgery: 3 to 5
- number of pads/day at 4 months after surgery: 1 to 2
- number of pads/day at 6-12 months after surgery: 0 to 1

- 1st post-surgery PSA: 0 (Nov 2006); 2nd post-surgery PSA: 0 (Feb 2007)
- 3rd post-surgery PSA: 0 (May 2007); 4th post-surgery PSA: 0 (June 2007)

The search for timber: took Viagra/Cialis approx. every other day, ErecAid once a day, injections. Peyronie's diagnosed 7/5/07. Now on Cialis, L-arginine and pentoxyfylline, ordered to be celibate for 6 weeks.

- PGE1 batting average: .364 (4 for 11)
- Bimix batting average: .200 (2 for 6)
- Trimix batting average: .500 (1 for 2)

"Lost in the valley without my horses, no one can tell me what my remorse is..."

Cedar Chopper
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 432
   Posted 7/11/2007 5:51 AM (GMT -6)   


My physician ordered the first PSA at 45 and colonoscopy at 50.  Insurance covered both. 
Historically, PC was thought to be slow-growing, watchful waiting was the norm, and 50 was believed an "early" time to test PSA.  I think those of us here certainly would place our bets at age 40.  At the very least, it would give personal baselines for changes in PSA.



2 Years of PSA between 4 and 5.5
Biopsy 23DEC06 
Only 5 percent cancer in one of 8 samples.
Gleeson 3+3=6
Radical Prostatectomy 16FEB07 at age 54.
1+" tumor - touching inside edge of gland.
Texas Hill Country
FRESH Produce Department Manager
Have you had your 5 colors today?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 7/11/2007 6:56 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm with you guys!
Don was 59. If he had one before that I don't know.

How about sons of fathers with pc? Anyone here with a son should be making sure they get checked at...35 does sound right. When our son had a physical and gave his family history he was given the PSA test so now there's a baseline established at age 36. It helps to know this will be watched from here on out.

Good question - something we all need to be pro-active about.

Husband Diagnosed 11/17/05 Age: 63 No Symptoms
PSA: 7.96, Positive DRE
Biopsy Right: 6 of 6 Cores Positive Biopsy Left: 1 of 6 Cores Positive
Gleason: 4+3 = 7 Stage: T2B N0 MX
2/09/06: LRP Restage: T3A NX MX
3 mo. PSA Post Surgery: 11.8, 12.9, 13.9 Bone scan, CT scan, Endorectal MRI, Chest XR - neg.
9/06/06: 6 mo. PSA: 18.8 CT shows distant lymph node involvement
Restage IV Start HT Lupron 3 mo. shots
12/06/06: PSA 0.8
03/07/07 - PSA 0.3
06/06/07 - 0.1

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 411
   Posted 7/11/2007 12:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Ken's son is 36 and have been urging him to get a PSA test at least for a baseline since his grandfather had it and now his father.  But so far no deal!  He is self-employed and doesn't have the greatest insurance, so it is a struggle trying to convince him!
I too think if there is a clear history of it in your family, the earlier testing the better!
Ken started testing at about age 50, but wasn't until in his sixties that it started being a concern.  His dad got in is his 70's.  So i think his son is thinking "well, i won't get it until much older!"
Age: 63
Diagnosed: 10/30/06
PSA: 3.7 (2005: 3.4, 2004: 4.0)
Biopsy: 1/10 cancerous, 5% of one core, right apex.
Gleason: 3+3=6
Da Vinci: April 10, 2007, Denver CO
Path results: 1% of prostate involved. Very small tumors on both right and left apex. Negative margins, negative seminal vessicles, lymph nodes left intact. Gleason upgraded 3+4=7.
1st PSA Results: May 11, 2007 <.01

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 883
   Posted 7/12/2007 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
My GP started mine at 40. Good think he did. It was probably due to the fact that my Grandfather had PCa.

I think the medical community will soon make 40 the starting age to check PSA.

    PSA 5.7 - Discovered during Annual Physical with Family Practice Dr.
    Gleason 7
    Biopsy - 3 of 12 positive (up to 75%) all on left side of prostate
    RRP on Oct. 17, 2006 - Nerves on right side saved.
    All Lab's clear.  No Cancer outside prostate
    Cathiter in for 3 weeks due to complications in healing. Removed Nov. 9, 2006
    First Post op PSA on Dec. 11, 2006  Undetectable 0.00
    Office visit on Jan. 19th due to continued excessive urine leakage.
    Feb.20th Cystoscope and 2nd Post Op PSA. Another 0.00.....:)
    Dr. said everything looks fine.  Continue to work Kegeal's. Leaking appears to have improved  after Cystoscope?!?!?!  Down to 3-4 pads per day!
    March 1st  Leaking has crept back up to 6 - 8 pads a day ??????? 
    March 8th Started Detrol LA to see if it helps with the leaking?
    March 29th Collagen injection into sphincter / bladder neck area to control excessive leaking.  Worked for a couple of days then back to leaking.
    April 17th (Six Months Post Op) 2nd Collagen Injection to control excessive leaking.  Leaking started back next day at work!
    May 14th Second Opinion about my leaking and Options at OU Medical Center.  After reviewing my records the Dr. feels I will probably need some surgical intervention to stop my leaking.  But did agree to try Bio-Feedback and work hard on the Kegeal's first!
    May 30th Follow up with my Dr. and 3rd Post Op PSA 0.00 agian!!!
    June 1st Start Bio-Feedback to try to control my leaking.

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