Prostate Cancer Screening – The PSA Test and DRE Screening

May 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer Test

The symptoms of prostate cancer usually involve difficulties associated with passing out urine and having ejaculations. Pains, blood, fatigue, etc are also some of the signs associated with or that can affect individuals who are experiencing the growth of cancer from their prostate glands.

Some of these symptoms are also associated with some other conditions that can affect the prostate. For instance, when the prostate gets enlarged, gets infected, or experience what is referred to as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), these symptoms can still appear.

The question now is this, what test or screening is to be done to really diagnose cancer of the prostate cancer separately from other similar conditions? This article is going to throw some light on two popular screening procedures usually prescribed for men that are to be diagnosed of cancer of the prostate.  These are the PSA test and DRE screening.

  • PSA Screening – this is a kind of blood test that tends to examine the amount to PSA in the blood. PSA stands for prostate Specific Antigen. It is an enzyme or protein substance usually secreted by the prostate gland. An elevated amount of PSA is usually found in the blood of men with prostate cancer.

The PSA test has not really been accepted as a standard screening procedure for cancer of the prostate. This is because of a lot of faulty positive results that may often occur. However, it can help to doctors to determine if the patient has elevated amount PSA in the blood.

  • DRE Screening – DRE refers to Digital Rectal Exam. It is a screening procedure in which the doctor inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum to feel any lump of enlarged prostate. The need for this exam is based on the fact that prostate cancer can result in the enlargement of the prostate gland.

DRE still has some issues as it may ignore other symptoms and misdiagnose other conditions. However, it is still a good screening option applied to test for prostate cancer in men.

The combination of PSA and DRE can yield better result as screening procedures to detect early cancer of the prostate. However, others screening procedures like the carrying out of tissues biopsies can be used to provide a more authentic diagnosis.

Finally, PSA and DRE, despite not yielding the best of results as prostate cancer screening, are still very important aspect of prostate cancer diagnosis today.  Talk to your doctor about the screening tests for prostate cancer today.

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