Evidence now favors that PSA (prostate specific antigen) testing can help detect Prostate Cancer at early stages. This helps in timely treatment and helps reduce complications. It should also be noted that the incidence of prostate cancer cases is increasing at an alarming rate and at present it is second most prevalent cancer affecting men. The incidences in men are observed to increase after 45 yrs of age. Hence every middle aged man should go through an annual PSA Test regime.
There are no alarming signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. However certain aspects an suggest that you are suffering from something – pain during urination, increase or decrease in the urination frequency, pain in the bones to list a few.
Possible Benefits to Having a PSA Test:
- A normal PSA Test may put your mind at ease.
- A PSA Test may find Prostate Cancer early before it has spread.
- Early treatment of Prostate Cancer may help some men live longer.
- In asymptomatic men, the greatest benefit of routine PSA test can be found in men ages 55 to 69 yr of age.
Men younger than 55 or older than 69 who are worried about their personal risk factor should talk with their urologist to determine whether PSA test is appropriate.
Are there some risks associated with a PSA test?
A normal PSA test may miss some Prostate Cancer cells. Sometime the test result suggest something is wrong when it isn’t. This can cause unneeded worry and stress. Also a false positive test may lead to an unneeded Prostate Biopsy and a high PSA test may find a Prostate Cancer that is slow growing and never would have caused you problems. In conclusion, every men before PSA testing should be informed about the benefit and risk of the test.
However even after weighing the pros and cons, opting for prevention is better. Men should look at the positives of detection of cancer and the fact that they shall be on a treatment regime early. It should be on a must list for people with a cancer history in their family.