PSA Test and Prostate Cancer
Before talking about PSA test let’s do a brief review on prostate cancer. After that we will take a look on PSA (prostate specific antigen) test and give some recommendation for screening for prostate cancer.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is a slow growing type of cancer and develops in men over the age of fifty. The rate of prostate cancer is increasing particularly in developing countries. Prostate cancer may be pointed out by precise history, physical examination, and PSA levels; the final diagnosis must then be confirmed by biopsy. Treatment for prostate cancer depends on the severity of the disease. Many low-risk tumors can be followed with observation. Other treatment options for advanced tumors involves surgery, various forms of radiation therapy, or, less commonly, cryosurgery, hormonal therapy and chemotherapy. The outcome of the disease varies and depends on the age and health condition of the patient, the extent of metastasis, and response of the cancer to initial treatment.
What Is PSA Test?
PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen, a blood marker which is used as a para clinical study indicating organic changes in the prostate gland. It is also used for men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer in order to observe their responsiveness to initial therapy. The PSA test may provide false-positive or false-negative results. A false-positive test result occurs when a patient’s PSA level is elevated however no cancer is present. A false-negative test result occurs when a patient’s PSA is low with the presence of cancer. In general, PSA testing is only recommended as a screening test for men who are suspected to have some prostate changes such as BPH (benign prostatatic hyperplasia) and their associated sign and symptoms. Routine PSA testing is currently not recommended as standard screening therapy for prostate cancer.
Is PSA Test Recommended for the Screening of Prostate Cancer?
Many physicians and specialized companies support yearly PSA test screening for man beginning at age 50. Other group pf medical advocates recommend routine PSA testing only if signs and symptoms of prostate disease (e.g, a BPH) are present due to the high possibility of false positive or false negative results. Some organizations recommended that man who are at higher risk of prostate cancer, including African Americans and those whose father or brother had Prostate cancer, begin screening at the age of 40 or 45. Currently medicare provides coverage for an annual PSA testing for all medicare-eligible men age 50 and older. Many other insurance providers cover PSA testing as well.