Should You Take a PSA Test for Prostate Cancer?
Men above 50 should take a PSA test if they are experiencing difficulty in urination or any signs of abnormality in their bladder function. PSA or prostate-specific antigen is the most common and effective way to identify the signs of prostate cancer at the earliest stage. The sooner the cancer is diagnosed, the higher your chances of survival and a faster recovery. This test can be performed alone or with a rectal examination where your urologist tests your prostate manually for abnormalities. Let’s understand PSA, its uses, and how it’s conducted.
What is Prostate-Specific Antigen Test?
PSA is a protein in your semen, which is released into your bloodstream. Very small amounts of this protein are normally found in your bloodstream, but if the PSA level increases, it indicates a more severe underlying problem. Cancer cells produce and release more PSA into your bloodstream than the usual amount. However, a rising PSA level in your blood doesn’t always indicate cancer. It can also be a sign of another problem in your prostates, such as urinary tract or prostate infection. Men who are at a higher risk of prostate cancer, such as those with a history of cancer or men above 50 years, should take the PSA test periodically.
It’s a blood test where the doctor takes a small amount of blood and sends it for screening. Scientists measure the PSA level in your blood. Higher PSA indicates an increased risk of prostate cancer, but since prostate cancer is more complicated than we can imagine, PSA alone doesn’t confirm that you have cancer. Sometimes, people are diagnosed with prostate cancer even when their PSA is low or normal. Your doctor may also consider other factors when measuring this protein level in your blood.
For example, they consider your age (as PSA tends to rise slightly with your age). Your race also matters since black people have a higher PSA level. If you take this test regularly, the doctor might take a look at your previous reports to examine the change in the PSA over time.
What can Increase Your PSA Level?
- A larger than a normal prostate
- Bacteria infection in your prostate glands that causes swelling and inflammation
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia that makes it difficult for men to ejaculate or urinate
- Certain medications
PSA below 4 ng/ml is considered normal and above that is concerning. However, there are cases where people with a lower than 4 PSA score were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and others with a slightly higher PSA were not. That’s why the test is always taken with a digital rectal exam, a biopsy, MRI, and other imaging tests for an accurate diagnosis.
Early detection of prostate cancer can prevent the fast-growing cancerous cells from spreading to the nearby organs and tissues. Although higher PSA can indicate other problems, we can’t ignore that it’s linked to a high risk of prostate cancer. Based on your results from PSA screening, the doctor might order other tests, such as a biopsy, to diagnose the root cause of the issue.
You can consult Dr Soumyan Dey for Prostate Cancer treatment. Dr Soumyan Dey is a renowned Urologist in Mumbai & Navi Mumbai, Uro-oncologist and best Prostate Cancer Surgeon in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai offers best treatments for prostate cancer, prostate enlargement.
First you have to go for Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test.