The prostate is a rubbery gland located deep inside the groin between the base of the penis and the rectum. It’s almost the size of a ping-pong ball. The prostate is necessary for reproduction since it supplies part of the seminal fluid mixing it with the sperm from the testes. Seminal fluid is what helps the sperm travel and survive. Even though the prostate isn’t essential for life, it plays a big role in human reproduction. Semen contains enzymes like PSA and other substances made by the prostate and seminal vesicles like zinc, fructose, and citrate. These elements give the sperm energy to make the journey to the egg. PSA is also very important when checking for prostate health, and that’s what a prostate health test majors on {1}. Semen also contains other substances that protect the urinary tract and sperm from bacteria and other pathogens.

The prostate usually grows when males hit adolescence. It’s controlled by the hormone testosterone and its byproduct, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). While testosterone is made in the testes, a smaller amount is made in the adrenal glands above the kidneys. The prostate is an important part when it comes to reproduction.

What is a prostate health test?

A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test measures the level of PSA in the blood. The substance PSA is made by the prostate. Men who have prostate cancer have a higher PSA level in the blood. The PSA levels can also be higher when you’re suffering from conditions affecting the prostate. Higher PSA levels in the blood indicate an issue with the prostate that needs to be dealt with promptly. However, in some cases, there are people whose prostate glands make more PSA than others.

When it comes to prostate cancer screening, checking PSA levels in the blood always help conclude. When you get your PSA levels in, your doctor will conclude your results by evaluating other factors which affect PSA, such as:

  • Age
  • An enlarged prostate
  • Certain medical procedures
  • A prostate infection
  • Medications you’re taking
  • How quickly do your PSA levels keep changing

Sometimes PSA testing is accompanied by a digital rectal exam to see if the prostate has abnormalities.

How do you check prostate health?

Even though a Prostate Health Test may seem daunting and something to be afraid of, it’s not. To check for your prostate health, you must prick your finger, get a small amount of blood, and send this back to the lab for analysis. We recommend this Prostate Health Test that doesn’t require you to leave home. This blood test checks for PSA levels in the blood. Usually, men with prostate cancer have high levels of PSA in their blood. Even if you don’t have prostate cancer, high PSA levels in your blood could also indicate another abnormality in the prostate. Many factors can also affect your PSA levels; your doctor can help determine this.

When should a man check his prostate?

Men with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer should be screened as early as 45. Not knowing whether you have a healthy prostate without getting screened is impossible. Since prostate screening only requires a blood sample you can take at home and send to the lab, it is easy to accomplish. A prostate health check is necessary as it improves the ability to detect cancer early and treat it before it spreads widely.

Factors that increase the risk of prostate cancer

Even though prostate cancer can affect anyone, people are at a higher risk of developing this illness. The risks of prostate cancer include:

  • Age. Older males have a higher chance of developing prostate cancer, especially after 50, when the chances of getting this cancer increase.
  • Race. Black men have a higher chance of developing and dying from prostate cancer than other races.
  • Diet. A diet high in animal fats and low in vegetables can increase your risk of prostate cancer.
  • Inherited gene mutations. Gene mutations like BRCA1 and BRCA2 are associated with increased risks of developing prostate cancer and other types of cancers.
  • Family history. If your blood relative was diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 65, then your risk of the disease is higher than average.

What’s the advantage of a prostate health test?

It can help detect certain types of prostate cancer early. Getting your PSA results can help reveal prostate cancer, which sometimes spreads to other body parts. When you get early cancer detection, it gets easier to manage and prevent it from causing other problems and harming other organs in your body. Early treatment of cancer prevents it from being life-threatening. In some cases, early cancer detection means you’ll need less aggressive treatment reducing your risk of certain side effects like erectile dysfunction and incontinence.

Final thoughts on prostate health test

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Our Prostate Health Test

Men from age 45 need to get their prostate exams and health tests. Since getting older means an increased risk of prostate cancer, taking a Prostate Health Test as a precautionary step is necessary since it will help you know what’s going on in your body, and your doctor will help you analyse the results. Most men tend to be queasy about getting their prostate examined; however, since this is a blood test, you don’t need to worry about that. However, if the PSA results show that your PSA levels are up, you need to consult your doctor for further examinations, which may mean a prostate exam to help further nail down the main cause of high PSA levels. Not all times do high PSA levels mean you have prostate cancer. This test is necessary for all men, especially those with increased risks of developing this type of cancer.

References

Pezaro, C., Woo, H. H., & Davis, I. D. (2014). Prostate cancer: measuring PSA. Internal medicine journal, 44(5), 433-440. (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/imj.12407)