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A Summary of Possible Benefits and Risks of a PSA Test
POSSIBLE BENEFITS TO HAVING A PSA TEST:
1. A PSA test can provide some indication of a man's prostate health.
2. A PSA test may help 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 PSA test may seem normal and not help detect prostate cancer when it is present (a "false negative").
2. A PSA test may suggest cancer could be present when it isn't (a "false positive").
3. A "false positive" PSA test may lead to an unneeded prostate biopsy (tissue sample).
4. A high PSA test may find prostate cancer that is slow-growing and not life-threatening leading to unnessary treatment which could cause harm.