Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pre-requisites for Serum Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a screening test for cancer of prostate in several countries. While, raised value signifies possibility of cancer of prostate that has spread beyond limits of prostate gland; the increased value is also normally found in some benign conditions; and low value can not conclusively rule out the presence of the cancer.

Digital rectal exam; drawing shows a side view...
Digital rectal exam; drawing shows a side view of the male reproductive and urinary anatomy, including the prostate, rectum, and bladder; also shows a gloved and lubricated finger inserted into the rectum to feel the prostate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, increased value is associated with some more interventional investigations; the resulting discomfort and anxiety in patients.
The benign conditions that can raise the PSA value are;
  • Prostatitis,
  • Ejaculation,
  • Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) of the prostate,
  • Post-Operative (Prostate Surgery) period.
So, it is normally advised that before PSA test patient should be in abstinence for at least 3 days and 3 days are also allowed to pass after the digital rectal examination for the PSA test.
Now, investigators have found that long route cycling in men more than 50 years of age can raise the serum PSA value from 5 minutes after the cycling to 24-48 hours.
So, in order to avoid fallacy, it is better to avoid PSA test after cycling; and can be done after 2 to 3 days of rest.
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