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One Simple Blood Test

The goal of screening for prostate cancer is to find it early, in the hope that it can be treated more effectively.

Prostate cancer when found in the early stages and contained within the prostate only, yields a cure rate of almost 100%.

Peter Latos was initially diagnosed with prostatitis (after his PSA level was about 14ng/ML) and given a course of antibiotics as treatment.   The antibiotics slightly reduced his PSA level, but to a level that was still alarming. A biopsy was necessary, but never ordered. Unfortunately, a year later, when his PSA levels were tested again, it had reached over 30 ng/ML. This is a glaring example of why EARLY DETECTION and proper diagnosis is vital.

Most importantly, this is why everyone who came across Peter’s path in the years before his untimely death heard him say, “Check your PSA…it’s only ONE SIMPLE BLOOD TEST.”

Early Detection Methods

PROSTATE-SPECIFIC ANTIGEN (PSA) BLOOD TEST

The PSA test is used primarily to screen for prostate cancer. A PSA test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. PSA is a protein produced in the prostate, a small gland that sits below a man’s bladder. The PSA test can detect high levels of PSA that may indicate the presence of prostate cancer. However, many other conditions, such as an enlarged or inflamed prostate, can also increase PSA levels.

 

DIGITAL RECTAL EXAM (DRE)

Your doctor will check for problems with your organs, prostate and pelvis during a digital rectal exam. During a DRE, the doctor is able to check for growths or tumors on the prostate gland.

 

PROSTATE ULTRASOUND AND BIOPSY

The prostate ultrasound involves a probe that produces harmless high-frequency sound waves that bounce off the surface of the prostate. The sound waves are recorded and transformed to either video or images of the prostate gland. This allows the doctor to estimate the size of the prostate and detect any abnormal growths. The ultrasound is used when a biopsy is needed. Tiny needles are guided through the rectum wall into the prostate where abnormalities are detected. The needles remove tissue from the prostate for analysis. Typically, 12 or more core samples are removed from different parts of the prostate.   If cancer is detected, the doctor is able to grade the cancer and determine the aggressiveness of it.

 

PROGENSA

Doctors are now studying a urine test called Progensa, which looks for the level of prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) in urine. The higher the level, the most likely prostate cancer is present.