Prostate Cancer Awareness Month: How can you get tested?

This prostate cancer awareness month, we’ve been focusing on the importance of understanding the symptoms to look out for and the benefits of screening. But what about the practicalities? If you are concerned, how can you get tested? What are the different types of test available? And how do they work?

Prostate cancer survival has tripled in the last 40 years in the UK, probably because of PSA testing. When diagnosed at its earliest stage, 100% of people with prostate cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around 1 in 2 (49%) people when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.¹

There’s no single test for prostate cancer. All the tests used to diagnose the condition have benefits and risks associated with them. The most commonly used tests for prostate cancer are:

  • PSA blood tests
  • Physical examination
  • MRI scan
  • Biopsy

PSA testing

Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by normal as well as malignant cells of the prostate gland. The aim of the PSA blood test is to find out whether your PSA level is above what would be considered normal. A raised PSA level may indicate you have prostate cancer, but it can also be raised if you are suffering from other non-cancerous conditions such as prostatitis (an infection of the prostate), enlarged prostate or even a urinary infection.

After taking a PSA test, if you have a raised PSA level, you may be offered an MRI scan of the prostate to help doctors decide if you need further tests and treatment. Following this, some men may require a biopsy.

Check4Cancer offers PSACheck, a safe, accurate and affordable private prostate cancer screening test with rapid results. PSACheck is a simple at-home finger-prick PSA blood test and a personalised prostate cancer screening programme. Our team of specialists will analyse your PSA test results and risk factors to determine what the next stage is for you.

As Prostate Cancer Awareness month draws to a close, we hope that our series of blogs has helped you understand the risks and symptoms of prostate cancer as well as the benefits of screening and early diagnosis. The last year has been a struggle for all of us, and we don’t want anyone to miss out on cancer diagnosis and treatment. We hope that by raising awareness and offering our range of at-home tests, we can help more people get diagnosed earlier or even just put your mind at rest if this has been adding to your worries during the pandemic.

Support is available from many services if you are suffering from prostate cancer including Prostate Cancer UK. You can also find out more about our other cancer screening and diagnostics services.

References

¹  https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/prostate-cancer#heading-Two