The Test Is Often Not Needed
Most men with high PSAs dont have prostate cancer. Their high PSAs might be due to:
- An enlarged prostate gland.
- Recent sexual activity.
- A recent, long bike ride.
Up to 25% of men with high PSAs may have prostate cancer, depending on age and PSA level. But most of these cancers do not cause problems. It is common for older men to have some cancer cells in their prostate glands. These cancers are usually slow to grow. They are not likely to spread beyond the prostate. They usually dont cause symptoms, or death.
Studies show that routine PSA tests of 1,000 men ages 55 to 69 prevent one prostate cancer death. But the PSA also has risks.
What Kind Of Tests Are Done For Prostate Cancer
Doctors also may use magnetic resonance imaging to guide the biopsy. If prostate cancer is diagnosed, other tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread within the prostate or to other parts of the body. This process is called staging.
Thanks to regular screening, most men are diagnosed at least five years earlier than they used to be. Most men are diagnosed with cancer that is very curable. In fact, many men are diagnosed with cancer that maybe shouldnt even have been found cancer that doctors call incidental, which means its just there, but it doesnt do anything.
Finding Prostate Cancer Early
There is no national screening program for the early detection of prostate cancer. Doctors have different opinions about whether all men without symptoms of prostate cancer should be tested.
There is concern that testing healthy men will cause unnecessary harm and lead to treatments that may not offer long-term benefits. Treatment for prostate cancer can leave men with side effects such as erectile dysfunction and continence issues, which can affect their quality of life.
Testing may identify fast-growing or aggressive cancers that have the potential to spread to other parts of the body and would benefit from treatment. It may also detect very slow-growing cancers that are unlikely to be harmful.
Weigh up all the risks and benefits before deciding whether to be tested for prostate cancer, particularly if you dont have symptoms. Talking to your doctor can help.
Don’t Miss: Transitional Zone Of Prostate
Early Detection Saves Lives
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian men .
Prostate cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the prostate gland. This gland is only found in males and is about the size of a walnut.
The causes of prostate cancer are not understood and there is currently no clear prevention strategy.
There Are Risks To Getting Prostate Cancer Tests And Treatments
If your PSA is not normal, you will probably have a biopsy. The doctor puts a needle through the wall of the rectum and into the prostate to take a few samples. Biopsies can be painful and cause bleeding. Men can get serious infections from biopsies, and they may need hospital care.
Surgery or radiation are the usual treatments for prostate cancer. They can do more harm than good. Treatment can cause serious complications, such as heart attacks, blood clots in the legs or lungs, or even death. In addition, 40 men out of 1,000 will become impotent or incontinent from treatment.
Don’t Miss: Zinc Prostrate
What Are The Benefits Of Cancer Screening
When diagnosed at its earliest stage, 100% of people with prostate cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around 1 in 2 people when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.¹
Cancer screening allows you to check for the disease when you do not have symptoms and may detect the cancer at an early stage, improving the chances of curing the disease. This is especially important for diseases like prostate cancer which may not display any symptoms in the early stages.
There is not currently a national screening programme for prostate cancer in the UK due to the risk of over-diagnosis and possible over-treatment of harmless prostate cancers that wouldnt cause any problems. But that shouldnt stop those who are at higher risk or worried about prostate cancer getting tested.
The PSA test requires careful interpretation as a raised PSA level does not always mean that you have prostate cancer. For this reason, Check4Cancer offers PSACheck, a private prostate cancer screening test which includes an at-home finger-prick blood test for PSA as well as a personalised prostate cancer screening programme. Our team of specialists will analyse your PSA test results and risk factors to determine what the best next steps are for you.
What To Do If You Have Symptoms
Talk to your GP if you’re worried about symptoms or have noticed any unusual or persistent changes.
Screening for prostate cancer 2013Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews D Ilic, MM Neuberger, M Djulbegovic, P Dahm
Effect of a low-intensity PSA-based screening intervention on prostate cancer mortality: the CAP randomized clinical trial Richard M Martin PhD and othersJAMA, 2018. Volume 319, Pages 883-895
Mortality Results from a Randomized Prostate-Cancer Screening TrialGL Andriole and othersThe New England Journal of Medicine, 2009. Vol 360, Issue 13
Randomised prostate cancer screening trial: 20 year follow-upG Sandblom and othersBritish Medical Journal, 2011. Vol 342, Issue 1539
Prostate cancer risk management programme : benefits and risks of PSA testingPublic Health England, 2016
Screening and prostate cancer mortality: results of the European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer at 13 years of follow-upFH Schroder and others
Don’t Miss: Expressed Prostatic Secretions Procedure
What Are Some Of The Limitations And Potential Harms Of The Psa Test For Prostate Cancer Screening
Detecting prostate cancer early may not reduce the chance of dying from prostate cancer. When used in screening, the PSA test can help detect small tumors that do not cause symptoms. Finding a small tumor, however, may not necessarily reduce a mans chance of dying from prostate cancer. Many tumors found through PSA testing grow so slowly that they are unlikely to threaten a mans life. Detecting tumors that are not life-threatening
that requires treatment.
