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Does the PSA test save lives?

For young men who have high grade cancer that are detected by PSA, and there are many of those, the PSA test is a lifesaver.

PSA testing has allowed us to diagnose "late" stage disease earlier.  While the prostate cancer is already incurable, the treatments for late stage cancer has improved the lives of many of these men.  No, we did not cure them, but earlier treatment of late stage disease may have prolonged their lives.

The prostate gland produces a protein called prostate-stimulating antigen, or PSA.

Often, PSA levels will begin to rise before there are any symptoms of prostate cancer. Sometimes, an abnormal digital rectal exam may be the only sign of prostate cancer (even if the PSA is normal). If you have an elevated PSA, your doctor may have recommended a biopsy to tell if you have prostate cancer.

PSA does not directly save lives. However, since the use of PSA testing, the death rate from prostate cancer has dropped around forty percent in some studies.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.