Recently, there have been conflicting reports about whether or not men really need a common prostate cancer screening test called the PSA blood test. We met with Raj Laungani, M.D., director of minimally invasive surgery and robotic urology at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, to set the record straight.
“PSA is a blood test that stands for prostate-specific antigen,” says Dr. Laungani. “Antigen is a medical word for protein. It is a protein that is detected in the blood, and we as urologists and physicians use it to screen for prostate cancer.”
Most men undergo a PSA test after the age of 50 during their annual physical exam. For certain populations, the American Urological Association recommends that testing begins at age 40.
“There’s some controversy regarding the PSA blood test recently seen in the news, but it’s important for men to get it on an annual basis,” says Dr. Laungani. “PSA — although not a perfect test — helps us detect prostate cancer. If prostate cancer is found early enough, the cure rates approach almost 100 percent.”
Dr. Laungani recommends that men over the age of 50 or those who are part of an at-risk group get screened at their yearly physical.
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