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Prostate Cancer Blog: Making Sense Of The Psa Test

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Feb 21, 2006

Making Sense Of The Psa Test

Making Sense Of The Psa Test
Male relatives of prostate cancer patients need more information in order to help them understand the possible familial risk of the disease, and to decide whether or not to have a PSA* test, according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer** today (Tuesday).

The benefit of PSA testing as a screening tool remains uncertain. It may have value for screening first degree relatives of men with prostate cancer who are consequently at an increased risk of developing the disease - about 10 to 15 per cent of British men - but this approach needs to be fully tested. However, two Cancer Research UK-funded studies at The Institute of Cancer Research have found that such a targeted screening programme would be difficult to run and may have a low uptake by relatives invited to have their PSA levels tested.

There are many unknowns about the PSA test. It can often detect problems in the prostate at an early stage, but a positive result does not always mean cancer. As such, getting the result of a PSA test can be a confusing situation that requires clear information and advice from health professionals.

The studies were designed to look at how the PSA test could be practicably used as a possible screening test for relatives of prostate cancer patients. Results showed that some patients were reluctant to involve their family members in screening. Many of the relatives who did respond to the suggestion of screening had already had a PSA test, but took part because they still felt they needed more information about prostate cancer.

The PSA test has not been shown to work as a screening test for the general population, although trials are ongoing. One concern is that a raised PSA level, while not always indicative of prostate cancer, nevertheless sometimes leads to invasive investigations that then find the situation to be normal. There is also doubt over whether screening using PSA tests would reduce prostate cancer deaths overall.



Do You Read All Of Our Cancer Blogs?

Do You Read All Of Blogs?
Do you read all of the blogs published by Many of our bloggers are busy keeping you updated on the various health related topics. We publish the following blogs at this time.

Cancer blog: I manage the cancer blog with lots of help and support form other bloggers. Through this cancer blog my friends and I try to bring stories of hope for patients with cancer. The cancer blog often republishes important blog posts from other cancer related blogs at If you are searching for a blog that covers wide variety of cancer topics, this may be the one for you.

Breast cancer blog: Breast cancer blog is run by Emily and other bloggers and they bring you the latest stories, news and events that are related to breast cancer. Increasing awareness about breast cancer among women and in the general population is the main goal of this breast cancer blog.

Lung cancer blog: Lung cancer blog is managed by Scott with the help of other bloggers. Through this blog Scott and his friends constantly remind the readers about the dangers of smoking. It's a never-ending struggle against this miserable disease with which a social stigma of smoking is associated.

Colon cancer blog: Colon cancer blog is run by Sue and other bloggers. Sue brings a personal touch to the colon cancer blog since her mother died of colon cancer few years ago. She writes about stories, research news and advances in treatment related to colon cancer.

Prostate cancer blog: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men. American Cancer Society estimates that over 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer occur in the United state every year. This important blog about prostate cancer is run by Mark and other bloggers. This blog brings news, stories, and other personal observations related to prostate cancer. publishes a diabetes watch blog and this blog is run by JoAnn other bloggers. This diabetes watch blog brings you the latest in the field of diabetes. This includes personal stories, advances in diagnosis and treatment, and other observations about diabetes. Improving awareness about diabetes is an important mission of this group.


Prostate cancer
The prostate is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum in male. The tube that carries urine runs through the prostate. The prostate contains cells that make some of the seminal fluid. This fluid protects and nourishes the sperm. Prostate cancer usually starts in the gland cells of the prostate. This kind of cancer is known as adenocarcinoma. Prostate cancer is usually a slow disease, but sometimes it can grow fast and spread quickly to other organs.

Prostate Cancer Blog: Making Sense Of The Psa Test

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