Should I Have A Prostate Cancer Screening Test
Routine testing for prostate cancer in all men without symptoms is not recommended in New Zealand at present. Being tested for prostate cancer is your choice. Learning about the pros and cons of prostate testing can help you decide if it is right for you.
To help you decide if a prostate check is right for you, the Ministry of Health has developed the Kupe website. It will help you understand the risks, benefits and implications of prostate testing, so you can have an informed conversation with your doctor.
If you are unsure about whether you need to get tested for prostate cancer, contact your GP for a discussion on the risks and benefits of testing.
Recommended Reading: Urinozinc Prostate Side Effects
Can Prostate Cancer Be Prevented
While studies have yet to prove that you can prevent cancer through diet and exercise, healthy eating and physical activity can improve your overall health:
Eat a healthy diet. Fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Avoid high-fat foods.
Exercise. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and boost your mood. Of course, check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Maintain a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, move more, sit less, and try to reduce the number of calories you eat each day. Ask your doctor to help you create healthy weight loss plan.
Discuss Prostate Cancer Testing With Your Doctor
Medical authorities do not recommend that all men should be tested for prostate cancer. In fact, most authorities suggest that men should make their own choice about whether or not to have a PSA test. If you decide to be tested, it is recommended that it should be done every two years from 50 to 69 years of age, and only if your health is such that you expect to live for at least another seven years.
Men at high risk of prostate cancer, such as men with a family history of prostate cancer , or men who have previously had an elevated test result, can start two-yearly testing from age 45. Your doctor can help you decide whether this is necessary.
While there is now some evidence that regular testing may prevent prostate cancer deaths, there are concerns that many men may be diagnosed and treated unnecessarily as a result of being screened, with a high cost to their health and quality of life .
However, the option of active surveillance, where a low-risk cancer is watched closely instead of being treated, helps to lower these risks. Active surveillance is now used quite commonly in Australia for men with low-risk prostate cancer.
If you are unsure whether or not to be tested after considering the benefits and uncertainties of testing and your own risk of prostate cancer, discuss it with your doctor.
In Australia, if you choose to be tested for prostate cancer the tests are covered by Medicare.
Also Check: Viagra And Frequent Urination
Specialist Referral And Biopsy
Your doctor will discuss your prostate check results with you. If the PSA and DRC results suggest you have a high risk for prostate cancer, your doctor will refer you to a urologist .
The specialist will discuss having a prostate biopsy, in which a small sample of your prostate gland cells are taken for examination.
The aim of the biopsy is to confirm whether or not you have prostate cancer and, if so, whether it needs treatment. The treatment options will then be discussed with you.
If the biopsy shows no evidence of cancer, you may be advised to attend future check-ups.
Benefits And Risks Of Screenings
The benefit of any cancer screening test is to find cancer early, when it easier to treat. But the value of PSA screening for prostate cancer is debated. No single answer fits all men.
Prostate cancer often grows very slowly. PSA levels can begin to rise years before a cancer causes any symptoms or problems. It is also very common as men age. In many cases, the cancer will not cause any problems or shorten a man’s life span.
For these reasons, it is not clear if the benefits of routine screenings outweigh the risks or side effects of being treated for prostate cancer once it is found.
There are other factors to think about before having a PSA test:
- Anxiety. Elevated PSA levels does not always mean you have cancer. These results and the need for further testing can cause a lot of fear and anxiety, even if you do not have prostate cancer.
- Side effects from further testing. If your PSA test is higher than normal, you may need to have a one or more biopsies to find out for sure. A biopsy is safe, but can cause problems such as an infection, pain, fever, or blood in the semen or urine.
- Overtreatment. Many prostate cancers will not affect your normal life span. But since it is impossible to know for sure, most people want to get treatment. Cancer treatment can have serious side effects, including problems with erections and urinating. These side effects can cause more problems than the untreated cancer.
Don’t Miss: Prostate Definitions
How Is Prostate Cancer Detected
There is no single test to detect prostate cancer. The two most common tests are the prostate specific antigen blood test and the digital rectal examination .
The PSA test measures the level of PSA in your blood. It does not specifically test for cancer. Virtually all PSA is produced by the prostate gland. The normal range depends on your age. A PSA above the typical range may indicate the possibility of prostate cancer. However, two-thirds of cases of elevated PSA are due to noncancerous conditions such as prostatitis and BPH.
A DRE is generally conducted by a urologist to feel the prostate. While DRE is no longer recommended as a routine test for men who do not have symptoms of prostate cancer, it may be used to check for any changes in the prostate before doing a biopsy.
If either of these tests suggest an abnormality, other tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer, usually a magnetic resonance imaging scan and transrectal ultrasound biopsy.
