New research results favor testing for prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels for detection of prostate cancer. PSA tests can reduce the number of fatal cases of prostate cancer by detecting disease early.
This fact sheet reviews the PSA test for prostate cancer, in particular screening recommendations, test limitations, and possible improvements the future may hold in store for the test.
The impact on PSA screening and prostate cancer incidence before and after the 2012 USPSTF screening recommendations were examined in two recent studies.
A new test is better at detecting aggressive prostate cancer than measuring PSA levels. The new test discovers aggressive cancer earlier and reduces the number of false positive tests and unnecessary biopsies.
Some patients whose PSA levels become elevated after prostatectomy may die as a result of a cause unrelated to prostate cancer.
Use of biennial strategy with longer interval for low PSA levels reduces tests, false-positive results.
Physicians' practice styles related to informed decision-making for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening are linked to their personal beliefs about screening.
Based on pre-PSA testing era estimates, expected cases at presentation three-fold higher than observed.
Barriers to discontinuation of screening include patient expectations, time constraints.
Extended follow-up shows reduced risk of death from prostate cancer, but not overall risk of death
A striking decline in prostate cancer mortality in the US compared with the UK from 1994 to 2004 coincided with a much higher uptake of prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening in the US.
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