Netdoctor & Patient Info

How accurate are prostate cancer tests?

Prostate cancer testing is heavily reliant on measuring prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, which can give notoriously high false-positive results. But why is this – and how can doctors diagnose the disease more accurately?

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, affecting one in eight men at some point in their lives. While survival rates are good overall (84% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer in England and Wales will survive for more than ten years), it’s really important for men to understand their risk.

The disease mostly affects men over 50, with the most common age at diagnosis being 65-69. It is twice as common in men of black ethnicity, and two and a half times as common in men with a family history of prostate cancer. Usually asymptomatic at the earliest, localised stage, it may eventually lead to urinary symptoms such as difficulty emptying your bladder, or needing to pee more than usual. If it has spread beyond the prostate, you may notice blood in the urine or semen, hip or pelvis pain, or unexplained weight loss.

Read the rest of this article at Patient

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