With the changing lifestyle, incidences of prostate cancer are increasing at an alarming rate. This is the second leading cause of death in the male population. Incidences of prostate cancer increases with ageing. To diagnose the cause of prostate cancer, PSA test is recommend after 55 years of age. This is a chemical which is produced in the prostate. High PSA levels are a direct indication for prostate cancer. But the high levels can be due to various other factors too – any urinary infection, due to related enlargement of the prostate or due to to some medical intervention such as a biopsy of the prostate.
If the PSA is high, there is no need to panic. Consult your urologist; he will perform a digital rectal examination & ultrasound. If there any doubt of cancer then you may require prostate biopsy. Prostate Biopsy is a simple procedure in which prostate tissue is excised with a needle and examined under ultrasound guidance to look for cancer cells.
With the advent of PSA screening, many cancers can be diagnosed at an early stage and can be treated for life. But one should not get PSA without consulting a doctor as it can lead to & false & unnecessary tests.
The Pros and Cons of going for the PSA Test:
Let’s start with the positives of opting for a PSA test:
- It can help in early detection and timely treatment of cancer
- Due to the detection on the right time, early interventions can reduce the complications and ensure that the recovery is fast.
- It is a simple blood test and doesn’t need you to get admitted or go through an elaborate procedure.
- It helps in providing a reassurance that all is well. It is better than not knowing.
- It is a proven fact that with the advent of awareness and with people opting for preventive testing, the incidences for prostate cancer can decrease.
No let’s see the cons of opting for a PSA test:
- Some cancers are slow growing and they might be present in some other area and might not have spread to the prostate glands. Hence you cant depend on PSA alone for the total detection of all cancers. It is the test only for prostate cancer.
- Not all prostate cancers need radical treatment, many can be treated through drugs.
- PSA test’s are not fool proof. The high elevated levels could be due to other reasons as well – urinary infection, etc.
- Going through a random test can create confusion.
However , when we weigh the scales of prevention and cure, it is best that we chose the option that is best for our health. The recommendation is to always first consult an urologist and discuss your health ailments. If the doctor recommends then you should and must get a PSA test done.