PSA Analysis: What Is It And What Is It For?

PSA Analysis

The origin of these prostate problems can be diverse, it doesn’t always have to be cancer. Early diagnosis is vital to gain quality of life and time to the problem. Today, there are two main tests for the specific diagnosis of prostate cancer: rectal touch and the prostate antigen-specific in the blood or PSA. Today we will explain what the PSA analysis is and what it is for, when it is recommended and how to interpret the results.

Prostate cancer, according to data from the AECC Cancer Observatory, is the most common cancer in men and the third in mortality. The prostate is a male gland under the bladder. In its normal state, it is the size of a walnut. What’s the prostate for? Along with the testicles and seminal vesicles, they are responsible for producing semen.

This gland can get sick and cause an excessive increase in its size, causing in man various urinary disorders (difficulty in urination, urinary incontinence, greater frequency of desire to mimic, and greater pressure, among others).

What It Is And What It Is For?

But what exactly is PSA? Prostate-specific antigen or P30 antigen (it also receives other scientific names such as kallikrein III, seminin, semenogelase, γ seminoprotein) is a type of glycoprotein that only the prostate can synthesize. And what is it for? Its function is to dissolve the seminal clot.

In this process, a tiny part of the protein can reach the blood. If the size of the prostate gland increases, the production of this protein is also increased and therefore increases the presence of this protein in the blood. Hence the use of PSA analysis as one of the most important biomarkers of prostate cancer.

The reader must be clear that PSA is a prostate-specific protein and not a protein that causes cancer. The prostate always produces PSA, only the increase of this without a controlled explanation can give the urologist a first indication of the presence of prostate cancer. Not all increases in protein production involve cancerous dysfunction in the gland.

Thus, when intense exercise is performed, especially cycling, a greater presence in the blood of the molecule is possible; the same is true of the moment after ejaculation, or when part of the tissue or mucosa has been extracted to perform a biopsy. Even if you’ve been put in a urinary probe, your body may react by increasing the PSA.

PSA Analysis For Other Prostate Diseases

In addition to prostate cancer, the presence of high PSA in the patient’s blood can be symptomatic of other types of pathologies such as benign processes, prostatitis or inflammation of the prostate, or benign hyperplasia of the prostate, which is the enlargement of the same natural over the years.

Also in cases of urinary tract infection, a substantial increase in the presence of PSA in the blood may be recorded.

How You Make A PSA?

At the time of the consultation to do a PSA or prostate-specific antigen analysis, the doctor will first ask you a series of questions aimed at further knowing your urological situation, with special emphasis on how it pees. The same appointment may be agreed with the patient to perform a rectal touch to confirm possible suspicions of the presence of dysfunction, cancer, or not.

In the days leading up to PSA analytics, it is important not to perform any intense physical exercise that can affect PSA data in the blood (do 60 kilometers by bike, for example). If rectal touch has occurred after the consultation and before the analytical test, the physician should be notified, as invalidated data may be reported.

Do I have to go fast? In this sense, the routine is the same as in any other type of analytics.

Risks and Limitations of PSA Analysis For Early Detection of Prostate Cancer

Although it has been taken as a reference over the past 20 years for the early detection of prostate cancer, the debate over its usefulness and prevalence is still alive. The PSA test presents a high rate of false positives and false negatives that affect its reliability. Hence it is almost always used in conjunction with the straight touch test, more uncomfortable but more reliable.

More and more specialists are denying this type of diagnostic analysis when it comes to patients who have no symptoms or have a history of the disease. Moreover, there have been cases of men with prostate cancer whose blood PSA levels are normal.

When To Make A PSA?

So, when is it advisable to submit the PSA analysis? What the scientific community does agree on is to recommend rectal touch first and then the PSA test when you have against prostate cancer risk factors such as having a family history, being black or African American, or being over 50. It is also recommended when urinating discomfort is perceived, the frequency and intensity with which you have to go to urinate is increased. Less common symptoms are back pain or acute discomfort in the pelvis.

PSA tests are also used to control the effect of prostate cancer treatment.

If it has been subjected to a rectal touch and has resulted in the presence of hard areas or a considerable size. If the presence of carcinogenic elements has already been confirmed by biopsy, PSA tests allow us to know if there are ramifications, and even as a control of possible rebounds.

How To Interpret The Results?

The results of PSA analyses are not immediate. It can even take several weeks. What are the results that this test can yield? Remember that above-average blood PSA levels may or may not indicate cancer.

Depending on age, values considered and agreed to be normal or standardized or others have been established at the ends.

So when blood PSA levels are below 4 ng/mL in blood, there is no change in the gland. Eye, it doesn’t mean that the presence of carcinogenic elements is completely discarded.

When the PSA exceeds 10 ng/mL, the alarms begin to be turned on, especially if there is no activity on the part of the patient who may have altered the results.

The biggest problem lies precisely in the strip that goes to each of the extremes: it is not conclusive, but indicates that something is activating the growth of the gland.