All you need to know about PSA test and diagnostic of prostate cancer
Even Ben Stiller admitted that PSA test saved his life! More and more celebrities admit that they had problems with health that proper diagnostic test helped them to catch their illnesses earlier and at the point when they were curable. Famous people are best advocates for diagnostics, as many people can identify with them and Velcure would like to give you additional chance and enhance your knowledge about different types of diagnostic test that can save your life.
This week we talk about PSA test and prostate cancer.
What is a PSA test and why we do it?
To put it in a simple words PSA is an abbreviation for Prostate- specific antigen, which is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. This specific PSA test is a blood test which measures the level of the PSA in man’s blood. After laboratory analysis (report usually in nanograms of PSA per millilitre, of blood) you can see if the level of PSA is elevated and if there is anything to be worried about.
The PSA test has been previously (since 1986) used to monitor the progression of prostate cancer in cases where it has already been detected. Today we use is as a standard test for diagnostics of prostate cancer.
We should though know that not only prostate cancer can cause elevated level of PSA. It can be eg inflammation of the prostate or BHP (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Therefore not always an elevated PSA can be a symptom of cancer.
To whom is the PSA test recommended?
PSA test is recommended especially for men at the age of 50 and above. Today we also advise those test for all men, who had history of cancer in the family and men at the age of 40-45. The PSA level is worth checking especially as it does not require much effort and can help to detect any abnormalities at the very early stage.
What is the good result of PSA test?
It is hard to define what the normal or abnormal PSA result is. Previously doctors considered PSA level of 4.0 ng/mL and lower as a normal result. When the level was higher, biopsy was recommended.
Today, as we know much more about prostate cancer and PSA test we can say that even some men with levels of PSA below 4.0 ng/mL have prostate cancer and men with higher PSA levels may not have cancer. There are many different factors that can have influence on the result. These are many urinary infection, some drugs eg. finaseride or dutasteride. Therefore it is recommended always to take the full blood morphology tests and also urine and stool samples. This will help to rule out other diseases and explain certain level of PSA.
Summing up, it is more likely that a men that had a PSA test taken and PSA level was high can have a prostate cancer. The higher the level of PSA the more likely the prostate cancer. What is more and worth remembering is that the continuous rise of PSA level over some time may also be an indicator of prostate cancer.
What if the level of PSA is elevated?
Usually, if the PSA test show the result of an elevated PSA without any symptoms of a prostate cancer, consultation at a doctor would be needed. The doctor may recommend another PSA test and/or image screening or biopsy if the level is very high. As already mentioned PSA test may show abnormality but this does not absolutely mean prostate cancer as there are many different conditions that may affect the result. The doctor may also ask for urine test as sometimes elevated PSA means just an infection.
There is a number of different tests that can be taken afterwards, from image screening, ultrasound to biopsy. All in all, they are all the next step in prostate cancer diagnostic and shall be done in a close consultation with a doctor.
“This thing saved my life!”
said a popular actor Ben Stiller in an interview on Oct. 4 on The Howard Stern Show. For the first time Stiller revealed that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 48. Actor underline that only because he undergone the PSA test he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and could have been cured.
This is a good example of why the proper diagnostic should be considered always and no matter if we had symptoms of certain disease or not. Cancer does not choose certain people, it can be a condition that everyone could experience. Therefore we strongly recommend and ask each men to start caring more and more about their health and do the test.
You can read more about PSA and prostate cancer on the website: https://www.cancer.gov/ and when you are ready to take the test, contact us and decide which health-check package you would like to choose. Velcure will plan it all for you.
It will be only 2 days of your life, but those two days can save you the whole life.