The Role Of Psa In Choosing The Best Treatment
If you have received a diagnosis of prostate cancer, your PSA levels can be used along with the results of other tests and physical exams and your tumors Gleason score to help determine which tests are needed for further evaluation and to decide on the best treatment plan. After treatment has begun, your PSA and other tests will be used to determine how well the treatment is working: The more successful the therapy, the lower the PSA.
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What Is Psa Screening
PSA is a protease, a group of enzymes that break down proteins into smaller peptides or amino acids.
It is released by the prostate gland, promoting the movement of sperm. However, a small amount escapes into the bloodstream and can be used to monitor prostate activity. Healthy men have low levels of serum PSA but they often elevate in the presence of prostate disorders, including:
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- Helps reduce prostate size and symptoms
Pros And Cons Of The Psa Test
- it may reassure you if the test result is normal
- it can find early signs of cancer, meaning you can get treated early
- PSA testing may reduce your risk of dying if you do have cancer
- it can miss cancer and provide false reassurance
- it may lead to unnecessary worry and medical tests when there’s no cancer
- it cannot tell the difference between slow-growing and fast-growing cancers
- it may make you worry by finding a slow-growing cancer that may never cause any problems
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What Does A High Psa Mean
PSA levels can be affected by several factors and a rise in PSA may indicate:
- prostate inflammation.
- prostate cancer.
- recent ejaculation.
Alone, PSA levels are not good measures of prostate health. Your medical team will need to assess other risk factors. They may also perform a DRE to make an accurate diagnosis.
Causes Of Above Normal Psa Levels
Some of the common causes of above normal levels of PSA in men are listed below:
African American males and those with a family history of prostate cancer are at increased risk to developing prostate cancer. Also, those who have had prostate surgery and those over 50 years of age are vulnerable to varied prostate ailments. It is therefore necessary for such men to regularly take PSA tests for diagnosis and early treatment of varied problems of the prostate gland.
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What Is A Psa Test
What Is the PSA Test Used For?
What Should I Expect If Im Told I Have Elevated Psa
If your provider finds an elevated PSA level, youll have repeat tests to check your prostate. Many men with elevated PSA levels even those who have prostate cancer live long, healthy lives. Prostate cancer may not need treatment, depending on how slowly the tumor is growing. Keep up with your regular appointments and tests so your care team can keep tabs on your health.
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What Causes Psa Levels To Rise
Physiologically, PSA is majorly localized in the prostate epithelial cells and the seminal fluid, but small amounts can enter the circulation.
Prostate cancer, BPH, or prostatitis cause a significant increase in blood PSA.
Prostate cancer cells can produce more PSA than healthy prostate epithelial cells. Further, both prostate cancer and BPH increase prostate volume, which can lead to a size-dependent increase in serum PSA levels. These events promote the elevation and escape of PSA into the circulation.
What Are Normal Psa Levels By Age
The definition of physiological PSA levels remains an active debate. 2.5 ng/mL is safe. 2.6 to 4 ng/mL is safe in most men but talk with your doctor about other risk factors. 4.0 to 10.0 ng/mL is suspicious. Although this is not always the case. Men with high PSAs do not always have prostate cancer, while men with very low PSAs sometimes DO have prostate cancer. The prostate gland increases in size and produces more PSA as you get older.
Note that the American Urological Association recommends against routine PSA screening in men aged less than 54 years . If your PSA test result is high for your age or persistently increasing, a prostate biopsy may be recommended.
Your health care provider should consider conditions that can elevate PSA levels before recommending a prostate biopsy.
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Repeating The Psa Test
A mans blood PSA level can vary over time , so some doctors recommend repeating the test after a month or so if the initial PSA result is abnormal. This is most likely to be a reasonable option if the PSA level is on the lower end of the borderline range . For higher PSA levels, doctors are more likely to recommend getting other tests, or going straight to a prostate biopsy.
What Is The Psa Test
Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by normal, as well as malignant, cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in a mans blood. For this test, a blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results are usually reported as nanograms of PSA per milliliter of blood.
The blood level of PSA is often elevated in men with prostate cancer, and the PSA test was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1986 to monitor the progression of prostate cancer in men who had already been diagnosed with the disease. In 1994, FDA approved the use of the PSA test in conjunction with a digital rectal exam to test asymptomatic men for prostate cancer. Men who report prostate symptoms often undergo PSA testing to help doctors determine the nature of the problem.
