Prostate cancer. Besides skin cancer, it is the top cancer diagnosis for men. While it can be a very aggressive type of cancer, it often doesn’t appear in men they’ve reached at least 50 years of age. It is important that men start receiving regular screenings at age 40 to prevent or stop the progression of prostate cancer later in life.
A Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is one of the tests that can be performed by a family physician or urologist to help detect any benign or cancerous conditions.
What is PSA testing?
- PSA is a protein that is made in the cells of the prostate gland that can help detect a disease.
- The simple test specifically measures the amount of PSA in the blood.
- A doctor takes a sample of the blood and it is then measured in the lab. (It is normal for men to have a low level of PSA in their blood. Once the level increases, it could be a sign of prostate cancer or other benign conditions, meaning it will not destroy or invade any cells or tissues.)
Recently, there has been a lot of attention regarding PSA testing and whether or not it is an accurate way to detect prostate cancer. For instance, the PSA test can tell a doctor whether a patient’s PSA level is normal or too high, but it cannot tell if someone has cancer or if their condition is benign. Some people believe that this can cause high levels of anxiety for people diagnosed with higher levels of PSA. Also, results may be misleading; a person may show a normal level of PSA in the blood when prostate cancer is actually present. Since prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer, it is possible for false-negatives to occur.
Because of all of the factors involved in testing for prostate cancer, it is still important to continue regular prostate screenings, including PSA testing for men over the age of 40. If you are age 40 or older, it is important to talk to your doctor or a urologist about screening.
FREE Prostate Cancer Screening
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and we are offering FREE prostate cancer screenings on Saturday, September 22. Appointments are available between 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at Fort HealthCare Urology Associates, 520 Handeyside Lane, Suite 2, Fort Atkinson. Free screening includes a PSA test, a digital rectal exam and written information about prostate cancer, valued at $140. Appointments are REQUIRED and can be made by calling Fort HealthCare’s Community Health & Wellness department at (920) 568-5244.
Fort HealthCare Urology Associates offer diagnosis and treatment for men and women with conditions involving the bladder and kidneys, and provides the best possible outcomes for men with prostate or genital issues. Fort HealthCare Urology Associates has offices in Fort Atkinson and Whitewater, and in Johnson Creek as of October 1. Visit FortHealthCare.com/Urology to learn more, or call (920) 563-7744 to make an appointment.