Prostate cancer is a complex disease from both a physical and psychological standpoint. Modern methods of detection and treatment, including Life Line Screening’s Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test, mean that many prostate cancers are now found earlier and can be treated more effectively. High PSA levels, combined with a complete physical, digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate biopsy, are necessary to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Screening for Prostate Cancer symptoms
A simple blood test, the PSA Screening measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein produced by the prostate gland.
An abnormal PSA result is only one indicator of prostate cancer. Further testing, including repeat PSA testing and/or a digital rectal exam (DRE) is often required. The only definitive way to confirm a diagnosis is with a transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy, which will assign a Gleason score or “grade” to the cancer. This score helps physicians to determine what stage and how advanced the cancer is and assess the need for treatment.
Who should get a PSA screening?
Men 50-69 who are at average risk for the disease
Men who are 45 years of age and at higher risk either because they are African-American or have a father, brother, or son diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65
Men who are 40 years of age with several first-degree relatives (father, brothers and/or sons) with prostate cancer. This is the highest risk group.
Many men with early prostate cancer show no symptoms. At more advanced stages, however the following symptoms may be present:
Difficulty with urination
Blood in the urine
Bone pain in hips, spine and ribs
Nerve pain, muscle weakness and numbness in the feet
Age, Race/ethnicity, Nationality, Family history.