What is a PSA test?
A PSA test is a simple blood test that measures the amount of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) in a man’s blood.. The test is primarily used to screen for prostate cancer. Elevated levels of PSA may be an indication of prostate cancer or a noncancerous medical condition of the prostate, which is a small gland that is situated just below the bladder in men. Therefore, it is important that you talk with your doctor about the PSA test; it’s benefits and risks, so that you can make an informed decision about the test.
Talk with your doctor about including this blood test at your next checkup!
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is a disease that affects only men. It occurs in the prostate, which is a small gland that is located under a man’s bladder. All men are at risk for getting prostate cancer, primarily those who are over the age of 40. According to internationally recognized uro-oncology expert Dr. Gregory Merrick, men who have family history of a prostate cancer and African-American men, have an even greater risk of getting the disease.
Prostate cancer is known as the silent killer because in many cases men who have the disease have no signs or symptoms. Some of the symptoms that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer or a non-cancerous urological disorder include; difficulty urinating, frequent urination, blood in the urine and erectile dysfunction. Dr. Merrick says, early detection is key when it comes to surviving prostate cancer. This is why it is so important that men talk with their doctor about the prostate cancer and early detection tests, such as the PSA test.
About The PSA Test
A Simple Blood Test
The PSA test is a simple blood test that can be done at the same time you have your cholesterol or blood sugar checked. Just remind your doctor to include this test when you have a blood test so you can check on your PSA number.
The PSA Number
Like any medical test such as an X-ray or EKG, you need an expert to really help you interpret what your number means to you at your age. The PSA number should be interpreted for you by your doctor or an oncologist specializing in prostate cancer.
How Often To Test
Knowing the rate of change from one test number to the next is called the “PSA velocity”. This could be important information for your doctor to help you determine your risk of prostate cancer. Again, this is something to be aware of and track so you can discuss it with your doctor.
Talk to Your Doctor
Since the PSA number may indicate the presence of prostate cancer, your doctor may wish to followup with either another PSA test a few months later or even a different type of test. Therefore, you should discuss these tests and your options with your doctor.
Get The Facts
About Screening Tests
As with any medical procedure, the best decision you can make is an informed one. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition, test, risk and side effects. The PSA test is a simple blood test that can easily be done with other routine blood tests.
There are many sides to the discussion about early detection of prostate cancer. The “I Know My PSA™” campaign is simply to inform you that the PSA test exists as one of the early detection tests that can be used to detect the presence of prostate cancer. Now that you know about the PSA Test, you can discuss this with your doctor to determine if it is right for you.
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