Prostate Cancer Screenings [The Ultimate PSA Guide]

Prostate Cancer Screenings [The Ultimate PSA Guide]

Prostate Cancer Screenings [The Ultimate PSA Guide]

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, but many people still do not know how to detect it in its early stages.

The prostate gland is located just below the bladder and can be felt through the rectum. If you feel any lumpy areas or hard lumps during your self-exam, see your doctor right away.

Prostate cancer screenings are painless ways to screen for prostate disease. They involve collecting urine samples from men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and comparing them to healthy patients’ samples for signs of elevated levels of PSA (prostate specific antigen) or abnormal cells that may indicate prostate cancer.

Read this article to learn more about prostate cancer screening. Find out what PSA levels are, how they’re different from other tests, what is a good and a bad PSA level, and when to get screened for prostate cancer.

Table of Contents

What is PSA Screening (Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening)?

What is PSA Screening (Prostate Specific Antigen Screening)?

PSA (prostate-specific antigen) screening is a blood test that checks for prostate cancer. The PSA level is a measure of the amount of PSA in the blood.

PSA is a protein produced by both cancerous and noncancerous cells in the prostate. But because PSA is also found in other tissues, such as the seminal vesicles, the bladder, and blood cells, it can be difficult to use PSA levels alone to determine whether a man has prostate cancer.

However, doctors have found that

  1. Men with higher than normal PSA levels usually do have prostate cancer;
  2. If they find cancer in one lobe of the prostate (segments that make up the prostate), the cancer is more likely to be found in other lobes as well; and
  3. PSA levels can be helpful in finding tumors that are too small to be felt during a digital rectal exam (DRE).

PSA screening may not be appropriate for every man. Talk to your doctor about whether a PSA screening is right for you.

What is Prostate Cancer Screening then?

A prostate cancer screening is a medical test that men can get to help find out if they might have signs of prostate cancer. The goal of prostate cancer screening is to detect any chance of prostate cancer as early as possible – when there’s a good chance it could be cured. Remember, though, the PSA blood test isn’t perfect.

So, if the result of your prostate cancer screening is “abnormal”, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have prostate cancer. You may need other tests to find out for sure.

There are two types of prostate cancer screenings: a physical exam and blood test.

A physical exam is when a doctor feels around the area around the prostate gland and testicles for any lumps, bumps, or unusual areas.

A blood test is when a doctor takes a small blood sample and looks at it under a microscope to see if there are high levels of PSA in the blood.

Prostate Cancer Early Detection: How Prostate Cancer Screening Can Help Detect The Cancer Early

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men after skin cancer. But because prostate cancer often doesn’t cause any symptoms until it’s advanced, many men don’t know they have it until it’s too late.

That’s why it’s important for men to get screened for prostate cancer regularly – especially if they are over the age of 50.

Prostate cancer screening can help detect early stage of prostate cancer when there’s a good chance it can be cured. In fact, studies have shown that prostate cancer screenings can reduce the risk of death from prostate cancer by up to 20%.

So, American Cancer Society recommends that men who are age 55 to 69 have a conversation with their doctor about the benefits and risk factors of prostate cancer screening.

What Are PSA Levels?

PSA levels are measured in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). A PSA level that is higher than normal does not automatically mean a man has prostate cancer. In fact, some men with no symptoms of prostate cancer and only slightly elevated levels of PSA (4-10 ng/mL) may have prostate cancer.

Some doctors use a PSA level of 10 ng/mL as the cutoff point for further testing, but this number may vary depending on the laboratory that does the test and other factors.

What Is a Good PSA Score?

A good PSA level varies from man to man and depends on a variety of factors, including age.

Younger men often have higher PSA levels than older men because they tend to have more prostate tissue. But a high PSA level does not necessarily mean a man has cancer. In fact, only 10% of men with elevated PSA levels will have prostate cancer.

In general, the lower the PSA level, the better. A PSA level below 2 ng/mL is considered normal for a man who does not have prostate cancer.

When Do You Need to Do Prostate Cancer Screening (PSA Test)

When Do You Need to Do Prostate Cancer Screening (PSA Test)?

National comprehensive cancer network guidelines recommend that men discuss prostate cancer screening with their doctor at age 50. However, African Americans and men with a family history of prostate cancer should begin screening at age 40.

Men who have symptoms of prostate problems such as difficulty urinating or blood in the urine should be screened even if they are under the age of 50.

Meaning, prostate cancer screening outweighs the risk factors for most men diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early stage.

Can Prostate Cancer Screening Cause Prostate Cancer?

According to the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer screening is not believed to cause prostate cancer or have any negative effects on men who are not diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, no studies have been done that could prove this with certainty.

How Often Should You Do Prostate Cancer Screening (PSA Test)?

There is no set time to do a PSA test as it should be done depending on the man’s health and family history. However, many doctors suggest that men have their first screening at age 40 or 45 and have regular testing after that on a schedule that is decided on between the doctor and patient.

If you have an abnormal PSA score, your doctor will likely want to do more tests, such as a prostate biopsy, to see if you have cancer.

How to Prepare for Prostate Cancer Screening (PSA Test)

How to Prepare for Prostate Cancer Screening (PSA Test)

There is no special way to prepare for a PSA test. But there are some guidelines that will help you get the most accurate results from your test.

First, you should avoid ejaculating for at least 48 hours before your test. This will help ensure that your PSA level is as close to its normal level as possible.

Second, you should not eat a big meal or drink a lot of fluids before your test. This can also affect your PSA level.

Finally, you should tell your doctor if you are taking any medications that may affect your PSA level. Some common medications that can interfere with the PSA test include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and blood thinners (warfarin, Coumadin).

