What Happens Next With an Elevated PSA
Consider these facts on prostate cancer. More than 200,000 men will develop prostate cancer this year, making it the #1 cancer in men after skin cancer. Almost 30,000 men will die of prostate cancer, second only to lung cancer. Detecting and treating prostate cancer early is the key to cure.
Unfortunately prostate cancer screening guidelines vary among organizations with no universally accepted standard. As a consequence this has created confusion among patients and caregivers alike. The importance of being an educated patient has never been greater.
PSA (prostate specific antigen) is a protein secreted by the prostate. It is elevated in 80% of prostate cancers but also can be seen due to benign causes. These include common conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, prostate enlargement) and inflammation. Since the introduction of the PSA test, there has been a steady decrease in prostate cancer mortality and metastatic disease. An elevated PSA is a red flag and an indication to undergo further testing to determine the cause.