Prostate Cancer is one of the most common cancers for all men.
Screening for prostate cancer begins with a blood test called a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. This test measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate. PSA levels in the blood can be higher in men who have prostate cancer. The PSA level may also be elevated in other conditions that affect the prostate.
When looking at the PSA test results to see if there is a concern for cancer, you doctor will consider many factors:
- Medical history
- Size of the prostate
- Types of medication you're taking
- Changes in PSA levels over time
A PSA test is sometimes paired with a physical exam to check the prostate for any growths or abnormalities.
Some prostate cancers are slow growing and never spread outside of the prostate. Other types, however, grow quickly and may affect other parts of the body, which can cause serious health problems. The goal of screening for prostate cancer is to find cancers that may be at high risk for spreading if not treated, and to find them early before they spread.
Prostate cancer can often be found early by testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in a man's blood. UI Health recommends starting as early as age 40 for men with a family history of prostate cancer. The frequency of screening depends on the PSA level and generally stops around age 75.
Screening Saves Lives
Prostate cancer can be a serious disease, but most men that have prostate cancer do not die from it. In fact, more than 2.9 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive today. The five-year survival rate for localized prostate cancer found with PSA screening is nearly 100%.
Talk to a UI Health provider today about the PSA Test and getting screened.