Why do you need to read this?
Confusion prevails about prostate cancer and PSA testing – who needs one, why it’s not necessary for everybody, and what you should do about it.
Our aim is to help men make an informed decision about PSA testing.
While screening programs for breast, cervical and bowel cancers can save lives, the case for PSA testing for prostate cancer is not clear cut. While it probably does prevent some prostate cancer deaths, it can also lead to overdiagnosis, needless treatment and significant negative physical and psychological impacts for men and their loved ones.
Prostate Cancer in Australia
Prostate cancer is an important public health issue. Every year 1.3 million men worldwide are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Australia has one of the highest incidence rates internationally, with 1 man in every 7 Australian men likely to be diagnosed during their lifetime. While survival rates for prostate cancer are high (over 95% of men survive to at least five years), it remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men. With the growing Australian population and increasing life expectancy, the number of men diagnosed will continue to increase. There are over 200,000 Australian men currently living with a diagnosis of prostate cancer and this year 20,000 more Australian men will be diagnosed and 3500 will die of the disease.
PCFA is here to help: funding research, raising awareness, and providing support.
What is a PSA test?
Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by both normal and cancerous cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test is a blood test that measures levels of PSA in the blood, given as nanograms of PSA per millilitre (ng/mL) of blood.
An elevated PSA level can be indicative of prostate cancer, but it can also be caused by a number of benign conditions which are not cancerous.
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