PSA TEST DEFINITIONThe PSA test or the prostate-specific antigen test is a type of blood test used for screening and monitoring prostate cancer. It is used to measure PSA, a type of protein that is produced by the prostate, in the blood.
PSA TEST PURPOSEAside from prostate cancer screening and monitoring, the PSA test is also required for patients who are suspected to have other prostate irregularities. The prostate is a small gland that is located just below a man’s bladder. If the PSA it produces becomes elevated, it will give doctors an anchor towards a definitive diagnosis and in the process, towards an appropriate treatment plan. That is, if your doctor will use the results of PSA test along with other diagnostic tools such as biopsy to confirm cancer or other imaging tools to see if the prostate is not within normal values.
PSA TEST RISKSThere have been some controversies regarding the PSA test. This is not about risks of complications but risks of knowing. Experts argue that a PSA test is not enough to rule out or confirm prostate cancer. If it is used alone, it will not provide enough information for doctors towards a definitive diagnosis.
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PSA TEST PREPARATION REQUIREDYou should consult your doctor regarding your medication intake. Some drugs may make your PSA levels falsely low or otherwise. Aside from noting your drug intakes, there are no other preparations needed before a patient undergoes the PSA test.
PSA TEST PROCEDUREA PSA test is a type of blood test. Basically, blood will be drawn from a vein in the arm. That will be submitted to the laboratory for examination on the basic properties in question.
PSA TEST COMPLICATIONSAny kind of complications is rare with such a blood test. If you will experience any discomfort, it will be just minor bruising or a throbbing feeling on the area where the blood sample is drawn.
PSA TEST SIDE EFFECTSThere are no known side effects of a PSA test. That’s unless the standard operating procedure is not followed closely. Infection is common for blood tests that are not handled properly.
PSA TEST RESULTSHigh PSA levels can be triggered not just by prostate cancer but also by other abnormalities such as inflamed or enlarged prostate. Before making a conclusion, your doctor may require a biopsy, to diagnose or rule out cancer.