In addition to prostate cancer, a number of benign conditions can cause a mans PSA level to rise. The most frequent benign prostate conditions that cause an elevation in PSA level are prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia . There is no evidence that prostatitis or BPH leads to prostate cancer, but it is possible for a man to have one or both of these conditions and to develop prostate cancer as well.
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Prostatitis: A Common Problem In Men Under 50
“The PSA test is a good screening tool for prostate cancer, but it is not very specific,” says Erik P. Castle, MD, a urologist and researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. “Common causes of inflammation in the gland, called prostatitis, can cause high PSA levels.”
Prostatitis is the most common prostate problem for men younger than 50.
Prostatitis caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. Another, more common type of prostatitis, called nonbacterial prostatitis, can be harder to treat and may last a long time.
Prostate Cancer Screening Ages 55 To 69
This is the age range where men will benefit the most from screening.Thats because this is the time when:
- Men are most likely to get cancer
- Treatment makes the most sense, meaning when treatment benefits outweigh any potential risk of treatment side effects
Most men will get prostate cancer if they live long enough. Some prostatecancers are more aggressive others can be slow-growing. Doctors will takeyour age and other factors into consideration before weighing the risks andbenefits of treatment.
You should ask your doctor how often he or she recommends you get screened.For most men, every two to three years is enough.
Depending on the results of your first PSA test, your doctor may recommendyou get screened less frequently.
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Add Some Pomegranate To Your Diet
Whether you enjoy pomegranate juice, the tasty pulp and seeds, or prefer the supplement, be sure to include this fruit in your diet more often. Research at Johns Hopkins has shown that this phytonutrient-rich fruit can reduce the rate of PSA doubling in men who have prostate cancer. Overall, the doubling time increased from 11.9 months at baseline to 18.5 months after treatment with pomegranate extract. Since pomegranate is rich in sugar, taking a supplement may be better than having the fruit on a regular basis.
What Happens During A Digital Rectal Exam
Your health care provider will insert a gloved finger into the rectum and feel the prostate for hard, lumpy, or abnormal areas. The test takes only a few minutes to complete.
You may feel slight, momentary discomfort during the test. The procedure does not cause significant pain or any damage to the prostate.
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What Are The Limitations Of The Psa Test
The level of PSA is a continuous parameter the higher the value, the higher the probability of having prostate cancer. On the other hand, men may have prostate cancer despite low levels of PSA. In a U.S. prevention study, 6.6% of the men whose PSA level was less than 0.5 ng/mL had prostate cancer. Thus, although age and ethnicity-based normal reference ranges exist, they have limitations. Furthermore, PSA does not allow one to predict the likelihood of clinically significant prostate cancer being present, thus subjecting men to potentially unnecessary biopsy and treatment and the morbidity associated with these.
Who Can Have The Psa Test
Although there is no screening programme, if you are aged over 50 you can ask your GP for the PSA test. Or you may be offered one as part of a general health check.
Before you have the test, your GP or nurse will talk through the benefits and disadvantages of having your PSA checked. If you are aged under 50 but at higher risk of prostate cancer, you can talk to your GP about having the PSA test.
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Follow The Prostate Diet
Men who want to help keep PSA levels low, support overall prostate health, and fight inflammation are encouraged to follow The Prostate Diet. The diet has 10 foundations which, if you follow them consistently, should reward you with a healthy prostate and overall health as well. Post them where you can refer to them until they become a habit.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, organic whenever possible
- Consume healthy fats monounsaturated, omega-3 fatty acids
- Choose plant protein over animal protein
- Drink green tea often
- Choose whole, natural foods over refined, processed foods
- Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Avoid or significantly limit certain foods and supplements
- Choose prostate cancer-killing foods and supplements, such as tomatoes, green tea, and vitamin D
- Stay well hydrated with pure water
- Consider taking natural supplements that support prostate health
Screening Tests For Prostate Cancer
Screening is testing to find cancer in people before they have symptoms. Its not clear, however, if the benefits of prostate cancer screening outweigh the risks for most men. Still, after discussing the pros and cons of screening with their doctors, some men might reasonably choose to be screened.
The screening tests discussed here are used to look for possible signs of prostate cancer. But these tests cant tell for sure if you have cancer. If the result of one of these tests is abnormal, you will probably need a prostate biopsy to know for sure if you have cancer.
