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Mens Health Awareness Month

Early detection is
paramount to prevention.

November is meant to bring awareness to men's health and the importance of getting the proper testing for various conditions. The PSA test is a blood test used to screen for prostate cancer. Elevated PSA levels may indicate prostate cancer, a noncancerous condition such as prostatitis, or an enlarged prostate.

MENS HEALTH FAQ

  • What is PSA test?

    The PSA test is a typical screening method for prostate cancer. Screening for PSA can help early identify diseases for which treatment may be more effective and potentially have fewer side effects. A PSA test may be done in conjunction with a digital rectal examination (DRE), in which a doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to check for abnormalities in the prostate.

  • When should I get tested?

    Detecting certain types of prostate cancer early can be critical. Elevated PSA results may reveal prostate cancer that's likely to spread to other parts of your body (metastasize), or they may reveal a quick-growing cancer that's likely to cause other problems.

    PCF recommends that you make a shared decision about PSA screening with your doctor, starting at age 45, or age 40 if you have a family history of prostate or other cancers or are Black.

  • What happens if I have elevated PSA levels?

    PSA screening is only the first step in telling you and your doctor that additional tests may be needed. If your PSA level is not too high, your doctor may recommend repeating the test after a few weeks. From there, other types of tests can help determine if a biopsy is needed, including:

    • Digital rectal exam (DRE), if not already done
    • Free PSA test (<10% Free PSA indicates greater risk of having cancer; <25% is concerning)
    • PSA velocity, or the rate of rise over time (faster increase means more risk)
    • PSA density, or the PSA per volume of prostate (higher density means more risk)
    • PSA-based markers (e.g., the Prostate Health Index or 4K score)
    • Other markers, a urinary PCA3 or SelectMDx test
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the prostate

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