The PSA Test

 

Prostate Cancer Canada Recommends:

1. Men should get a PSA test in their 40s to establish their baseline.

2. Men at high risk for prostate cancer should talk to their primary care provider before age 40 about prostate cancer.

3. At or over age 70, the decision to end prostate cancer screening should be based on an informed discussion with their primary care provider.

 



PSA_Test.png
Prostate Cancer Canada graciously acknowledges the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre for sharing this image with us.
What is Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)?

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein produced within the prostate gland and is secreted into seminal fluid.

There are two types of PSA:
  1. Free PSA: moves freely in the blood as it is unbound to other proteins  
  2. Complex PSA: attached to other proteins as it moves around the blood

Free PSA comes from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlargement of the prostate. The higher the amount of free PSA, the less likely prostate cancer will be found as prostate cancer cells produce more complex PSA.

What is the PSA test?

The PSA test is a simple blood test, taken from the arm, which measures the amount of PSA protein in the blood. It is common for PSA to be found in the blood in very small concentrations. Higher levels of PSA may indicate the presence of cancer, but can also be an indicator of other prostate conditions.  

What are the benefits and limitations of the PSA test?

 
Benefits Limitations
May indicate the presence of cancer in its earliest stages. May lead to unnecessary tests and treatment.
Simple blood test (not harmful). Cannot distinguish between slow growing and advanced cancer.
Currently only test we have as red flag to indicate follow-up. The PSA test cannot diagnose prostate cancer but can tell you if there’s a problem with the prostate.


While the PSA test is not currently used in Canada as a population-wide screening tool, it is used to monitor how someone responds to cancer treatment or to monitor disease recurrence or progression.





RELEVANT LINKS
News Release: Prostate Cancer Canada reminds men that early detection using ‘Smart Screening’ for prostate cancer can save lives
SupportPSATests.ca
PCC's Position Paper on PSA Testing
PCC's PSA Recommendation: News Release
Infographic: Know Your Number
Infogrpahic: What Affects PSA Values




Subscribe to our free monthly e-newsletter!

* indicates required

 





 
PCC Spotlight
‘Doing it for Dads’ this Father’s Day: Albertans unite for prostate cancer research

Building Trades of Alberta and multiple community fundraisers have raised $330,000 and counting  Calgary – May 27th, 2015:  In the lead-up to Father’s Day, Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC) is excited to announce that Albertans have demonstrated significant leadership by banding together to raise over $330,000 and counting in important research dollars and awareness for prostate cancer, the most common cancer to affect men. More

Groundbreaking Research Moves One Step Closer to Personalizing Prostate Cancer Treatment

Movember Foundation, Prostate Cancer Canada and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research funded research breakthrough published in Nature Genetics   TORONTO, ON (May 25, 2015) The results of groundbreaking genetics research in Canada, funded by the Movember Foundation, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and Prostate Cancer Canada, has identified a unique sub-type of prostate cancer that will help clinicians develop more personalized treatments for their patients, ensure that fewer men undergo unnecessary treatments and improve their chances of survival. More


Click here for news archive