I mentioned earlier that my FIL hasn't been feeling all that well. He's had several doctors check him out and they all say he's fine. His last appointment was on Tuesday and he was told that everything was fine (again) and his mood immediately changed. He's been extremely worried about what could be wrong. As a precaution, the doctor ran some blood work. Yesterday, the day after he was told everything was fine, he received a call informing him that the blood work showed elevated PSA levels. He's been told that his should run between 4 and 5. His current level is 8.6. He , my MIL and Hubster are frantic with fear so I did my part to research the results. I will also admit that I had no idea what a PSA level even was. Here is what I found out.
PSA (prostate specific antigen) tests began in 1986 as a way to detect prostate cancer before it spread beyond the prostate. Prior to the PSA test, more than half of the cases had already attacked more than the prostate. Since testing, 70% of cancer cases are caught while still localized.
The American Urological Society suggests that men start getting regular testing at age 50, and at-risk men start getting tested between 40-45. The breakdown on the levels and their indicated percentage of risk are as follows:
Under 4 ng/mL - normal
4-10 ng/mL - 20-30% risk
10-20 ng/mL- 50-75% risk
above 20 ng/mL - 90% risk
For more information on PSA testing and results, Click here.
Furthermore, it is suggested that a high result be retested after 4-6 weeks (not sooner). One study showed that out of 1000 men, only 50% still had a high PSA level after the recommended waiting period, and out of the other 50% that remained high, only 25% were actually found to have cancer. The reason for waiting is to avoid a potentially painful, non-necessary biopsy. To find out more about this study click here.
I've forwarded this information to Hubster and MIL and hope is does a little help to calm their fears until the next Dr.'s Appointment on July 7th.