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What is a PSA test and how to prepare for one?

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Health Care

PSA Test – In 2018, there were up to 1.3 million cases of Prostate cancer in the USA alone. Therefore, whether you notice a simple sign such as difficulty in urinating, or erectile dysfunction, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to eliminate the chances of cancer growth and reduced treatment options.

Before the doctor recommends any treatment for you, they need to do several tests to determine whether you have cancer or not. One of the tests they will carry out is a PSA test. If you want to know more about it, stick around. We will also provide a simple guide on how you can prepare for one.

What PSA Test is all About

PSA Test is the short form for Prostate Specific Antigen. It’s a protein that both normal and malignant cells in the prostate gland produce. Once you agree to take the psa prostate cancer, the doctor will take samples of your blood to detect its amount in your blood since some of it leaks into your bloodstream.

The laboratory specialist will provide a report that shows the amount of it in your blood. Normally, you measure it as nanograms of PSA per millilitre of blood. When you have a higher amount of PSA in your blood (usually 4ng/mL or higher), it might be a sign of prostate cancer.

Why you should take the PSA Test

As a man grows older, the probability of getting prostate cancer increases. Medical experts encourage men above 50 years to get the test to help detect cancer at the earliest stages. Additionally, it’s a recommended test for men with family members diagnosed with this type of cancer.

If the doctors find out that you have a higher percentage of PSA in your blood, they might also conduct a Digital Rectal Exam, where the doctor inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into your rectum. They do this because elevated PSA levels may not necessarily mean that you have cancer. It could also be a result of inflammation or enlargement of the prostate.

The limitation of this study is that low levels of PSA may also be a strong indication of prostate cancer sometimes. Additionally, the test may also provide negative test results.

How do you prepare for a PSA Test?

You don’t just walk into a hospital and ask for a PSA test. After consultations with the doctor, you need to speak to someone close to you to get the necessary support you require during the process. The doctor will also recommend that you:

– Avoid ejaculating 48 hours before the test

– Don’t exercise heavily within those 48 hours

– You shouldn’t have a urinary infection

– You should have had a prostate biopsy within six weeks

Bottom line

As you can see, a PSA test is a crucial test to take if you suspect that you could be having prostate cancer. Once the doctor acquires the results from the lab technician, it will help the practitioner know the necessary steps to curb the problem before it gets to the most advanced stages.

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