Did you know that approximately one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime?1
It is one of the most common cancers in American men,2 but if caught early, individuals have over a 99% survival rate for the five years following their diagnosis.3 Gain peace of mind with imaware's Prostate Cancer Screening Test to determine if you need to visit your doctor for further testing.
In men, or people assigned male at birth, the prostate gland is a chestnut-sized gland located right under the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is an essential part of the male reproductive and urinary systems.4
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein produced by specific cells in your prostate, is tested by healthcare professionals as part of an initial screening process for prostate conditions.5 High PSA is a sign of possible issues, primarily prostate cancer. Since this cancer is often asymptomatic,6 in addition to monitoring for symptoms of prostate cancer, you should maintain regular screenings and be aware of your risk level.
Elevated PSA levels
Though high PSA is a sign of prostate cancer, other factors may influence your PSA levels. Here are a few to keep in mind:
- Age: Basic PSA levels do increase with age, but so does the risk of prostate cancer.78 Your risk drastically increases after 50, and it is most commonly diagnosed over the age of 65.9
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): BPH is a condition in which the prostate is enlarged, often causing discomfort and difficulty urinating.10 It is common in men over the age of 50, significantly affecting men over 75 years of age.11 Talk to your doctor if you think you have BPH and consider trying these six natural remedies for an enlarged prostate.
- Inflammation and infections: Prostatitis, the inflammation of the prostate often caused by an infection, has been found to impact your PSA levels.1213 Studies have also observed that urinary tract infections (UTIs) can increase PSA levels.1415
- Recent ejaculation: Ejaculation can temporarily increase PSA measurements and should be avoided before taking a PSA test to prevent interference.16
If you receive high PSA results, contact your healthcare provider immediately to start the process of ruling out or diagnosing prostate cancer. Your doctor may perform a digital rectal examination (DRE) before recommending further steps towards a diagnosis.17 Possible treatments for prostate cancer include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, drug therapy and more.18
Here's the thing about prostate cancer: the best thing you can do is be aware of risk factors you can't change (age, race and family history), keep up with regular screenings and talk to your healthcare provider immediately if you have concerns.19 Beyond that, few lifestyle changes have been thoroughly proven to help prevent prostate cancer.
- Eat wisely: Decrease your consumption of saturated fats by limiting your meat, oil and dairy intake. Foods with high sugar or sodium content should also be limited. Try to eat more fruits, vegetables and essential nutrients like omega-3s and vitamin D.
- Drink and smoke sparingly: Alcohol and cigarettes are known risk factors for other cancers, so limit your drinks and do not smoke.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise is a great way to improve all sorts of systems in your body and help you maintain a healthy weight.
A high PSA result does not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer, but it does indicate that something is going on with your prostate, so please consult your healthcare provider.
By reading this article, you’re taking an important step in caring for your prostate health even if you didn’t receive elevated results. Remember that early-stage prostate cancer is often asymptomatic, so awareness of your risk factors and regular screenings are key to safeguarding your health.