Advantages and disadvantages of having the PSA test
Before deciding whether to have a PSA test, you may want to think about some of the possible advantages and disadvantages.
You can also discuss these with your GP or nurse practitioner.
It could reassure you if the test result is normal.
It can help to find cancers before any symptoms develop.
Treatment in the early stages could help you live longer and avoid the complications of a more advanced cancer (although there is no good research evidence for this).
You could get a normal result when there is cancer in the prostate, and be falsely reassured that all is well.
It could lead to anxiety if your PSA level is raised, even if you don’t have cancer.
It could lead to you having a biopsy, even if you don’t have cancer.
If you do have cancer, the test can’t tell you if it’s likely to cause problems in the future.
Bear in mind that, if you do have an early prostate cancer, treating it may not help you live longer and may have risks and side effects that can affect your quality of life.