Prostate Cancer Detection
The increased awareness of prostate cancer as well as the understanding of the importance of early prostate cancer detection has caused a surge in the rate of screenings performed each year. This combined with the use of sensitive screening tests have led to an increase in the detection of prostate cancer at an early stage, when it is most curable.
Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test: What is PSA?
PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, is a protein that is naturally produced by both benign and malignant prostate tissue. PSA screening is a simple blood test that helps identify patients who are at risk of having clinically significant prostate cancer. Normal PSA levels should typically be <3.5. If the PSA is elevated, it is important to undergo an evaluation to determine if it is from benign causes or prostate cancer.
What causes an elevated PSA?
An elevated PSA can be caused by prostate cancer, but can also be due to a variety of non-cancerous factors as well. These include benign prostate enlargement (BPH), urinary tract infection or prostate infection (prostatitis), and urinary retention. Certain activities can also cause a temporary mild increase in PSA levels, such as having intercourse and riding a bicycle.
Is a biopsy needed if my PSA is elevated?
It depends. It is important that benign conditions that can cause an elevated PSA are ruled out first. Beyond that, there are some other tests and innovative biomarker tools available that may help determine if a biopsy is indicated.
What are Biomarkers?
Biomarkers are blood tests that analyze levels of certain proteins in the bloodstream that are markers, or indicators, of prostate cancer. These tests, including the phi test, 4K score test, and PCA-3, analyze specific serum proteins including various fractions of PSA and prostate-derived kallikreins to better risk-stratify patients who need further testing.
Smarter Prostate Cancer Detection at Sarasota Prostate Care
At Sarasota Prostate Care, we are committed to offering our patients the most advanced technology available for prostate cancer detection. Multi-parametric prostate MRI combines multiple advanced imaging sequences to greatly improve our ability to detect prostate cancer. This is extremely valuable given the limitations of standard TRUS-guided prostate biopsies and has revolutionized our strategy for detecting prostate cancer. Many recent studies support the use of prostate MRI as a primary tool in detecting and localizing aggressive cancers. This state of the art technology is available at our Sarasota prostate cancer center.