Prostate cancer screening
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK and accounts for 26% of all male cancer diagnoses in the UK
The London General Practice has reviewed all available clinical guidelines and discussed with world renowned experts screening for the early detection of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer can often be found early by testing the prostate specific antigen (PSA) level and digital rectal examination.
The PSA is a protein made by cells in the prostate gland, both normal and cancer cells.
PSA is mostly found in semen but a small amount is also found in the blood.
The PSA level in blood is measured in units called ng/ml and the chances of having prostate cancer goes up as the PSA level goes up.
Here at The London General Practice we use age-related PSA levels and also include the free to total ratio in our methodology.
Any patient with a free to total ratio less than 18% and a total PSA 2 or above is offered further investigation.
Get in touch to find out more information or book your prostate or testicular screen today
However, the PSA level can be influenced by:
- An enlarged prostate such as benign prostatic hypertrophy – This is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate that affects men as they grow older.
- Older age – PSA levels normally go up slowly as one ages even with no prostate abnormality.
- Prostatitis – Infection or inflammation of the prostate gland.
- Ejaculation – This can make the PSA go up for a short time and it is sometimes suggested that one should abstain from ejaculation for a day or two before the
- PSA is measured.
- Riding a bicycle – Some studies have suggested that cycling may raise PSA levels for a short time. This is because the seat puts pressure on the prostate gland.
- Urological procedures.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Testosterone increases the PSA.
- PSA density – PSA levels are higher in men with larger prostate glands.
It is also useful to have a measure of how the PSA rises over time and this is known as the velocity.
PSA levels go up slowly with age. It is found that they go up faster if a man has cancer.
What happens if the PSA level is not normal?
This does not mean that you have prostate cancer, but further testing will be offered.
This may be a repeat PSA or a specific 3T MRI scan of the prostate.