For those who do not know, prostate-specific antigen is a certain type of protein which is secreted by the cells of the prostate. It is one of the most important factors in the dissolution of the seminal fluid coagulum, so it is also of utmost importance for the fertility. It is usually found in the seminal fluid, but it can also be found in smaller amounts in the serum. Rising levels of PSA in the serum commonly indicate that there is something wrong with the overall health of the prostate. One of the most common causes of increased levels of prostate-specific antigen is acute bacterial prostatitis, which is the medicinal term for acute cases of inflammatory conditions of the prostate triggered by a bacterial infection. The PSA tests were first introduced into clinical practice all the way back in 1986, and since then the means of diagnosing and managing the prostate cancer have seen numerous advanced developments. PSA tests are of utmost importance when it comes to identifying the potential cases of cancer which may call for the prostate biopsy to be performed as well. These tests are also very helpful in determining the progress of the cancer and the response to all the therapy methods. These tests have been very useful in detecting prostate cancer, but there are still numerous scientific studies which deal with determining whether the tests can be of any help in increasing the survival rate of men affected by the prostate cancer. Before the tests were introduced, doctors had to wait for the prostate to become quite abnormal before they ask for the biopsy to be performed. There are still certain medical sources which strongly advice against using the PSA tests for screening purposes in men who are 75 years old or older. The American Cancer Society is very keen on stressing the importance of involving the patients in the decision whether to test for prostate cancer or not. If left undetected, certain ill effects of the treatment methods for prostate cancer may take place. The most common factors which affect the clinician’s decision whether a patient should undergo a PSA test include the patient’s own request for the test, physical examination findings, general medical condition, expected longevity, family history of the condition, symptoms and age.
Level of PSA in the Blood
A test called prostate-specific antigen test is designed to measure the amounts of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. This protein is released into the blood by the prostate gland. It is a widely known fact that men who are otherwise healthy have relatively low amounts of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. As a man ages, his prostate commonly gets enlarged, so the amounts of prostate-specific antigen in the blood also get increased. There are different factors which may lead to the increased amounts of prostate-specific antigen in the blood such as the inflammation of the prostate gland or even prostate cancer. The levels may also be briefly increased by sexual activity, a digital rectal exam or some kind of injury. There are numerous cases of prostate cancer in which it grows gradually and slowly without causing any apparent problems. It is of utmost importance to detect, diagnose and treat the prostate cancer in order to reduce the risk of numerous health problems and ultimately death. Unfortunately, some treatment methods commonly related to the prostate cancer may lead to the development of certain other medical conditions such as erection problems or urinary incontinence.
Importance of PSA Test
There are certain goals associated with PSA tests. The main goal is to screen the patient for prostate cancer. In most cases, the tests are performed on men who are older than 50 and those who are at an increased risk of prostate cancer. Those men usually have a family history of prostate cancer or are African-American. There are also several other medical condition which can cause the elevation of the levels of PSA in the blood, such as the inflammation of the prostate gland or benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is why a prostate biopsy needs to be performed in order to confirm the prostate cancer. When the results from other tests such as the digital rectal exam are normal, the PSA test usually needs to be done in order to determine the presence of the prostate cancer. The PSA tests can also be used for the periodic checks of the prostate cancer during the treatment period. If the tests show that the levels of PSA are rising, that may mean that the cancer is spreading or growing. In men whose prostate gland is removed it is not normal to detect any presence of the PSA. If the PSA is still present in such cases, that may mean that the cancer has either returned or spread.