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Prostate Cancer Awareness and the Importance of Screenings

Prostate Cancer Awareness and the Importance of Screenings

June 1, 2021

In cooperation with our partner, Memorial Sloan Kettering, the New York City District Council of Carpenters (“NYCDCC” Welfare Fund) would like to present you the following information concerning prostate cancer awareness and the importance of screenings.

What is a prostate?

The prostate is a gland found in people assigned male at birth. It’s located between your bladder and rectum, and helps make semen.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the United States. However, screenings help find more than 9 out of 10 prostate cancers early, when the cancer is only in the prostate gland.

What are the warning signs of prostate cancer?

The first sign often is an abnormal finding on a routine screening exam. Many men with prostate cancer do not notice any signs, though common symptoms include:

  • Needing to urinate often.
  • Needing to urinate more often during the night.
  • Unable to urinate. 
  • Trouble starting or stopping the flow of urine.
  • Often feeling pain or stiffness in your lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
  • Painful ejaculation or trouble having an erection.

Having these symptoms doesn’t mean you have prostate cancer. Talk with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. Be sure to get a diagnosis and treatment if needed.

What is prostate cancer screening?

One of the best ways to screen for prostate cancer is a blood test that measures your level of prostate-specific antigen (“PSA”), a protein made in the prostate gland.

Is early prostate cancer screening right for you? 

It depends. Screening guidelines depend on your personal risk for developing prostate cancer. Memorial Sloan Kettering recommends having a PSA blood test at around age 45.

There are several reasons why screening at that age offers more benefits than risk:

  • The results are a good predictor of your lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • We can closely monitor men who are at the highest risk.
  • Prostate cancer is more curable when it’s caught early.
  • Men at low risk for prostate cancer can have fewer screenings, none at all, or start them at a later age.

It’s important to find the balance of benefit and risk that’s right for you. Talk with your doctor about when to start and stop screenings, and how often you should have them.

The NYCDCC Welfare Fund partners with Memorial Sloan Kettering to offer MSK Direct, a program that gives you guided access to expert cancer care. They provide resources and support throughout your care experience. To learn more about prostate cancer and screenings, as well as other cancer care related topics, visit the MSK Direct website for the NYCDCC Welfare Fund at If you or a loved one are impacted by cancer and would like to discuss treatment options available at MSK, please call the dedicated MSK Direct phone line for the NYCDCC Welfare Fund at (833) 786-3368