Prostate Cancer Psa Test – Diagnosing And Staging

Diagnosing prostate cancer is no longer considered to be such a big problem anymore these days, because of the digital rectal examination, the PSA test, and the biopsy, the oncologists basically have all that they need to know about whether or not a patient suffers from prostate type of cancer. What you might consider to be a problem these days is more the staging of the disease. In many instances, it has turned out that patients that were accurately diagnosed with cancer of the prostate turned out to be wrongly staged for the disease, resulting in the wrong treatments being administered to them.

Errors of this nature may be understandable, but that does not make them acceptable. Usually, staging of prostate cancer involves the use of the results that were gotten from the PSA test and the biopsy, including further results obtained from CAT and MRI scans, with the inclusion of bone scans to determine bone metastasis. On the one part, cancer specialists desire more accurate means of diagnosing the sarcoma, and on the other hand, they also are looking for newer findings with respect to noninvasive screening tests for detecting even microscopic prostate tumor. Of course, this is the form of the condition that happens to be the most amenable, when it comes to curing it.

The PSA test is not a bad effort, really. It measures the level in the blood of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein released by prostate cells. Normal and malignant prostate cells secrete the substance, but the levels rise when prostate condition is present.

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As such, one can rely on elevated PSA levels warning of the presence of carcinoma in the prostate even if the DRE test does not suggest anything.

But sincerely, the prostate specific antigen test really is not that specific because as many as 25 percent of men with prostate cancer will have normal PSA levels (somewhere around 4ng/mL) of blood, while more than half of men with higher PSA levels are actually cancer-free. As such, it is necessary to either find ways to minimize the error rate or find alternative means that are much more reliable.

In the meantime, though, while the medical and research community admits that the use of PSA testing for mass screening remains controversial, and while further research seeks better ways of staging and diagnosing a debilitating malignancy of cells of the prostate gland, the PSA is still very important and they are bound to use it, especially since they really don’t always want to carry out a biopsy before they know that a patient has the disease, and also since doctors may do more harm than good by exposing large numbers of men to PSA testing and follow-up tests.

Until the facts are concluded, you should hope your PSA testing numbers for prostate cancer never exceed the 4ng/ml mark because that will mean that they have to carry our more test, whether or not you have the condition . In any case, if you do have the ailment, they’d be doing you a favor; and if you don’t, it’s only a little discomfort worth the rest of your life? for that year ? you have to be back at least once next year for the same procedure.

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