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Psa Reading 557 At 70+ Should I Worry
I am 70 going on to 71. My PSA reading was 5.57 today. I am a white Caucasian with enlarged prostate. I get up once a night for the bathroom. No major problems passing water, the flow is average . Health wise I feel fine.
Should I worry about my PSA reading being high, or should I leave things as they are, get tested again in say six months and see the pattern? I recently read that for my age group and ethnicity type a PSA level of up to 6.5 shouldn’t cause undue worry. Do you agree? What’s your experience like?
Posted 5 years ago
I am 73 and had PSA of 10 for 15 years, now down to 6 after TURP. Had Sepsis after second Biopsy. My advice would be stay on Active Surveillance as long as possible due to the problems all these procedures can produce.
Posted 5 years ago
Posted 5 years ago
At your age, and with your PSA reading, I would track the PSA every 4-6 months and see yf there are significant changes.
5 years ago
I’m 69 soon to be 70. My PSA jumped from 2.7 to 5.7 when I was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate. Also I hadn’t had the test done in about 4 years. My urologist and primary doctor both told me 5.7 is good. Evidently the prostate enlarging causes the number to go up. I’d say you’re fine.
5 years ago
What prep did you do for the PSA test?
And to repeat, next step, if warranted, can be a 3T mpMRI rather than a biopsy.
Are you sure that wine is bad for prostate health?
How Important Is The Psa Test After Prostatectomy
The answer is: very . A major milestone in prostate cancer treatment is obtaining your PSA level close to zero after surgery. The expected result after prostatectomy is an undetectable PSA or level of 0. The surgery itself is a cornerstone of a mans life, but the tests that follow, especially the PSA test, can be very dreaded.
The PSA test is a blood analysis that checks for the level of the prostate-specific antigen in the blood cells. The PSA is an enzyme secreted only by the prostate cells. When the PSA level is zero or close to zero after radical prostatectomy, the patient is reassured that he is cancer-free and can regain peace of mind. In the majority of cases, this is the scenario. There are also rare cases when the follow-up tests reveal an elevated PSA after prostatectomy. What to do if this is your case?
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What Are Some Other Prostate Tests
Elevated PSA levels require further testing. Initially, many doctors may order another PSA test to confirm findings from the initial test. Another test that may be ordered is a digital rectal exam . The doctor conducts an exam using a gloved hand and lubricated finger and inserts the finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland to determine if it is enlarged. DREs may be recommended at regular intervals to monitor changes.
Other tests may also be recommended initially or after monitoring reveals further abnormalities. Tests include checking for infections and other imaging like ultrasound, x-rays and cystoscopy. If a physical exam or imaging detects a lump, a biopsy may be recommended. During a biopsy the doctor inserts a hollow needle into the prostate and withdraws samples of tissue to detect cancer.
It’s Important To Know Your Free Psa Level
The PSA molecule circulates throughout the body in two formseither bound to other proteins or unbound. The free PSA measures the unbound molecule and is often used by urologists as another helpful indicator for prostate cancer. The lower the percent of free PSA, the higher the risk of having prostate cancer. Patients with free PSA of less than 10 percent can have up to a 56 percent risk of harboring a focus of cancer in their prostates.
Should You Know Your Psa Level
Instead of a national screening programme, there is an informed choice programme, called prostate cancer risk management, for healthy men aged 50 or over who ask their GP about PSA testing. It aims to give men good information on the pros and cons of a PSA test.
If you’re a man aged 50 or over and decide to have your PSA levels tested after talking to your GP, they can arrange for it to be carried out free on the NHS.
If results show you have a raised level of PSA, your GP may suggest further tests.
What Is A Psa Test How To Understand Your Levels
Perhaps one of the most feared cancers for men, prostate cancer can be deadly if detected too late. It causes about 26,000 deaths per year and affects one out of every seven men. Helping detect cases of prostate cancer, the PSA blood test is a crucial tool for early diagnosis.
The first step in prostate cancer early detection is the prostate-specific antigen test or PSA test.
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What Causes An Elevated Psa Level
Prostate cancer is the main cause of an elevated PSA level. But PSA levels increase with age and can reflect different prostate conditions. Other factors that may raise a persons PSA level include:
- Prostate enlargement and inflammation .
- Urinary tract infection.
- Urinary catheter placement.
Your healthcare provider will also consider whether your medications affect PSA levels. For example, 5-alpha reductase blockers treat enlarged prostates and will lower PSA levels.