Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test

  • The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is a screening test for prostate cancer, as well as a method for monitoring the treatment of the disease and testing for recurrence. Like other early detection cancer screening tests, it is designed to alert a person to the presence of disease before any symptoms occur. At the current time, most prostate cancers are detected in this way, via this blood test and a digital rectal exam. In recent years, however, the PSA test has become controversial.

A 2018 review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that PSA screening may reduce deaths due to prostate cancer, but also carries the risk of complications of diagnosis, as well as overdiagnosis and overtreatment of cases that would never have, otherwise, caused a problem.1 While prostate cancer tends to be slow-growing and has a high survival rate relative to many cancers, it remains the most common cancer (other than skin cancer) and is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men.

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Article submitted to MSRN by Pat France, MSRN Volunteer and a Senior!