Three prime ministers and nearly three years ago, “first bloke” Tim Mathieson caused a brouhaha with his advice on prostate cancer screening:
We can get a blood test for it, but the digital examination is the only true way to get a correct reading on your prostate, so make sure you go and do that, and perhaps look for a small Asian female doctor is probably the best way.
It was the “small Asian female” part of this statement that attracted criticism, but what of the rest of his advice?
It correctly identifies the two common ways GPs screen for prostate cancer: a blood test (for a protein called prostate-specific antigen, or PSA) and the digital rectal examination, in which a doctor feels the prostate gland by inserting a gloved finger (“digit”) into a man’s rectum.
But rectal examination is less accurate than the PSA blood test, missing more cancer and causing more false alarm. Read more …
Are PSA tests not worth the risk in checking for prostate cancer? is it worth getting a psa test or not? Until recently this was a no brainer. Every man over the age of 50 was strongly encouraged to get a psa test in case there was a high psa count or there was a rapid increase in psa. Recently there has been a change in thinking now that the numbers have been crunched.
Cancer Council Australia and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia yesterday released new draft guidelines to help GPs counsel men who ask about prostate cancer tests. They advise GPs to explain the pros and cons of testing and, if the man wants to proceed, to give him a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test every two years between the ages of 50 to 69. Read more …
Prostate biopsy results were due from my TURP operation and I had an appointment with the urologist. The most important point of this was to get the results of the histology, that is, the testing of the tissue samples from the TURP. I had also been asked to have a psa test taken a week before the appointment.
The PSA Test is useful, but far from perfect. Here is an excellent video for those looking for guidance as to whether to have a biopsy or not. By using Age Adjusted PSA Levels, PSA velocity, amount of free PSA/ bound PSA, and the newer PCA3 test (not covered in this video) one can understand further whether a biopsy is warranted.