At Temple Health, we offer prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer. This test measures the production of a protein produced in your blood by the prostate, a small walnut-shaped gland in the abdomen that produces seminal fluid as part of the reproductive system. Cancerous prostate tissue typically produces higher levels of PSA.
Your PSA level can vary depending on your:
- Medical history and other factors
The Pros & Cons of PSA Testing
While a PSA test can help your doctor determine your baseline level of the prostate-specific antigen, it does have some limitations when it comes to detecting prostate cancer.
- For example, even if you have a high PSA level, that does not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer. And in some men, prostate cancer does not cause an increase in PSA at all.
- However, if you are at a higher risk for developing prostate cancer, a PSA test can be a useful tool your doctor can use to determine your baseline level of the prostate-specific antigen. If your level changes drastically from one year to the next, your doctor may recommend additional testing to rule out prostate cancer.
- If you exhibit unusually high PSA levels and your urologist determines something is abnormal after a digital rectal exam or MRI, you may need a biopsy. While biopsies are helpful for detecting prostate cancer, they do carry some risk of side effects.
Talk to your doctor to see if PSA testing is right for you. It is important to weigh the potential benefits of getting a regular PSA test – it can help detect prostate cancer – with the risks – it can result in false positives that lead to unnecessary biopsies.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published a new recommendation to reduce over-diagnosis and over-treatment of prostate cancer. They recommended that men ages 55 to 69 discuss the pros and cons of testing with their doctor and then decide for themselves if they want to receive PSA testing.
Should You Get a PSA Test?
At Temple Health, our experienced urologists address prostate issues and concerns in men of all ages. We are skilled in helping you understand the risks and benefits of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing so you can determine if it is right for you.
If you have any questions or concerns, talk to a Temple Health urologist. We use the latest tools and research to inform our recommendations so you know you are receiving the latest, most advanced care possible.
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, the multidisciplinary team at the Fox Chase Cancer Center at Temple Health has extensive experience successfully treating prostate cancer.