A repeat PSA test can benefit men before diagnosis and treatment.
Elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood can be a strong indicator of the presence of prostate cancer. When test results indicate that PSA levels are higher than the acceptable range, there can be benefits of a repeat PSA test. This is especially advisable for men who have never had prostate cancer, and do not have a family history of the disease.
Benefits of a repeat PSA test
The prostate biopsy is a diagnostic tool to collect samples of prostate tissue. These samples are used to diagnose, grade and stage cancer when it is present. At Urology Austin, today’s technological advancements are being utilized to eliminate “blind” biopsies with the aid of Multiparametric MRI imaging to identify suspicious lesions in the prostate. As a result, these areas can be specifically targeted, during the biopsy procedure, allowing for higher rates of positive diagnosis. When blind biopsies are performed, areas of tumor may be missed resulting in negative biopsy results. In this instance, PSA levels will be repeated periodically to determine if levels are rising and a second biopsy is needed.
When prostate cancer is diagnosed, treatment options will depend on many factors, including the aggressiveness of tumor. Sometimes, the cancer is confined to a very small area within the prostate gland. In this event, “watchful waiting” may be recommended as a treatment option. During the course of watchful waiting, the benefits of a repeat PSA test will allow providers to gauge if PSA levels are increasing, and how fast. Depending on results, other forms of treatment may be recommended.
Patients can also benefit from subsequent PSA tests if results have been skewed by factors known to elevate numbers. Inflammation of the prostate, urinary tract infections, and an enlarged prostate can all affect PSA outcomes. Sexual intercourse, cycling, using a catheter, and having a digital rectal exam can also alter numbers. Once these factors are eliminated or treated, a second PSA test can be performed to re-check blood levels. This may either confirm earlier results, or indicate that numbers were inadvertently affected.
If you are interested in prostate cancer screening, contact Urology Austin to schedule an appointment at the location nearest you.