Points To Remember About Referral Guidelines
- While reading these guidelines, it is important to remember that
- PSA testing of men who do not have symptoms or PSA screening is not national policy, a proistate assessment consisits odf a digital rectal examination and a PSA test.
- PSA testing should only be carried out after full advice and provision of information
- More than 99 out of every 100 men diagnosed with prostate cancer are over 50
- About 75 out of every 100 men diagnosed with prostate cancer are over 70
- The cumulative risk of a man developing prostate cancer before the age of 50 is 1 in 485 and before the age of 70 is I in 13
- Difficulty passing urine is common in the general population and on its own, is not a reason for your GP to suspect prostate cancer
- The most common signs of prostate cancer are a raised PSA blood test and an abnormality found by your GP during an examination of your prostate
- A normal PSA reading varies depending on your age
- Men with a first degree relative who have prostate or breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer themselves
What Are The Limitations Of Psa Testing
Results of PSA testing should never be used in isolation because, as mentioned, high or abnormal PSA levels on their own do not always indicate the presence of prostate cancer. In fact, most high PSA levels only require active monitoring as opposed to aggressive forms of treatment or advanced diagnostic investigations.
As such, to further evaluate whether a patients high PSA level is of concern, a doctor may follow up with the methods below:
Digital Rectal Exam:A digital rectal exam is an exam that involves a doctor inserting a finger into the rectum to check for abnormalities in the lower abdomen or pelvis. This test can help identify a variety of health problems, including prostate cancer. Following a DRE, the doctor may recommend more tests as DRE results are most informative when evaluated in conjunction with other clinical and demographic information.
SelectMDx®:SelectMDx® is a urine test that is completed following a DRE. It measures two prostate cancer-related genetic biomarkers, HOXC6 and DLX1. Combined with other clinical factors, such as total PSA and age, the test produces a high or low risk result of discovering clinically significant disease. This provides the doctor with another important piece of information to consider when determining whether a biopsy is required and potentially avoiding unnecessary procedures.
Interested in learning more about SelectMDx®? Download the brochure here.
The Psa Prostate Cancer Test: Should You Get Tested
It was revealed earlier this month in a study published in the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases that cases of advanced prostate cancer in the United States have spiked 72% in the last decade. There are a few reasons why this might be happening.
The findings made researchers wonder whether the increase was attributable to a recent trend of fewer men getting screened for the disease.
Senior study author Dr. Edward Schaeffer, chair of urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Medicine, said:
One hypothesis is the disease has become more aggressive, regardless of the change in screening.
The other idea is since screening guidelines have become more lax, when men do get diagnosed, its at a more advanced stage of disease. Probably both are true. We dont know for sure but this is the focus of our current work.
To find the answer, researchers culled data from the National Cancer Data Base. They looked at information regarding more than 767,000 men from 1,089 medical facilities nationwide who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2004 and 2013.
The researchers focused on cases that had metastasized, or spread, from the prostate to other parts of the body by the time it was diagnosed.
Don’t Miss: Bph Drugs Comparison
When Should I Get Tested
Deciding to get tested is a personal decision made after a consultation with your doctor. Some important factors to consider are your age, race, family history, and history of exposure . Visit our Am I at Risk?page to learn more and check out our recommended age and testing guidelines, which are based on the NCCN provided recommendations.
All men are at risk of prostate cancer, so it is important to talk with your doctor to make an informed decision. Detecting prostate cancer early gives you the best chance of living longer. In fact, when it is caught early, the 5-year survival rate is over 99 percent.
Talk to Nathan about Prostate Cancer Screening is an interactive conversation that can help you decide whether to get screened. In partnership with the CDC, Nathan was developed to share information and answer your questions about prostate cancer screening and treatment. He also suggests some questions you might want to ask your doctor. Click the image below to get started!
Why You Should Always Get Tested For Prostate Cancer
No doubts about it, prostate cancer, like other types of cancers out there, is a deadly killer disease that continues to kill lots of people worldwide all over the world. Whether you are in the Third World or the developed world like the United States, you are still at risk of this and other types of cancer. This article looks closely at one of the major reasons why people still die from prostate cancer and how you can avoid being one of those people that still die yearly from this horrible cancer.
In case you havent previously heard it, prostate cancer gets worse when cancer has spread to other parts of the prostate and even other parts of the body. When this happens, it is known as the advanced metastatic stage of cancer, and survival, even though possible, is not as likely as when it has not spread or advanced.
If cancer hasnt spread out of the prostate or into other parts of the body, the many treatments work very well, especially prostatectomy. This prostatectomy is defined as the surgical removal of part or all of the prostate gland. While lots of people fear this, its still very effective in getting rid of cancer, especially if it hasnt spread to the other parts of the body.
To increase your chances of surviving the prostate type of cancer therefore is to have cancer detected in good time before it spreads dangerously out of the prostate and into other parts of the body. When it hasnt spread outside the prostate, its easy to contain.
Don’t Miss: Will A Prostate Infection Cure Itself