PSA is an enzyme healthy prostates produce as part of the gland's normal functioning. However, only small amounts of PSA are detectable in the bloodstream under these conditions. When the prostate enlarges due to prostate cancer or other conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia and inflammation, PSA levels in the blood also rise.
Urologists use blood PSA levels as a marker for increased prostate volume and generally recommend that men over 50 have their PSA levels tested each year. Before PSA testing was available, prostate cancer diagnoses occurred at later stages, making the disease much deadlier and difficult to treat.
Ms. Borohov will talk to you about your PSA levels and how your current health and family medical history may inform whether or not you choose to proceed with a prostate biopsy. Depending on various factors, including your personal preference, Ms. Borohov may take a biopsy while you are under either general or localized anesthetic. You will generally have fewer side effects if you elect for localized anesthetic.
If your PSA levels are higher than normal, Ms. Borohov may explain effective ways of lowering PSA without surgery. If she suspects PSA elevation may be caused by an infection, she may prescribe antibiotics. Ms. Borohov may also recommend or prescribe other medications under certain circumstances. Modifying your diet to incorporate more fruits and vegetables and less meat can lower PSA. Likewise, reducing stress and exercising more can also have a positive effect. If PSA levels remain high after these interventions, Ms. Borohov will likely recommend a biopsy.
Fluctuations in PSA levels over time are normal. A single high PSA test alone doesn't mean you're at risk for prostate cancer: Consistently high results, though, do signal a possible problem. Another thing to keep in mind is that many men develop prostate cancer without ever getting sick. Why? Because most prostate cancers are very slow growing. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't take care of yourself. Prostate cancer is occasionally very aggressive, which is why markers like PSA need to be monitored.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!