Cancer Screening for Men

Cancer screening refers to the practice of performing tests

on a select group of people in order to detect cancer at an early stage, before the disease causes noticeable symptoms. If a screening program is effective, the cancer will be detected when it may be easier to treat and cure. This should ultimately decrease the risk of dying from the specific cancer for which the screening program is used.

Risk vs. Reward

Screening programs must be carefully followed to ensure they are not placing patients at an increased risk of unnecessary procedures, especially when the risk of cancer death is not diminished.

Various organizations and specialty groups provide recommendations on screening programs for both men and women. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) provides unbiased recommendations on cancer screening through review of relevant scientific literature that reports outcomes of screened populations. Other respected organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, also provide guidelines for cancer screening.

Guidelines for Men

General guidelines from the USPSTF for men include:

  • Routine screening for colorectal cancer starting at age 50 and continuing to age 75
  • Certain men ages 76 to 85 may also require colorectal cancer screening; however, routine screening is not recommended
  • Colorectal cancer screening is not recommended for men older than age 85
  • Screening for lung cancer should only be considered in a high-risk population of men ages 55 to 80 with a history of smoking one pack per day for at least 30 years and who are currently smoking or have quit in the past 15 years
  • Routine PSA screening for prostate cancer is no longer recommended; however, some groups still recommend consideration of screening certain individuals at high risk

All patients should discuss cancer screening with their primary care physician to determine if screening is indicated and also which methods are most appropriate.

By Tyler Kemmis, MD
Medical Director, Lutheran's Radiation Oncology

»Free Men's Health Screening

Attend Lutheran Medical Center’s free men’s health screening, to be held Saturday, Sept. 27, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The event offers prostate exams, testicular exams and several others especially important to men. Screenings at the event are rapid screenings only and not meant to be a substitute for a complete exam. Reservations are required. Please call 303-689-4595 to see if you qualify for the screenings and to make an appointment.