Tag: psa test

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland that can be detected in blood. Blood PSA levels typically rise in men who have prostate cancer. Since the 1990s, the PSA test has been used, along with the digital rectal exam (DRE), to regularly screen men over age 50 for prostate cancer.

The trouble is, noncancerous prostate conditions such as prostatitis (prostate inflammation) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can also cause a rise in PSA level. Urinary tract infections, prostate surgery, bladder tests, certain medications (such as NSAIDs, statins, and diuretics), and recent ejaculation can also affect PSA test results. The difficulty in distinguishing prostate cancer from these benign conditions can contribute to false positive results, which can lead men to have unnecessary biopsies (the removal of prostate tissue to test for cancer). Some evidence has shown that only 25 percent of men who have undergone a prostate biopsy because of a high PSA level actually have prostate cancer.

Even when a PSA test correctly identifies prostate cancer, it?s hard to know whether that cancer will be life-threatening. Many prostate cancers are slow growing and don?t need treatment. A high PSA level may result in men being treated for cancers they don?t have or that wouldn?t have spread, exposing them to treatment side effects and unnecessary anxiety.

Doctors have also had difficulty agreeing on what constitutes a ?normal? PSA level. In the past, a PSA of 4 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/ml) was considered normal. However, more recent students have shown that some men with PSAs below 4 have prostate cancer, while some men with PSA levels over 4 do not have cancer.

As a result, many medical organizations have pulled back on their recommendation that men get routine PSA screening. Most groups agree that screening should be individualized based on a man?s age, risk factors, and overall health.

Beyond the PSA Test: Options for Screening

Beyond the PSA Test: Options for Screening

Prostate screening traditionally has focused on two methods: the digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate specific antigen, or PSA testing. Researchers have always worked toward improving the accuracy and reliability of both modalities. Along the way, PSA test options have been surfacing.
New methods seek to clarify diagnoses in men whose

Prostate Cancer Symptoms: 15 Common (and Not-So-Common) Signs

Prostate Cancer Symptoms: 15 Common (and Not-So-Common) Signs

Despite the fact that there are roughly 221,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in American men each year, many of them have no symptoms of the disease.

In these asymptomatic men, the disease is often detected during routine screening with tests such as a digital rectal exam, urinalysis, and

What Is Prostate Cancer?

What Is Prostate Cancer?

The vast majority of prostate cancers originate in the glandular cells of the prostate and are called adenocarcinomas. Prostate cancer is second only to prostate cancer, it is the second leading cause of cancer-related death. Data from the National Cancer Institute estimates that 14 percent of American men will be

Elderly Diseases: The Big 12

Elderly Diseases: The Big 12

For both the youthful and the elderly, diseases can be a reality, and they require attention. Many different diseases can affect the human body, but certain ones rank among the most common causes of major illness in older adults. Some of these elderly diseases affect both men and women and

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer: Sorting Out Signs

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer: Sorting Out Signs

Prostate cancer usually develops quietly early on. Oftentimes, if a man experiences symptoms of prostate cancer, his disease has reached a more advanced stage.

Compounding the problem is that these prostate cancer symptoms can mimic those of other, noncancerous problems, so it’s important to visit your physician and find the root

Are You Keeping Tabs on Your PSA Levels?

Are You Keeping Tabs on Your PSA Levels?

Three big letters: P-S-A. In the world of urology and men’s health, perhaps no three letters generate more controversy. Since the early 1990s, the prostate-specific antigen (or PSA) blood test has served as the cornerstone of prostate cancer early detection. Today, it remains at the center of a debate over

An Abnormal PSA Result: What Comes Next?

An Abnormal PSA Result: What Comes Next?

The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test remains central to prostate cancer screening and, at the same time, at the center of considerable controversy. While proponents cite data supporting the test as a way to reduce the risk of dying from prostate cancer, critics point to the chain of events that

Prostate Cancer Survival Rate? Treatments That Increase Your Odds

Prostate Cancer Survival Rate? Treatments That Increase Your Odds

There are a variety of different options for treating prostate cancer and improving your prostate cancer survival rate. You and your doctor will decide which treatment regimen(s) is best for you based on your age, your overall health, and the stage of your prostate cancer.

Active Surveillance: Given the slow growth

Is There a Normal PSA Level?

Is There a Normal PSA Level?

There is no universally accepted “normal” PSA level. In the past, a PSA of 4 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/ml) or less was considered normal; however, more recent studies have shown that some men with PSAs below 4 have prostate cancer and some men with PSAs over 4 do

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