Thinking about the PSA test
The PSA test, together with other tests, can help doctors diagnose prostate cancer.
It was my final decision, but it wasn’t a decision that I went off and made on my own. It was in combination with my family, with my wife and the GP.
It may help diagnose very early prostate cancer before any symptoms develop, but there are still questions about how reliable the test is, and whether treatment is always necessary for early prostate cancer.
Even when prostate cancer is diagnosed early, there is no guarantee that treating it helps men live longer. Prostate cancers may grow very slowly, and for some men the side effects of treatment may be worse than the effects of the cancer itself.
Most men with early prostate cancer will not die as a result of it; this is particularly true of men who are diagnosed in their 70s and 80s.
Some men may want to have tests for early prostate cancer and treat it if it occurs.
Others don’t want to know if they have early prostate cancer because they think that, on balance, having that information would do them more harm than good.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to having a PSA test. With the help of your doctor and the information in this booklet, you can make the decision that’s right for you.