PSA Test- The Standard for Diagnosing Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men. In the United States, it is estimated that there are around 191,930 men who will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. Sixty per cent of the cases diagnosed happen in men who are over 65 years old. Ninety per cent of the cases found are discovered in what is called the “regional” stage. This means it involves the prostate gland and the nearby organs. Prevention is a very important aspect of discovering and treating prostate cancer successfully, which is where the PSA test comes in. In this blog, we will answer some of your biggest questions:
- What is prostate cancer?
- How is prostate cancer detected?
- How is a PSA test done?
- What is the cost of a PSA test?
What is prostate cancer?
Cancer is a disease where the cells of a certain part of the body begin to divide uncontrollably and take over the healthy tissue. Prostate cancer is a type of this disease, affecting the prostate gland, which is part of the male reproductive system. The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and is responsible for creating seminal fluid (also known as semen) that mixes with the sperm. The purpose of the fluid that is made is to help protect and transport the sperm.
Prostate cancer begins when the cells within the prostate gland are abnormal and begin multiplying rapidly. These cells form a tumour and can begin infecting other parts of the body.
Prostate cancer is a cancer of the prostate gland, which is a gland of the male reproductive system, surrounded by the urethra that is just below the bladder. Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland become abnormal and start multiplying. The mutations in these abnormal cells’ DNA cause the cells to rapidly grow. These cells form a tumour, and sometimes also start infecting other parts of the body.
Who is at risk for Prostate Cancer?
All men are at risk for prostate cancer, but one of the biggest factors is age. According to the American Cancer Society, one in nine American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Prostate cancer is more likely to affect men over the age of 65, and the average age of diagnosis is 66. It also is more common in African-American men.
How is prostate cancer detected?
It is usually undetectable in the earlier stage, however, it might come with the following symptoms.
- Frequent urination.
- Dull pain in the pelvic area
- Trouble with urinating
- Blood in urine
- Painful ejaculation
- Pain in lower back, thighs, back, loss of appetite and weight.
How is a PSA test performed?
A PSA test is the best way to diagnose prostate cancer. Your doctor will tell you if you need this test after checking your symptoms.
A PSA test is done by taking blood from the arm and having the levels of PSA analyzed in a lab.
PSA- Prostate-specific antigen is a substance produced by cells in the prostate gland. It’s released by the gland, into the semen, where it acts to turn semen into liquid following ejaculation (ejaculation is when semen is released out of the body as a result of an orgasm). Most of the substance is carried out by the body through the semen, but a very small amount of the PSA gets into the bloodstream, which is usually low. PSA is also found in some tissues in women. If your PSA level is high, the doctor immediately orders for a biopsy. There is a chance of high-false-positive rates in PSA testing. The tests also cannot tell the difference between more aggressive, high-risk prostate cancers with low-risk prostate cancer.
It’s important to know that high PSAs do not always mean that you have prostate cancer. An enlarged prostate gland, a prostate infection, recent sexual activity, or even a long motorcycle ride can also be the cause for the increase in the PSA level! Twenty-percent of men with high PSAs may have prostate cancer depending on age and history. It is also common for older men to have some cancerous cells in their prostate glands, but they are slow to grow.
What is the cost of a PSA test in 2022?
The price for a PSA test is around $40. This amount varies based on where you live and where you are having the test done. If you have insurance, your co-pay (the amount you are responsible for) could be $10-$20. The estimated national average for a PSA screening test is $80. If your results come back and need more information, your doctor might advise you to have more tests done. Here are some examples of extra tests you may need:
- An ultrasound fee for about $150
- Biopsy charges which can be $500
The cost depends on your service provider, and also on the insurance plan (if you have any). Doctors can bill for PSA tests using the CPT code 84153-84154.
ZeaMed promises to make the prices of healthcare more transparent and affordable. When it comes to procedures like the PSA test, we know that you want results you can trust, from providers that are experienced and caring. We offer the ability to price compare before you have the test done, which will give you peace of mind and less worry about how you will pay your healthcare costs. Visit the website for details and discounts!