What screening tests for prostate cancer are available?
The term screening refers to tests that pick up disease at an early stage. The most common test for prostate cancer is the PSA test, which measures a substance called Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) in the blood. PSA is a normal product of the prostate gland, but raised levels suggest cancer or other prostate problems. Doctors looking for prostate cancer will do a PSA test in conjunction with a rectal examination of the prostate gland itself. If the PSA test is positive, other tests and investigations will have to be done before a definite diagnosis of cancer can be made. This usually requires an ultrasound test and a needle biopsy of the prostate gland. Three quarters of men who have a positive PSA test will not have cancer, so the PSA test is not itself a reliable diagnosis. There is also a small risk of infection and bleeding from a biopsy, so the test is only done if there is a suspicion that a cancer is present. How is prostate cancer treated? The main ways to treat prostate cance