Before You Begin 2019-08-22T06:16:56+00:00
It's Your Choice

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.

What do the Australian guidelines say?

Men should be offered the opportunity to consider and discuss the benefits and harms of PSA testing with a doctor before making the decision whether or not to be tested.

The harms of PSA testing may outweigh the benefits, particularly for men aged 70 and older.

It’s vital that our actions are informed by evidence.

Men with NO family history of prostate cancer

Talk to your GP about your risks. Men with an average risk (i.e. no family history) of prostate cancer who decide to undergo regular testing should be offered PSA testing every 2 years from age 50 to 69.

Men WITH a family history of prostate cancer

Men with a family history (higher risk) of prostate cancer who decide to be tested should be offered PSA testing every 2 years from age 40/45 to 69, with the starting age depending on the strength of their family history.

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