How accurate is a PSA test in diagnosing prostate cancer?

One of the limitations of the PSA test is that PSA is not specific to prostate cancer. The PSA level can also be increased due to several other non-cancerous conditions such as benign enlargement of the prostate (BPH), inflammation, and infection of the prostate. Thus, a PSA test cannot discriminate between ‘benign’ prostate conditions and prostate cancer.

Another concern is that PSA cannot discriminate between more aggressive, clinically significant prostate cancer from one that is less likely to cause harm, i.e. clinically insignificant cancer. As a result many men are diagnosed with clinically insignificant cancer who may in turn be unnecessarily treated.

Diagnostic biomarker tests can overcome these limitations of PSA. They are specific to prostate cancer and more importantly the new biomarker tests (e.g. SelectMDx) can discriminate between aggressive and indolent cancer.

SelectMDx is a new biomarker test that determines the risk of finding aggressive prostate cancer on biopsy. If the test is negative, you can be 95% sure that you do not have aggressive prostate cancer and can avoid an unnecessary biopsy.

Read more about your options when you have an elevated PSA

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Editorial Board

Prof. David Crawford
Prof. E. David Crawford
University of Colorado, Denver, CO, USA
Prof. Alexandre de la Taille
Prof. Alexandre de la Taille
CHU Mondor, Assistance Publique des Hopitaux de Paris, Créteil, France
Dr. Giorgio Gandaglia
Dr. Giorgio Gandaglia
Department of Urology, San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy
Prof. Christian Stief
Prof. Christian Stief
Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany
Dr. Inge van Oort
Dr. Inge van Oort
Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands