Patients & Visitors

Urology

D11

PSA Testing

PSA is a protein produced by prostate cells which can be measured by a blood test.  This is used to help in the diagnosis of prostate cancer but it’s use has a number of problems:

  • Only about 30% of men with a raised PSA will have prostate cancer found on subsequent prostate biopsy. 
  • 15% of men with a normal PSA level will have prostate cancer
  • Other things cause a rise in the PSA level
  • PSA can’t differentiate between cancers that will go on and cause problems and those that will remain dormant
  • The side effects of treating prostate cancer found as a result of PSA testing may be worse than the effects of prostate cancer

It is therefore a difficult decision as to whether to have a PSA test.  Men who have the symptoms outlined above, those with a family history or those that are worried about prostate cancer should discuss the issues with their GP who can help them decide on investigation and arrange a test for them.

Further Investigation

Patients with an increased risk of prostate cancer because of either a raised PSA blood test or abnormal rectal examination are referred to us for further investigation.