How to Detect Prostate Cancer Risk Via Your PSA Scores

How to Detect Prostate Cancer Risk Via Your PSA Scores

Detecting prostate cancer risk via your PSA scores is not an exact science, but there are some general guidelines that can help you to understand what your score may mean.

  • A PSA score of 4 ng/mL or lower is considered normal for a man who does not have prostate cancer.
  • A PSA score of between 4-10 ng/mL is considered a grey area. In this score range, it’s difficult to determine if the high PSA level is from prostate cancer or from another benign cause such as an enlarged prostate.
  • A PSA score of 10 ng/mL or more usually indicates that there has been some growth in the prostate gland – but without further testing, it can’t be determined if that growth is cancer or non-cancerous.

Although most men with prostate cancer will have PSA levels above 10 ng/mL, some men may still develop prostate cancer despite having low PSA scores.

If your score is in the grey zone (4-10 ng/mL), you might need more tests to find out if you have prostate cancer.

Another blood test called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) velocity might help determine your risk for developing prostate cancer.

PSA velocity is a measure of how fast your PSA level is increasing over time. A high PSA velocity (more than 0.75 ng/mL per year) usually indicates that a man has prostate cancer.

Can PSA detect benign prostatic hyperplasia too?

Can PSA detect benign prostatic hyperplasia too?

PSA is a protein that is produced by the prostate gland. A high level of PSA can be a sign of prostate cancer, but it can also be a sign of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlargement of the prostate gland.

So, yes, PSA can detect BPH too.

Conclusion

Prostate cancer screenings are a painless way to screen for prostate disease. If you have an abnormal PSA score, your doctor will likely want to do more tests such as a prostate biopsy to see if you have cancer.

FAQ

Prostate Cancer Screening | FAQ

Typically, PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels are higher in older men because they have more prostate tissue as they age. But a high PSA level does not always mean a man has cancer. In fact, very few men below 50 years of age who have elevated levels of PSA will actually have prostate cancer.

In general, the lower the PSA level, the better. A PSA level below 2 ng/mL is considered normal for a man who does not have prostate cancer.

It is recommended that men between the ages of 50 and 70 have their yearly PSA score measured. For men over the age of 70, having a yearly PSA is still recommended if they are in good health, but it may need to be combined with other tests (such as DRE) to determine whether they should be screened or not.

A PSA wellness screening is a test that screens for prostate disease in men who do not have any symptoms. The test is usually recommended for men over the age of 45.

A prostate examination (DRE) and a PSA test are both performed to detect prostate cancer.

In order to determine whether a man has prostate cancer, his doctor will usually order a blood test to measure PSA levels and a prostate examination (DRE). If either of these tests are abnormal, the doctor may order other tests, such as a biopsy, to determine if the man has prostate cancer.

There is no one definitive answer to this question. Some men might prefer the PSA test because it is a blood test and does not require any special preparation. Others might prefer a prostate examination (DRE) because it can help to determine the size and shape of the prostate gland. Ultimately, the best screening method for prostate cancer is the one that is best suited to the patient.

Screening for prostate cancer is typically recommended for men between the ages of 50 and 70, but it may be appropriate for some men over the age of 70 to continue screening. It is also recommended that men over the age of 45 have a PSA wellness screening.

Doctors usually recommend that men over the age of 45 have yearly PSA wellness tests. For men who do not have any symptoms, doctors may continue to recommend annual screenings after the age of 50.

A prostate screening usually consists of a blood test to measure PSA levels and a prostate examination (DRE). If either of these tests are abnormal, the doctor may order other tests, such as a biopsy, to determine if the man has prostate cancer.

Doctors typically recommend that men have their prostate checked at least once a year. For some men, this may need to be done more frequently, depending on their age and health status.

It can be difficult to determine whether prostate screening is necessary because every man's situation is different. Some men, for example, have a family history of prostate cancer and therefore may be more likely to develop it in the future.

In these cases, doctors may recommend that these men have yearly PSA wellness screenings even though they are younger than 50 years of age.

For other men, prostate screening may not be necessary at all. Your doctor can help you to determine whether or not prostate screening is right for you.

A prostate examination (DRE) and a PSA test are both required for prostate cancer. The DRE can help to determine the size and shape of the prostate gland, while the PSA test measures the level of PSA in the blood. If either of these tests are abnormal, the doctor may order other tests to determine if the man has prostate cancer.

Prostate screening can be performed in a variety of ways, depending on the preference of the patient. A blood test to measure PSA levels (PSA screening) is the most common way to screen for prostate cancer, but a prostate examination (DRE) may also be useful. The DRE can help to determine the size and shape of the prostate gland. If either of these tests are abnormal, the doctor may order other tests to determine if the man has prostate cancer.

A digital rectal exam (DRE) is not as accurate as a PSA test for detecting prostate cancer, but it can still be useful in some cases. The DRE can help to determine the size and shape of the prostate gland, which can be helpful in diagnosing prostate cancer. However, a DRE is not as accurate as a PSA test in detecting prostate cancer.

The prostate examination (DRE) is not as accurate as a PSA test for detecting prostate cancer, but it can still be useful in some cases. The DRE can help to determine the size and shape of the prostate gland, which can be helpful in diagnosing prostate cancer.

PSA screening is better than the DRE screening because it is more accurate in detecting prostate cancer. PSA screening involves measuring the level of PSA in the blood, which can help to detect prostate cancer at an earlier stage.

Resources

Here are the references our researchers used when writing this article:

  • https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/screening
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/tests.html
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/psa-test/in-depth/prostate-cancer/art-20048087
  • https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/prostate-cancer-screening
  • https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/prostate-cancer/prostate-cancer-advancements-in-screenings

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