My unborn son, Claiborne, is due just before Father’s Day this year. His pending birth motivated me to get an annual physical six months ago, a checkup I had avoided for three years.
When my physician, Dr. Kenneth Kennedy, asked whether I wanted a prostate-specific antigen test, I agreed, despite the $150 out-of-pocket charge.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises against routine prostate cancer screenings. The debate over the necessity of these tests is ongoing in research labs and doctor’s offices across America.
Despite the controversy, a good friend of mine, who also happens to be a doctor, told me to always have my PSA levels screened after age 40. His belief is that there are still many men who are diagnosed in their 40s and that if executive health programs include the PSA test for men beginning at that age, then the test should be done, regardless of government guidelines and/or family history of cancer.