ABC6: Blood test can help diagnose prostate cancer early and save lives
When ABC6/FOX28 anchor Kurt Ludlow was diagnosed with prostate cancer, it was found thanks to a blood test at his yearly check-up with his primary care physician.
The blood test is called a prostate specific antigen test, or “PSA.” PSA is the protein that’s produced by the cells of the prostate gland. The test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood. The a blood draw is taken and sent to a lab to analyze. For men with prostate cancer, their PSA levels tend to be elevated.
In addition to the PSA test, physicians may also perform a digital rectal exam, or “DRE” to see if they can feel any abnormalities within the prostate.
If your PSA levels are elevated, your physician will discuss next steps with you. This could include additional tests or a biopsy, among other options. Talk to your physician to determine what is best for you.
At OhioHealth, we recommend that men get a baseline test for prostate cancer between the ages of 45 and 49. Prostate cancer typically occurs in older men, but can also occur in younger men. While early stages show no symptoms, a screening can catch it in its early, treatable form.
According to urologist John Burgers, MD, the physician who is treating Ludlow, “if you're gonna get a cancer, prostate cancer's not a bad cancer to get if you catch it early. Because if you catch it early, we have treatments that can cure the cancer and still have a very high quality of life afterwards."
To learn more about prostate cancer, click here.
In an effort to spread awareness for early detection through screening, Ludlow recently hosted a phone bank at ABC6, where OhioHealth cancer experts took viewer phone calls for 90 minutes to answer cancer-related questions about screening, diagnosis and treatment. Photos from the phone bank are below.