Men who want to stay proactive about their health should consider having routine PSA tests as they get older. At his practice in Las Vega, Nevada, Dr. Alex Lesani offers this simple blood test right in his office to help identify the earliest signs of cancer or other conditions that affect your prostate health.
By taking the preventive measures of regular PSA testing, you can reduce your risk for prostate problems that can complicate your long-term health.
The basics of a PSA test
The prostate gland produces a protein called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). This protein is found in both normal and cancerous prostate cells.
A PSA test measures the levels of the protein in your body to determine if you’re at risk for developing prostate cancer. The test identifies increased PSA levels to detect cancer in its earliest stages, so treatment can be more effective.
You may also need regular PSA tests to track the progression of existing cancer in your prostate and to monitor the effectiveness of your treatment.
When to schedule your first PSA test
All men should schedule their first PSA test at the age of 40. Follow-up tests should be done every two years, as your risk of cancer increases.
If you’re already at risk for prostate cancer, due to genetic concerns or underlying medical factors, you may need more frequent PSA tests.
Interpreting your results
If your test shows elevated levels of PSA, cancer isn’t the only conclusion. In fact, other conditions that affect the prostate can increase your PSA levels. These conditions include:
Elevated PSA levels can also show that you have benign prostatic hyperplasia, a noncancerous condition where overgrown prostate tissue blocks the flow of urine by pushing against the bladder and urethra.
Any of these prostate conditions can also be addressed effectively when they’re identified early. If he finds your PSA level is elevated, Dr. Lesani can perform additional testing and create a plan for treatment.
Beyond the PSA test
If a PSA test shows you may have prostate cancer, you may need a rectal examination or a prostate biopsy, where tissues samples can be carefully analyzed.
In the event of a cancer diagnosis, there are a number of treatment options that can address your condition, including minimally invasive robotic surgery using the da Vinci® Surgical System.
This type of surgery allows Dr. Lesani the opportunity to remove the prostate through a small incision, without causing unnecessary trauma to the surrounding tissues. By removing the prostate, he can prevent the spread of cancer to other parts of your body and protect your overall health.
After surgically treating prostate cancer, Dr. Lesani continues to rely on the efficiency and accuracy of PSA tests to ensure cancer treatment is successful. He also continues to check PSA tests periodically to make certain cancer isn’t coming back.
If you’re 40 or older and haven’t had a PSA test yet, don’t delay. Call our office or book an appointment online to arrange for the quick and easy blood test.