Ask the Doctor About Prostate Checks

After age 50, men need their prostate gland checked at least once a year. This gland helps make semen. The doctor checks the prostate to see if it is too big or infected. Men with an infected prostate can have trouble urinating.

The doctor also checks for cancer. The doctor checks the prostate by putting a gloved finger into the rectum. The thought of this test may make you embarrassed. But it takes a short time and is important for a man's health. Usually, the doctor will also do a prostate specific antigen blood test, often referred to as a PSA test.

Some men with a higher risk for getting prostate cancer may need to start prostate checks earlier than age 50. African-American men and those with a history of prostate cancer in their family should ask their doctors when to start prostate checks.