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A Summary of Possible Benefits and Risks of a PSA Test
POSSIBLE BENEFITS TO HAVING A PSA TEST:
1. A normal PSA test may put your mind at ease
2. A PSA test may find prostate cancer early before it has spread.
3. Early treatment of prostate cancer may help some men to avoid problems from cancer.
4. Early treatment of prostate cancer may help some men live longer.
POSSIBLE RISKS OF HAVING A PSA TEST:
1. A normal PSA test may miss some prostate cancers (a "false negative").
2. Sometimes the test results suggest something is wrong when it isn't (a "false positive"). This can cause unnneeded worry or stress.
3. A "false positive" PSA test may lead to an unneeded prostate biopsy (tissue sample).
4. A high PSA test may find a prostate cancer that is slow-growing and never would have caused you problems.
5. Treatment of prostate cancer may cause you harm. Problems with getting erections, leaking urine or bowel function can occur.
Note: This summary was excerpted from the Urology Care Foundation (The Official Foundation of the American Urological Foundation) publication titled: "To Test or Not To Test For Prostate Cancer - A Shared Decision Between A Patient And A Doctor."