It is a blood test which measures the amount of Prostate Specific Antigen in your blood (PSA). Normal cells in the prostate produce the protein PSA, so it is normal for all men to have detectable PSA levels. As men get older, the level of PSA naturally rises.
No unfortunately not. To be a true screening test, such as the bowel cancer screening, certain criteria have to be met. The one the PSA test falls down on is that it is not accurate enough, there are too many false positives. This is because the PSA level can go up for other non-cancer reasons, such as an infection or enlarged prostate gland. In fact 76% of men with a raised PSA do not have cancer.
Please see the attached leaflet for more information regarding PSA testing in men who have no symptoms –
The team at University Hospital Southampton are piloting a project where men can self refer for testing should they have symptoms or are deemed to be high-risk. This self-referral can be made by emailing email@example.com they will receive an automated response with information and a prostate cancer risk assessment questionnaire.
If they wish to proceed to testing they can request an appointment for a PSA test and nurse-led urinary assessment.
If this assessment highlights the need for further investigation, an MRI will be performed to determine if a cancer is present or advice and treatment of urinary symptoms will be provided.
Further information on symptoms associated with prostate cancer can be found here.