Why Get Tested? We're Happy You Asked...

We recently learned that Prostate Cancer was the second leading cause of cancer among men. According to recent studies, approximately 30,000 lives could be lost this year to the deadly disease. In fact, 1 out of every 6 men will be affected by the disease within their lifetime. The good news is that, if caught early, it can be treated succesfully.

How Can We Prevent Prostate Cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, researchers and scientists have found some substances in Tomatoes (lycopens) and soybeans (isoflavones) might help prevent prostate cancer. As they continue to look at these compounds more closely, we can also look towards genetics as a potential area of interest.

There is new research currently being done that suggests gene changes linked to prostate cancer can help us to better understand how prostate cancer develops. These new developments could eventually make it possible to design medications to target those changes. Tests to find abnormal prostate cancer genes could also help identify men who are at a higher risk and those who might benefit from screening or from chemoprevention trials.

As of today, most of the gene mutations studied are from chromosomes that are inherited from both parents. Some research has found that a certain variant of mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from a mother, might also be linked to a higher risk of a man developing prostate cancer.

Additional Test Information

  • Test Information
  • Tests Performed In Panel
  • Should You Take The Test?
  • Order Test

Test Code: RP42
Synonyms: Prostate Specific Antigen
CPT Code: 84153, 84154
Specimen: Serum
Volume: 2 mL
Container: Red-top tube or gel-barrier tube
Collection: If a tube other than a gel-barrier tube is used, transfer separated serum to a plastic transport tube.

Storage and Stability: Maintain at room temperature

Room Temperature: 3 Days
Refrigerated: 3 Days
Frozen: 14 Days
Freeze/Thaw Cycles: Stable x3

Use: The Prostate-Specific Antigen Best Practice Statement: 2009 Update published by the American Urologic Association describes the use of PSA testing for:

- The evaluation of men at risk for prostate cancer
- Assistance in pretreatment staging
- Risk assessment posttreatment monitoring
- Use as a guide in management of men who recur after primary or secondary therapy

PSA, Free | Test Code: RB10
PSA, Free Percent | Test Code: RB11
PSA, Total | Test Code: RL44

According to The American Cancer Society 'Recommendations for Prostate Cancer Early Detection' available at the ACS Website:

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that men have a chance to make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after getting information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening. Men should not be screened unless they have received this information. The discussion about screening should take place at:

  • Age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
  • Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65).
  • Age 40 for men at even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age).

After this discussion, men who want to be screened should be tested with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The digital rectal exam (DRE) may also be done as a part of screening.

If, after this discussion, a man is unable to decide if testing is right for him, the screening decision can be made by the health care provider, who should take into account the man’s general health preferences and values.

If no prostate cancer is found as a result of screening, the time between future screenings depends on the results of the PSA blood test:

  • Men who choose to be tested who have a PSA of less than 2.5 ng/mL may only need to be retested every 2 years.
  • Screening should be done yearly for men whose PSA level is 2.5 ng/mL or higher.
Because prostate cancer often grows slowly, men without symptoms of prostate cancer who do not have a 10-year life expectancy should not be offered testing since they are not likely to benefit. Overall health status, and not age alone, is important when making decisions about screening.

Even after a decision about testing has been made, the discussion about the pros and cons of testing should be repeated as new information about the benefits and risks of testing becomes available. Further discussions are also needed to take into account changes in a man’s health, values, and preferences.