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So often, we hear the term “early detection” and how important it is for treating certain health conditions. This is very true when it comes to prostate cancer. Here’s why, prostate cancer often goes undetected for years because often symptoms don’t appear until the disease has advanced. But early detection through screening leads to more effective treatments given early on to increase survival rates.

Research shows the earlier prostate cancer is detected, the more likely it is to get successful treatment. The overall prognosis for prostate cancer is among the most hopeful of all cancers.

Approximately 80% to 85% of all prostate cancers are detected in the local or regional stages, which represent stages I, II, and III. Many of those diagnosed and treated at the local or regional stages will be disease-free after five years, which is why early detection is very important.

What is the Prostate Gland?

The prostate gland itself is located below the bladder and surrounds the top portion of the tube that drains urine from the bladder (urethra). The primary function of this gland is to produce the fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. The gland often enlarges with increase in age.

For Americans, prostate cancer is common. You may be at higher risk if you fall into any of these categories:

  • Aged 50 and older
  • Most common among African Americans, followed by Hispanics and Native Americans.
  • If there is a family history of prostate cancer, you are more likely to develop it
  • The risk of prostate cancer may be higher for people who eat high-fat diets.

Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Some signs and symptoms to look out for, indicating trouble with the prostate gland:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Blood in the semen
  • Bone pain
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Erectile dysfunction

The PSA Test

The best safeguard is staying diligent about your overall health. So, it’s a good idea to have a prostate screening to determine any issues, usually beginning at age 40. Although there is a physical exam that your physician may choose to do called the digital rectal exam (DRE), according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the “gold-standard” test for prostate cancer screening is the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test.

The PSA test is designed to measure levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. PSA is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate. Because cancerous cells tend to produce more PSA, a spike in your PSA level may signify a problem. PSA levels under 4 ng/ml are generally considered normal, while levels over 4 ng/ml are considered abnormal.

However, a high PSA does not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer, in fact, it could mean you have an enlarged or inflamed prostate. Other reasons for elevated PSA levels are inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Prostate Screening at Any Lab Test Now®

If you want to be proactive and put your healthcare into your own hands, Any Lab Test Now® can help. We serve as your family’s health center, providing testing for many conditions, including prostate screenings.

We provide a couple of tests to determine the health of the prostate. One test available is the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Free and Total. There are two forms of PSA that exist in the blood: PSA total, which is bound to protein, and PSA free, which is not bound to protein. This test is designed to screen for the specific antigen. It is not a diagnosis of cancer. But if the levels are high, it may signify a health concern.

A second screening test conducted by Any Lab Test Now® is the more general PSA test. This blood test will measure your PSA levels, and if elevated, it may indicate an issue to discuss further with your healthcare provider.

School is Back, Take Your Health Back, Too

Any Lab Test Now® makes it easy to prioritize your health and stay on top of preventative screenings like the PSA test. As the season is changing, with kids heading back to school and summer fun coming to an end, it’s a great time to re-focus our attention on our health.

Ensure you’re taking the steps for yourself and your loved ones to stay healthy. Any Lab Test Now® provides tests for kids’ immunizations, moms’ health, mental health, preventative health screenings, and COVID-19 testing. Remember, the results you receive from our tests are yours. You may choose what to do with the results.

Any Lab Test Now® is safe, confidential, and convenient for you and your family. We have more than 200 locations across the country. For the best way to start the school year, click here to find the nearest Any Lab Test Now® location.