PSA screening aids the early diagnosis of prostrate cancer.
PSA screening is a common diagnostic tooled used by physicians to screen for prostate cancer. Early detection has helped identify and treat prostate cancer for millions of men who have survived the disease. In fact, the American Cancer Society reports that nearly 3 million men, diagnosed with prostate cancer, sometime during their lives, are survivors. PSA screening is one tool that has played a crucial role in early detection.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) was discovered in the 1980s as an important blood marker for prostate cancer risk. It has also become an essential tool for assessing the activity of prostate cancer once the disease is diagnosed. Likewise, it is used by providers to monitor patient health after cancer treatment. In the early 1990s, annual PSA screening of men over the age of 40-50 was recommended. Today, men typically begin prostate screening around the age of 50. For African American men, as well as men who have a history of prostate cancer within their family, PSA screening is recommended around the age of 40. Discovering cancer during its earlier stages is paramount for successful treatment.
When it was developed, the PSA blood test was predicted to result in decreased mortality. Now that PSA screening is routinely performed, overall mortality from prostate cancer has decreased. However, there has been recent debate about the value of PSA screening – whether findings lead to unnecessary prostate biopsies. Fortunately, technological developments with Multiparametric MRI imaging now assists radiologists and urologists definitively identify suspicious masses within the prostate before any biopsy is performed. With the aid of this imaging, prostate biopsies can be minimized.
At Urology Austin, prostate cancer screening includes PSA testing, according to the American Urological Association (AUA) guidelines for age and risk level. Ultimately, the choice to screen is an individual decision made between the patient and his primary physician or urologist.
If you are interested in a prostate evaluation, contact the Urology Austin office nearest you to schedule an appointment.