PSA Levels and Prostate Cancer
Most men over 45 recognize that PSA levels are related to prostate cancer. Yearly prostate exams and PSA level measurements significantly increase early detection and therefore result in better treatment outcomes and increased longevity.
What is not as widely known is that PSA levels vary depending upon age, health, and family history. A PSA level of 4 was considered normal under most circumstances. This number has now been modified.
For men between the ages of 60-65, PSA should not be above 3. This is especially true if the number was less than 3 in previous years and has increased.
If your PSA is not within normal range, you should consider a biopsy
unless you have a high prostate volume, prostate infection or recent urinary tract procedure. Dr. Kernion, chief of urology at UCLA, even believes that if a young man has a PSA of 2 and his father or uncle has had prostate cancer, then he should have a biopsy. Dr. Kernion found that 30-40% of men in this category had a positive biopsy.
Saturated biopsy refers to when more than 10, usually 12-20, samples are taken. By taking more samples, more accurate and reliable positive results are achieved. Statistically 30% of prostate biopsies done for 4-10 PSA ranges are negative. If the same group of individuals is biopsied with more samples (usually 10 to 15), there will be more positive results.
New changes in PSA readings and saturated biopsies will be covered in future editions.