Screening tests for prostate cancer can detect signs of disease even before symptoms start when more treatment options are available. However, the test has potential downsides that may outweigh potential benefits.
That's why it's important for men aged 55 to 69 to talk with their healthcare provider about PSA screenings. An open conversation about what can cause elevated PSA levels, risk factors and personal preferences can help you decide if a PSA screening is right for you.
A prostate-specific antigen screening – or PSA test – is one of the most common methods doctors use to screen for prostate cancer. The test measures the amount of PSA protein in the blood. A high level or rise in levels may be caused by cancer or another problem.
Your doctor can help you understand potential harms of screening. The tests can lead to false-positive results that may require additional testing and possible prostate biopsy. A screening may lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Treatment may cause complications, such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction.