Get answers to your Genitourinary cancer questions.
Prostate-specific antigen; Prostate cancer screening test
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:
Measuring PSA levels can increase the chance of finding prostate cancer when it is very early.
However, the value of PSA screening for prostate cancer is controversial. There is not a single answer that fits all men. Before having the test, it is best to discuss both the reasons to have and the reasons not to have a PSA test with your doctor.
Some questions you may ask your doctor when discussing having a PSA test include:
If a man chooses to be tested, the PSA is most often done every year to screen:
PSA testing is not recommended for screening men over age 75.
There are different recommendations about screening tests for prostate cancer. For more information, check with:
American Urological Association.
Lin K, Lipsitz R, Miller T, Janakiraman S; U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Benefits and harms of prostate-specific antigen screening for prostate cancer: an evidence update for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2008;149:192-199.
Lim LS, Sherin K; ACPM Prevention Practice Committee. Screening for prostate cancer in U.S. men ACPM position statement on preventive practice. Am J Prev Med. 2008;34:164-170.
Walsh PC, DeWeese TL, Eisenberger MA. Clinical practice. Localized prostate cancer. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:2696-2705.
Walter LC, Bertenthal D, Lindquist K, Konety BR. PSA screening among elderly men with limited life expectancies. JAMA. 2006;296:2336-2342.
Wolf AM, Wender RC, Etzioni RB, Thompson IM, D'Amico AV, Volk RJ, et al. American Cancer Society guideline for the early detection of prostate cancer: update 2010. CA Cancer J Clin. 2010;60:70-98.
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