Wednesday, September 27, 2023

What Is The Blood Test For Prostate Cancer

What Do My Psa Test Results Mean

Prostate Cancer Symptoms And The PSA Blood Test – Macmillan Cancer Support

Once your test results are back, your healthcare provider will let you know if any additional testing is recommended. PSA levels can vary over time for several reasons unrelated to prostate cancer . So, if you have a borderline PSA, your provider may simply recommend another PSA test in six months or so.

Medical History And Physical Exam

If your doctor suspects you might have prostate cancer, you will be asked about symptoms you are having, such as any urinary or sexual problems, and how long you have had them. You might also be asked about possible risk factors, including your family history.

Your doctor will also examine you. This might include a digital rectal exam , during which the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to feel for any bumps or hard areas on the prostate that might be cancer. If you do have cancer, the DRE can sometimes help tell if its only on one side of the prostate, if its on both sides, or if its likely to have spread beyond the prostate to nearby tissues. Your doctor may also examine other areas of your body.

After the exam, your doctor might then order some tests.

Whats Dangerous About White Blood Cell Count

WBCs are an important part of your immune system. They help you fight infection and are most effective when their numbers fall within a certain range.

A WBC count thats too low means that youre at risk for infection. Your doctor will monitor your WBC during treatment to make sure that it doesnt get too low.

Your WBC is so important that if treatment causes it to drop too far, your doctor will temporarily stop the treatment. Once your WBC returns to safe levels, cancer treatment can resume.

Tell your doctor right away if you experience any signs of low WBC count, which include:

Self-care is always important, but even more so if you have a low WBC count. Eat a nutritious diet, get plenty of rest, and avoid germs and injury as much as possible.

Immunotherapy helps your body fight cancer using your own immune system. This therapy makes your existing white blood cells more effective against cancer by helping them recognize and destroy cancer cells.

Cancer cells grow because they can interfere with your immune system in ways like these:

  • They have surface proteins that turn off your immune system response.
  • They have genetic properties that help them hide from your immune system.
  • They can change the healthy cells around them, so these cells get in the way of the immune system.

Immunotherapy helps correct these issues. Types of immunotherapy include:

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Tests Used To Check The Prostate

This first step lets your doctor hear and understand the story of your prostate concerns. Youll be asked whether you have symptoms, how long youve had them, and how much they affect your lifestyle. Your personal medical history also includes any risk factors, pain, fever, or trouble passing urine. You may be asked to give a urine sample for testing.

How To Get A Psa Test

When is PSA test done &  Screening for Prostate Cancer

Consult with your general practitioner or urologist about receiving a PSA test in their offices. PSA tests are typically covered without co-pay or deductible by Medicare once a year for men 50 years and older. Many states now have laws which require private health insurers to cover the costs for PSA testing. However, additional PSA test costs may need to be covered by the patient. For those without insurance, or for those with insurance that does not cover PSA testing, free tools are available through advocacy groups, such as ZERO.

Companies such asimawaretm also offer in-home PSA testing kits and telemedicine appointments to discuss your PSA test results with a licensed physician. All imaware test kits are easy to use. After registering the test kit online, results will populate in the secure patient portal within 5-7 business days. You can submit your receipt of this test to insurance for potential reimbursement.

At-Home testing is now at a point where results can be provided accurately and quickly within 5 business days, with real physicians providing telemedicine support through the entire testing process

Dr. Diamandis Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System


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What Other Tests Are There To Screen For Prostate Cancer

Systematic early detection is strongly recommended by the French Association of Urology. She estimates that between the ages of 50 and 75, men should be screened for prostate cancer at least once a year. According to this same association, in the presence of risk factors such as family history, people aged 45 should also be screened. The recommended examination is the digital rectal examination associated with the PSA assay.

MRI is an examination during which an endorectal probe is inserted into the rectum. As for MRS , it involves the use of an endorectal probe to measure the level of choline and citrate in prostate cells. Additional examinations should be carried out to invalidate or confirm the results of the MRI and the MRS.

Prostate cancer is a disease very present in the ranks of males. Its early detection makes it possible to take the necessary measures to treat it effectively. Do not hesitate to remind your doctor of the screening at least once a year.

Understanding Your Psa Test Results

PSA is usually measured in nanograms per millilitre of blood . There is no one PSA reading that is considered normal. The reading varies from man to man and the level increases as you get older. Typically, most men have a PSA level of less than 3ng/ml.

Your doctor may refer you to a specialist if your PSA level is over what is consider normal for your age. Its important to remember that a PSA level higher than 3ng/ml may be normal in older men. Talk to your doctor about your PSA level and what this means for you.

Doctors usually follow guidelines that advise when to refer someone to a specialist. These guidelines vary slightly between the different UK nations. Its important to know that your doctor also uses their own experience and judgment when deciding who needs to see a specialist.

Your doctor may refer you to a specialist if your PSA level is:


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What Is The First Test For Detecting Prostate Problems

The first test for detecting prostate problems is a blood test to measure prostate-specific antigen , a protein made only by the prostate gland. This test is often included in routine physical exams for men older than age 50. Because African American men have higher rates of getting, and dying from, prostate cancer than men of other racial or ethnic groups in the United States, medical organizations recommend a PSA blood test be given starting at age 40 for African American men. Medical organizations also recommend a PSA blood test be given starting at age 40 for men with a family history of prostate cancer. Some medical organizations even recommend a PSA blood test be given to all men starting at age 40.

If urination problems are present or if a PSA blood test indicates a problem, additional tests may be ordered. These tests may require a patient to change his diet or fluid intake or to stop taking medications. If the tests involve inserting instruments into the urethra or rectum, antibiotics may be given before and after the test to prevent infection.

What Is The Psa Test

Avoid prostate biopsies with new cancer screening

Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by normal, as well as malignant, cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in the blood. For this test, a blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results are usually reported as nanograms of PSA per milliliter of blood.

The blood level of PSA is often elevated in people with prostate cancer, and the PSA test was originally approved by the FDA in 1986 to monitor the progression of prostate cancer in men who had already been diagnosed with the disease. In 1994, FDA approved the PSA test to be used in conjunction with a digital rectal exam to aid in the detection of prostate cancer in men 50 years and older. Until about 2008, many doctors and professional organizations had encouraged yearly PSA screening for prostate cancer beginning at age 50.

PSA testing is also often used by health care providers for individuals who report prostate symptoms to help determine the nature of the problem.

In addition to prostate cancer, several benign conditions can cause a persons PSA level to rise, particularly prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia . There is no evidence that either condition leads to prostate cancer, but someone can have one or both of these conditions and develop prostate cancer as well.

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Lymph Node Biopsy As A Separate Procedure

A lymph node biopsy is rarely done as a separate procedure. Its sometimes used when a radical prostatectomy isnt planned , but when its still important to know if the lymph nodes contain cancer.

Most often, this is done as a needle biopsy. To do this, the doctor uses an image to guide a long, hollow needle through the skin in the lower abdomen and into an enlarged node. The skin is numbed with local anesthesia before the needle is inserted to take a small tissue sample. The sample is then sent to the lab and looked at for cancer cells.

Can I Have False Psa Results And No Cancer In My Prostate

What are the reasons cause false PSA high levels and false low PSA results, which means you have no cancer in your prostate at all and your PSA level was relatively incorrect, come to know and tell your doctor youre a cancer Free.A matter of concern for whom deal with prostate cancer testing with PSA blood test as an early cancer marker, you must be aware of things can alter your PSA interpretation, however the professional lab tech must ask you about them before taking a blood sample for prostate specific antigen test.If you dont understand the PSA just read> what is the PSA blood test meaning?What do cause False positive PSA results?PSA false results mean thats unlikely you have a prostate cancer and may come from:

Dont miss interpretation of high PSA at: What does elevated PSA mean?Understanding False Low PSA ResultsIn general, a low PSA is a good result. However, there are several reasons a PSA test level may be artificially low including:

  • Taking statins to lower cholesterol, anti-inflammatory drugs and obesity: thats because body fat decreases the amount of PSA circulating in the blood stream.
  • Over doses of some chemotherapeutic drugs, for instance cyclophosphamide and methotrexate, can cause false PSA increase or false PSA levels decrease.

What to do when your results show false PSA results?

Other blood tests for cancer detection can help make decision:

  • Free PSA/total PSA ratio: the high values are correlated with prostate cancers.
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    The Need For A Better Biomarker

    Doctors currently use certain criterialike the tumor grade and PSA levelto recommend whether patients with recurrent prostate cancer should get hormone therapy in addition to radiation. But studies have shown that these characteristics arent very good at identifying people who truly need the combination treatment.

    A patient could have a rising PSA and die of something else rather than prostate cancer down the road, explained Adam Sowalsky, Ph.D., head of NCIs Prostate Cancer Genetics Section, who was not involved in the study.

    The Decipher test was developed to address the need for a reliable biomarker, and retrospective studies that looked back in time have shown that it does indeed outperform standard markers like PSA level. The test looks at the activity of 22 genes in prostate tumors and calculates a score from 0 to 1.

    For the new study, Dr. Feng and his colleagues set out to see how well the test worked in the context of a clinical trial that had followed participants forward in time. They applied the Decipher test to tumor tissue that was removed during surgery from 352 patients who participated in an earlier clinical trial. Of those patients, 89% were white.

    The trial participantswho all had rising PSA levels after surgeryhad been randomly assigned to receive radiation alone or in combination with bicalutamide , a type of hormone therapy. The participants medical outcomes had been tracked for about 13 years.

    When Is It Time To Stop Being Checked For Prostate Cancer

    PSA Blood Test: The Key To Prevent Prostate Cancer

    Image: Thinkstock

    Its essential to be fully informed about the potential risks of PSA testing, which includecomplications from biopsies and teratments.

    The answer depends on your current health and your level of concern about cancer.

    Routine PSA testing to check for prostate cancer is no longer recommended for most men. But despite what the experts suggest, many men continue to opt for annual PSA tests. This includes a surprisingly large number of men in their 70s. In a recent study in the journal Cancer, more than half of a group of men 75 and older had PSA tests and biopsies.

    These men have placed their hope in the value of early diagnosis and treatment, yet stand to gain less from PSA testing than younger men. Across all ages, routine PSA screening leads to life-saving treatment for cancer in about one in every 1,000 men screened.

    Force guidelines: These independent experts on preventive medicine do not recommend PSA screening for prostate cancer in men at any age, due to a lack of definitive evidence that the benefits of PSA testing are greater than the risks.

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    Psa Levels In The Blood

    Standard values:

    < 4.0 ng/mL

    Why this test? What is PSA?

    PSA is the acronym for Prostatic Specific Antigen. It is a protein produced by the prostate and is , but a small quantity passes into the bloodstream. Thus, in a healthy individual, PSA is found in small quantities in the blood. It is important to be aware that sexual intercourse or rectal examinations should be avoided in the 48 hours before the PSA test, as they can cause PSA levels to rise and interfere with the test results.

    Results of this test:

    Abnormally high levels may indicate the presence of prostate cancer. If the rate is higher than the standard value, the diagnostic process requires additional tests. However, an elevated level in the blood can also be explained by age or by a benign adenoma or prostatitis. Moreover, a normal PSA level does not mean that cancer cannot be ruled out.

    Pros And Cons Of The Psa Test


    • it may reassure you if the test result is normal
    • it can find early signs of cancer, meaning you can get treated early
    • PSA testing may reduce your risk of dying if you do have cancer


    • it can miss cancer and provide false reassurance
    • it may lead to unnecessary worry and medical tests when there’s no cancer
    • it cannot tell the difference between slow-growing and fast-growing cancers
    • it may make you worry by finding a slow-growing cancer that may never cause any problems

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    Procedure Details And What To Expect

    The PSA test is a blood test that can be ordered as part of a typical blood draw. The laboratory processing the blood sample will measure the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood and provide a report to your doctor. In addition to a PSA test, your doctor may also recommend a digital rectal exam as another part of prostate cancer screening. During this test, your doctor will insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum and press on the prostate. This can help your doctor determine if there are any lumps or abnormal hard areas within your prostate. If the PSA blood test and digital rectal exam do not provide enough information for your doctor to diagnose prostate cancer, a prostate biopsy may be recommended.

    How Do I Understand My Psa Test Results

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    See the above Prostate Cancer Early Detection: Age Recommendations and PSA Levels Chart for more information on understanding your PSA level. In general, a PSA level that is below 3.0 ng/mL is considered within the normal range. A PSA level that is above 3.0 ng/mL is considered suspicious.

    However, PSA levels can rise as you get older. For men over age 75, a PSA below 4.0 ng/mL is considered normal. You and your doctor should consult age-specific PSA ranges and recommendations.

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    What Are The Prostate Cancer Symptoms I Need To Look Out For

    In its early stages, prostate cancer may not show any symptoms. Symptoms of early prostate cancer can include:

    • difficulty passing urine
    • a slow, interrupted flow of urine
    • frequent passing of urine, including at night

    Symptoms associated with advanced prostate cancer include:

    • pain during urination
    • lower back or pelvic pain.

    These symptoms are also found in men who may have benign prostatic hyperplasia , a common, non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.

    If you experience these symptoms, visit your doctor.

    What Does A High White Blood Cell Count Mean

    White blood cells are an important and necessary part of your immune system. Produced in your bone marrow, they defend your body against infections and disease. But, when there are too many white blood cells, it usually means you have infection or inflammation in your body. Less commonly, a high white blood cell count could indicate certain blood cancers or bone marrow disorders.

    What is considered a high white blood cell count?

    Typically, if there are more than 11,000 white blood cells in a microliter of your blood, its considered leukocytosis.

    High white blood cell count during pregnancy

    A high blood cell count during pregnancy is normal. Your body is simply experiencing the stress of carrying a baby. Your healthcare provider will run routine blood tests throughout your pregnancy to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is going on.

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