Testing for Prostate Cancer

Getting tested can save your life.

The first step in a prostate cancer test is a PSA blood test

This test is used to determine how at-risk you are of developing prostate cancer.

It’s important to talk to your GP about getting this test if either:

  • you’re over the age of 40 and have a family history of prostate cancer, or are of African or Caribbean heritage, or
  • you’re over the age of 50.

Prostate-Specific Antigen

Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein that is produced by the prostate. The PSA blood test measures the amount of this protein in the blood. Those patients with a PSA level higher than the normal range have a higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, but there are also other reasons why the PSA may be elevated, such as benign enlargement of the prostate, or infection. If your PSA level is high, you should undergo further tests to determine whether the underlying cause is prostate cancer. Patients with a normal PSA level should have it tested every 1 - 2 years, but some patients with a very low PSA may not need retesting again for 5-7 years.

Getting Tested

Next steps and further testing

If your PSA levels are elevated, your GP will discuss with you what the next steps are. Sometimes outside factors (such as your age or ethnicity) can affect your PSA level, so whether further testing is required can be a case-by-case scenario. Other tests, if necessary, can include a digital rectal exam and a biopsy.

The APC specialises in all things related to prostate cancer and we understand that this time of uncertainty can be stressful.

Our experienced team are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Our prostate cancer GP’s can help you make decisions about testing that are right for you.

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