Over the last year or so, two WEEK employees have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. One of these is our own beloved weathercaster Lee Ranson. Another is General Manager Mark DeSantis. Though different in the treatment they received, both men are now healthy. Their good health and survival is due primarily to two factors: diligent doctors and the early detection of their disease by a simple PSA blood test.
This website, in partnership with UnityPoint Health – Methodist and the doctors of Midwest Urological, is dedicated to help, educate and inform the men of Central Illinois (and the families who love them) to maintain good prostate health and focus on awareness and the importance of the PSA blood test in early detection and survival of prostate cancer.
The PSA Test
The PSA blood test is considered the single most accurate test available for the detection of prostate cancer.
If the prostate is found to be diseased from enlargement, inflammation, or prostate cancer, the PSA level is generally elevated and the PSA test is the best way for that to be determined. Generally, the higher the PSA level, the more likely that a man has prostate cancer and the more likely that it may be aggressive and may require treatment.
When administered properly, the PSA test can detect prostate cancer in a curable stage in the great majority of patients. This website is a tool that can help anyone seeking information regarding the importance of the PSA test as well as a portal to other sources to help gather information for those who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
This website is intended to help men conquer the fear of this simple blood test that we know can help save lives. This site can be used to start the process of discovery regarding topics such as when men should start getting the test, and what to do if the results point towards prostate cancer. While the PSA blood test is not perfect (no medical testing can be), it is the best way we currently have to diagnose this disease in its early stages.
The Basics: What is a PSA Blood test an who should get one?
The PSA blood test involves drawing blood, usually from the arm. The results are usually sent to a laboratory and most often come back within several days.
PSA blood tests and digital rectal exams should be done every year for men beginning at age 50, and earlier (age 40) for African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer.
If your doctor is concerned that you might have prostate cancer based on either your PSA level or a rectal exam, a biopsy (a lab testing of a small amount of tissue from the prostate) will be this next step. This is the only way to positively identify the presence of cancer.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of prostate cancer, we would like to hear your story. If you have received a diagnosis based upon results of the PSA blood test, we would like to hear from you. You may do that on the contact us page.
Prostate Cancer Links:
Dr. William Catalona, surgeon, prostate cancer researcher and inventor of the PSA Blood test
John Hopkins Prostate Cancer research center
John Hopkins Prostate Newsletter and Research information
Mayo Clinic Prostate Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute