Ensure an Accurate PSA Test
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis among men. An easy non-invasive blood test for the cancer marker “prostate specific antigen,” or PSA, is a useful diagnostic tool. But it
is not a perfect cancer marker. For example, up to three-quarters of all men with an elevated PSA do NOT have cancer, and about one-fifth of men known to have prostate cancer, have normal PSA levels.
To ensure the most accurate PSA count possible:
1. Abstain from sex for up to 48 hours before having one’s blood drawn. It has been found that ejaculation is associated with a temporary increase PSA levels.
2. Medical conditions, such as a urinary tract infection, can artificially raise PSA levels.
3. Avoid any physical activity for 48 hours that puts extra pressure on the prostate gland such as riding a bike or motorcycle, having anal sex, or undergoing a prostate biopsy.
4. Draw blood before a digital rectal exam (DRE). A DRE, where a doctor feels the shape and texture of a man's prostate gland by inserting his gloved fingers into the rectum, can temporarily increase a man's PSA count due to the pressure put on the gland.
Oncologist Stephen B. Strum is a proponent of these cautionary measures. “Given the lack of consensus findings on all of these issues, there is no downside to following these recommendations.” [Life Extension, Dec 2012] For more information, see the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s website at PCF.org and download a free 2019 Prostate Cancer Patient Guide.
Tanya Harter Pierce, M.A. MFT, is the author of Outsmart Your Cancer: Alternative Non-Toxic Treatments That Work. OutsmartYourCancer.com