Does PSA Detect Prostate Cancer?

The short answer is, no. The PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a simple blood test that can indicate a prostate problem. Usually, after a man reaches 40 years of age his primary care doctor will do a blood test to determine if his PSA is normal for his age. But a “normal” and “abnormal” PSA values do not give accurate information because they are not specific for prostate cancer. In fact, a suspicious PSA can indicate noncancerous conditions such as aging-related enlargement, inflammation, infection—even lab error. Certain activities, such as riding a bike or having sex can trigger a temporary increase in PSA that has nothing to do with disease.

According to the AdMeTech Foundation, a non-profit sponsor of medical research, up to 15% of men with normal Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels still have prostate cancer. Even when PSA levels are abnormal, as many as 88% of men end up not having prostate cancer yet have had unnecessary biopsies and worried for nothing.

In addition, the Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) is not reliable for detecting prostate cancer. The doctor can only feel the surface of the gland closest to the rectal wall, completely missing small tumors located more deeply where most prostate cancer begins. It is neither thorough nor accurate.

BlueLaser™ 3T mpMRI: Early Accurate Detection

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If your PSA is elevated and your MRI is normal you may NOT NEED A BIOPSY.

If a high PSA or abnormal DRE raises a concern, it’s important to determine if a biopsy is needed. The next step is to obtain an accurate image of the gland both inside and out. Not even ultrasound can give the anatomic three-dimensional detail needed to detect prostate tumors as small as 4 mm. Our BlueLaser™ 3T mpMRI performed by our expert team gives the best available imaging. If BlueLaser™ 3T mpMRI rules out cancer, it gives peace of mind and avoids additional testing (e.g. biopsy). If, however, a suspicious area is seen, we offer in-bore MRI guided targeted biopsy using the fewest needles for the most accurate diagnosis available.

Remember: Early prostate cancer has NO SYMPTOMS. Early detection of a suspicious area results in better diagnosis, better treatment decisions and better outcomes.

MRI guided targeted biopsy

A real-time prostate biopsy done in the bore (tunnel) of a magnet excels over all other biopsy methods. Standard 12 needle TRUS biopsies miss 30-40% of tumors. In-bore biopsy with fewer needles is twice as accurate. Also, “fusion” is called “MRI-guided biopsy” because it fuses previous MRI images with real-time ultrasound, but this process compromises accuracy. Compare TRUS, fusion, and real-time in-bore MRI biopsies here.

Is 3T mp MRI – BlueLaser™ right for you?

“Knowledge is power only if man knows what facts not to bother with.”  -R.S. Lynd.

Our 3t Multi-Parametric MRI – BlueLaserTM empowers our patients by providing accurate knowledge about what’s going on in their bodies. You should consider BlueLaserTM 3T mpMRI for early detection before other testing if:

  • You have an elevated or rising PSA
  • You have an abnormal DRE
  • You were treated for a prostate infection or inflammation but your PSA is still high
  • You are on Active Surveillance
  • You have been treated for prostate cancer but your PSA is stable
  • You have a rising PSA after treatment
  • You are in a high risk category to develop prostate cancer (genetic or environmental factors)
  • You have not had a PSA test but you have unusual urinary symptoms

PSA: What’s normal, and what does it mean?

Age-Specific Reference Ranges for Serum PSA

Since the likelihood of having prostate cancer increases proportionately with PSA level, there is no threshold below which a man can be reassured that prostate cancer does not exist. In general, PSA levels greater than 4 ng/mL are usually considered suspicious. As levels increase above 10.0 ng/mL, the probability of cancer increases dramatically. However, not all men with prostate cancer have elevated PSA levels.

It is known that a small but significant number of prostate cancers can present with a PSA level of less than 4.0 ng/mL. This is why doctors may use lower thresholds to decide when to do a biopsy.

Excellence in Prostate Cancer Detection

The Sperling Prostate Center is a technologically advanced, patient-oriented practice dedicated to providing the most effective techniques in prostate cancer detection and diagnosis. Unlike the PSA blood test or DRE, our approach—utilizing 3T Multi-Parametric MRI prostate imaging—offers the best pathway to diagnostic superiority.

Take the next step today

Request your free consultation with Dr. Sperling, and we’ll work together to make the best diagnostic and treatment plan for you.

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