Prostate Cancer: PSA, AUA, DRE, MRI…?

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among American men, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. How can men in southeast Wyoming remain in control of their health? By educating themselves about prostate cancer and understanding the signs and recommendations for screening. In this article, we’ll break down all the confusing acronyms you may encounter.

#1: PSA = Prostate-Specific Antigen

Prostate-specific antigen is a protein produced by the prostate gland. While your prostate gland naturally produces more PSA as you grow older, unusually high levels of PSA may be an indication of a number of prostate conditions, including inflammation, benign tumors, or cancer. PSA is measured with a blood sample.

#2: AUA = American Urological Association

The AUA’s guideline for early detection of prostate cancer has a lot of valuable information for men. Many of their recommendations focus on “shared decision-making” between a man and his doctor. Shared decision-making means they collaboratively weigh all the factors of a man’s health to make the right choice for him. Factors may include: age, risk factors (family history, race), current overall health, etc.

Recommendation How often?
Under 40 No screenings X
40–54 Low or average risk men:

No screenings

High risk men: Shared decision-making before screening Every 2 years is preferred
55–69 Shared decision-making before screening


Every 2 years may be preferred
70+ No screenings X

 #3 DRE = Digital Rectal Exam

If you have symptoms, your doctor may recommend a PSA screening in conjunction with a DRE, which generally involves a doctor or nurse inserting a finger into the rectum to check the size of the prostate gland and feel for lumps.

If your PSA is elevated and a DRE indicates something isn’t quite right, your doctor may then recommend an imaging procedure for more information. At Cheyenne Radiology, we provide prostate MRIs for men with elevated PSA levels.

#4: MRI = Magnetic Resonance Imaging

An MRI is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses or radio wave energy create images of the inside of your body, including glands like the prostate.

At Cheyenne Radiology, we take your health seriously and that’s why we provide you with the latest, highest quality imaging technology. Countless patients have benefited from our 3T MRI machine and the resulting images have helped them and their doctors answer their most pressing health concerns.

If you and your doctor decide an MRI is the right choice for you, ask for a referral to Cheyenne Radiology and we’ll make sure you’re able to know sooner and be certain.