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Every man should decide what's right for him

Pros of having a check

If your PSA and/or DRE are normal, you are unlikely to have prostate cancer.

If you are found to have prostate cancer as a result of a check, often it is found at an earlier stage than if you waited until you had symptoms. This means your chance of a cure is better.

If you are found to to have a low-risk prostate cancer, you also have the option not treating it. Instead you could keep having regular checks to make sure it is not getting any worse. Doing this means you can avoid, or delay, potential side effects of treatment. Even if you are found to have advanced prostate cancer, then you may still get some benefit from finding it early and having treatment.

Cons of a prostate check

A prostate check is not 100% accurate and can suggest you have cancer when you don't.

A prostate check can only tell you if there is a risk that you have prostate cancer, you will need a biopsy to to find out for sure.

Biopsies have the risk of side effects. If your biopsy shows you have cancer sometimes it can be hard for doctors to tell if it is a type that could cause problems and would benefit from being treated. So by getting checked you may end up having treatment for a cancer that may never cause you problems.  

What happens if you don't have a prostate check?

You will lose the chance of detecting a prostate cancer that may cause you harm if not treated early

You will also avoid the risks that go along with biopsies and treatments.

It's ok to decide not to have a prostate check. There are risks and benefits to checking, and the most important thing is to figure out what matters to you. You can still have a prostate check at any time in the future if you change your mind.

Not sure if you want a check?

Try the decision support tool

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