Prostate cancer is a 'silent' disease in its earliest stages. This is why men need to follow the early detection guidelines for prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that all men age 40 and older see their doctor for an annual digital rectal exam to check for prostate cancer. The simple exam takes about one minute. Beginning at 50, men should also have a P.S.A. or Prostate Specific Antigen blood test. The P.S.A. test should always be done before the rectal exam to prevent a false result. If either test is abnormal, further diagnostic tests will indicate if cancer or another prostate problem is present. Prostate cancer may be cured if caught early. According to the American Cancer Society, 91 percent of men diagnosed at an early stage are alive five years later. Early treatment allows many men with prostate cancer to remain sexually active and keep bladder and bowel control. Even advanced cases can often be effectively treated. For more information on prostate cancer and detection, consult your healthcare provider.