Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Symptoms – Importance of PSA Count

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in elderly men and the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in men. Prostate cancer causes few, if any symptoms, in its early stages, but as it progresses it can lead to difficulties with urination and bleeding in the urinary tract, and the cancer can spread to other areas of the body.

But all of that is stating it as simply as it can be expressed. Because of the absence of symptoms in the early stages of the condition, it is critical that you are very vigilant about looking out for the disease. Being a man, being beyond the age of 65 (or even 50), and being African American, living in the United States, you had better realize that you are a lot more susceptible to the disease than the average person, having fulfilled just about all of the risk factors that contribute to the incidence of the disease.

But what it translates into from the above information is that you have to go in for your regular checkups as often as you can. The American Cancer Institute strongly urges that a once-a-year critical medical checkup is undergone by any man in their fifties or above, during which a rectal exam is at least carried out to determine the presence of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer may be detected by digital rectal examination before being followed by testing for abnormally high blood levels of the protein known as prostate-specific antigen, the PSA. Prostate cancer cells overproduce this protein, resulting in an elevation of the PSA in the blood.

During the process of diagnosing prostate cancer, there actually are a lot of procedures and tests that are carried out, and although the PSA test is not the most definitive, it is without doubt one of the most popular and well known, and certainly one of the first that are carried out. Most men have PSA levels lower than 4.0 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) of blood, and that level is considered normal. Therefore if you are looking at figures like 34 ng/ml PSA level in your blood, then that is very critical. This higher level however does not necessarily indicate the presence of cancer because there are a lot of other infections and actually certain drugs that can also elevate the PSA levels in your blood. As a result, a lot of other tests will likely also be carried out.

Because there is concern about the accuracy of the PSA test, you may have to sit through the confirmation process of a biopsy of your prostate and the examination of the tissue sample so gotten under a microscope. Never had one of those tests myself, but I saw it on House MD, and it did not seem too bad, especially if they were using a local anesthetic.

Further tests may be carried out even after this to determine how much the prostate cancer cells have spread or metastasized. In this regard, the PSA test is no longer in need ? they concentrate on CT scans and bone scans. The potential non-invasive method of early prostate tumor detection known as the PCA3 mRNA test may help confirm the results of the PSA test before you get to this stage in several instances.

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2 Responses to “Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Symptoms – Importance of PSA Count”
  1. Nanda says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I have to go for urination at least once in 3 hours at night, some nights it is every 2 hours.I have a poor sleeping record at night, sometimes as little as 2 hours.During the day, particularly,if my mind is not diverted, then too , I have to visit the toilet, once every 3 hours.
    My age is 52 and I have noticed that that the force of the urine being discharged has diminished.Further, I am unable to stop urination at will, which I could do so, while I was in the 40’s[age].
    Normally, I consume a lot of liquids like coffee,tea and water…coke pepsi never.
    From childhood, whenever I visit the toilet for urination, the discharge has been for long periods but, however not accompanied by any sort of discomfort.
    Should I go for a PSA test ?
    Please let me know.
    With Regards,
    +91 0 9308886977

  2. Hello Nanda,

    It may or may not be sign of prostate cancer, but you can’t
    know by just guessing. It’s important to see your doctor first
    before thinking of whether you should go for PSA test or not.
    But that nonetheless, at the age of 52, it’s important to make
    it a habit of always going for yearly tests to find out
    whether prostate cancer is present or not.


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