WHAT IS PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING?
Screening for prostate cancer consists of the digital rectal exam and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. In a digital rectal exam, a doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for lumps or abnormalities in the prostate gland. The PSA test is a simple blood test that determines the level of PSA – a protein produced by the prostate gland – in the bloodstream.
A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. PSA is released into a man’s blood by his prostate gland. Healthy men have low amounts of PSA in the blood. The amount of PSA in the blood normally increases as a man’s prostate enlarges with age. PSA may increase because of inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis) or prostate cancer. An injury, a digital rectal examination, or sexual activity (ejaculation) may also briefly raise PSA levels.