A normal PSA result may miss some prostate cancer (a "false negative" result).
Sometimes the test results suggest something is wrong when it isn't (a "false positive"). This can cause unneeded stress and worry.
A "false positive" PSA result may lead to an unneeded prostate biopsy (tissue sample).
A positive PSA test may find a prostate cancer that is slow-growing and never would have caused you problems.
Possible Risks Of A PSA Test:
If you are African-American, you are more likely to develop prostate cancer. African-American men are also twice as likely to be diagnosed with more deadly forms of the disease.
If your father, brother, or other close relative was diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have a higher chance of being diagnosed. This is especially true if two or more close relatives have been diagnosed, or if they were diagnosed before age 55.
If you are at a higher risk for prostate cancer, talk to your doctor about screening.
Am I At High Risk Of Prostate Cancer?
You urinate often during the day and/or night.
It is hard to wait when you have to urinate.
Your urine flow is weak or slow.
You have to push or strain to start urinating.
You stop and start several times when urinating.
You have pain with ejaculation.
You have blood in your urine.
If you are having urinary problems, your doctor may use the PSA test to check your prostate health. Remember, urinary symptoms like these are usually caused by prostate health issues other than cancer.
What Are The First Signs Of Trouble?
Not necessarily. Less than one-third of high PSA results are caused by prostate cancer. A prostate biopsy (tissue sample) is the only way to know for sure if you have cancer. However, your doctor may want to repeat your PSA or do other testing.
Does A PSA Mean I Have Prostate Cancer?
If you wish to be screened, your doctor will use a blood test to measure prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Your doctor may also feel your prostate for anything abnormal. This exam is known as a digital rectal exam (DRE).
How Do You Screen For Prostate Cancer?
Only men have a prostate. This walnut-shaped gland sits below the bladder. The prostate surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells from your prostate grow out of control.
What Is Prostate Cancer?
Frequently Asked Questions
A normal PSA test may put your mind at ease.
A PSA test may find prostate cancer early before it has spread.
Early treatment of prostate cancer may help some men slow the spread of the disease.
Early treatment of prostate cancer may help some men live longer.
Possible Benefits Of A PSA Test:
The choice to be screened for prostate cancer is a personal one. Before you decide to be tested, talk to your doctor about your risk for prostate cancer, including your personal and family history. Then talk about the benefits and risks of testing.
If you are age 45 to 69, talk to your doctor about prostate screening.
Should I Be Screened For Prostate Cancer?