In the United States, prostate cancer is the most common non-skin related cancer among men, with over 160,000 new cases diagnosed in 2017. To address this health risk among men, urologists utilize prostate screening – including testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.
In an effort to further develop new options in prostate testing beyond digital rectal resting and PSA testing, Dr. Ravi Rajan, with UCA Bucks County, recently participated in a research study that evaluated the body’s own antibodies (released by the immune system) in response to the presence of prostate cancer. The clinical research team utilized the antibody findings as a heightened way to track and indicate the risk of prostate cancer in men.
Continued research in to more detailed and predictable prostate cancer testing advances the opportunities for physicians to better diagnosis and treat men facing the disease.
What you should know about PSA Screening
- Screening doesn’t lower your risk of having prostate cancer; it increases the chance you’ll find out you have it.
- PSA testing can detect early-stage cancers that a digital rectal examination (DRE) would miss.
- A “normal” PSA level of 4 ng/ml or below doesn’t guarantee that you are cancer-free.
- Conditions other than cancer—BPH and prostatitis, for example—can elevate your PSA level.
PSA testing guidelines from the American Cancer Society emphasize discussing the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening with your doctor, including your individual level of prostate cancer risk, before having a PSA blood test.