Should Men Consider PSA Testing?

In years past, there has been controversy in the medical community over the importance of PSA Testing. Critics of testing claim that it can lead to “over treating” prostate cancer. Proponents of testing point to the fact that, if detected early, prostate cancer is treatable 100 percent of the time. Which is correct? How do men evaluate if they should be tested?

How Can You Over Treat Cancer?

To make a more informed decision, it’s important to understand what is meant by over treating prostate cancer. One attribute of this type of cancer is that it is commonly slow growing. This means that it can oftentimes take many years before it ever impacts a man’s other organs. Until it does, it is unlikely that the cancer will cause any serious medical complications or discomfort.

Consider what might happen to a man who is in his late 60s, or to a man who might already be struggling with a more severe medical issue, and undergoes PSA testing. When the results come back and indicate prostate cancer, the reaction is to get rid of it. No one wants to have cancer.

However, remember that the cancer is slow growing. This means that it could take a very long time for him to experience any discomfort or reduced quality of life because of it. So, should a man that might never encounter the negative side-effects of prostate cancer because of his age or current medical state put his body and mind through the strain of treatment? Obviously, this is a personal decision to be considered after conversation with the man’s doctors and loved ones. But, this scenario is considered “over treatment.”

What About the 100 Percent Treatment Rate?

While over treatment can be a concern, there are real advantages to identifying and treating prostate cancer early. There are three stages of prostate cancer – local, regional and distant. In the local stage, cancer has not spread beyond the prostate. In the regional stage, it has spread only to areas nearby. In each of these cases, the survival rate at 5 years is nearly 100 percent.

However, by the time prostate cancer reaches the distant stage, it may be impacting the lymph nodes, bones or other organs. The survival rate at five years for those diagnosed in the distant stage drops to only 29 percent. That is why testing proponents believe PSA testing is critical once men reach age 40: It may help doctors identify prostate cancer before it reaches the distant stage.

Prostate Cancer Treatment

There are a variety of treatment options available for those who are diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Which option men pursue will depend upon conversations with their doctor about the benefits and risks, as well as at which stage the prostate cancer is diagnosed. Options include surgery, radiation treatment, high-intensity focused ultrasounds or hormone therapy.

In fact, because prostate cancer is slow-growing, there are many instances when a patient may not even require immediate treatment. This method of “watchful waiting” or “active surveillance” is a very real option for some men. It means that they can have knowledge about their medical health, but not necessarily take any physically or emotionally stressful measures to resolve it unless their test results start to change.

Having this less-invasive treatment option is one of the key reasons why men should be tested. The testing establishes a PSA level baseline against which they can be monitored for years to come.

New Research on PSA Testing

Because of the mixed views regarding PSA Testing, men can sometimes feel uncertain about how to proceed. Fortunately, new research is being done to help assess whether PSA Testing is a necessary option for men. The latest research re-examined the methods used in the previously completed PSA Testing clinical trials. When researchers did this, they discovered that both trials indicated a more than 30 percent “lower risk of prostate cancer death thanks to screening.” This reaffirms the need to establish a PSA level baseline and begin monitoring prostate health earlier in a man’s life.

No one wants to learn that they have cancer of any type, but knowing means having options! So, don’t wait for the odds of getting prostate cancer to get higher with age before you get tested. Instead, stop into your local Any Lab Test Now to start establishing a PSA baseline now.

Get To Know The Facts About PSA Testing

What do you know about Prostate Specific Antigen, PSA testing? Many argue over the necessity of the test. However, one thing is non-debatable: your health is important.

First, it is important to understand and become aware of what exactly PSA testing is. PSA, prostate specific antigen, is produced by a man’s prostate gland. When the test is conducted, it measures the level of PSA in his blood. If the levels are elevated, it is potentially a sign of prostate cancer.

In addition to prostate cancer, a large number of noncancerous conditions such as an enlarged prostate can be found by an elevated PSA blood level. Who should have a PSA test completed?

“Men over the age of 50 should talk to their doctor about their personal risk of developing prostate cancer and the benefits and risks of having a PSA test.”

Proactive blood testing can help you monitor your levels and possible detect and treat disease before it’s too late.  You might also want to consider a PSA test before the age of 50 to establish a baseline for future testing.

Let’s Talk Prostate Cancer

You’re the man and you are invincible! But just because you feel invincible doesn’t mean that you’re 100% healthy. There are numerous conditions that affect a man’s health and prostate cancer is one of them. Let’s say maybe you don’t know what your prostate is or what it does, you are definitely not alone: most men don’t! But it’s something you really should take the time to learn a little more about.

According to the Men’s Health Network, over 30 million men suffer from prostate conditions that affect their quality of life and not in a good way. The CDC reported that in 2009 206,640 men in the United States were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 28,088 men died from it. This specific type of cancer is dangerous for the simple fact that it can sneak up on you some times showing no symptoms until it is in its advanced stage. That is when establishing a baseline and having frequent screenings come in handy.

“So how do I know when and if I should get screened?” In order to figure out when to get screened you need to take into consideration one of the main risk factors which is age. Though many doctors will recommend you get screened around age 50, no matter what age you are, all men need a PSA Test to establish a PSA “baseline”. Establishing a baseline at a younger age can help you monitor any changes in your PSA levels, which can result in early detection. Other risks include family history (a man with a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer is two to three times more likely to develop the disease himself) and race (according to the CDC African Americans are more likely to develop prostate cancer and have more than twice the risk of dying from it than any other race).

Now that you know these risk factors you must be telling yourself “I am around that age and I fit the description of the other risk facts, now what?” The easiest way to get you started is by getting a PSA test. This test is one of the easiest ways to detect any prostate problems. The test looks for PSA, a substance that may be found in high amounts in men with prostate cancer. However, a high PSA level does not always mean that a man has prostate cancer. High levels can also indicate an enlarged or inflamed prostate. Making this test the best 3 for 1 punch for your prostate health! Is the question “where can I get this test?” popping into your health? ANY LAB TEST NOW® offers PSA lab testing along with additional lab testing options that help you Take Control of Your Health®. Additional lab testing options include the Comprehensive Male Panel.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month! Help create awareness about this disease by setting an example and getting screened. Make blue look cool, Take Control of Your Health® and check-in on your PSA levels today! To learn more about ANY LAB TEST NOW®’s lab testing options stop by a location  near you or visit www.anylabtestnow.com