Are you concerned about prostate problems? The MyHealthTest Prostate (PSA) Test Service is a quick and easy fingerprick blood test to check your PSA levels.
About prostate problems
The prostate gland is a male reproductive organ about the size of a walnut found at the base of the bladder. The prostate secretes the fluid that nourishes and protects sperm.
It’s not uncommon for men to experience prostate or urinary problems as they age (from about the age of 50).
Common prostate problems include inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis), prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men. There are about 17,000 new cases diagnosed and more than 3,000 deaths from prostate cancer in Australia every year.
Symptoms associated with changes in the prostate gland can include changes in urination (including difficulty, frequency, urgency or discomfort), pain in your lower back or groin, or fever. However, some men experience no symptoms at all.
If you’re experiencing urinary or related symptoms or if you have a family history of prostate cancer and this is causing you concern, you should talk to your local doctor. They will assess your particular symptoms and history, and discuss testing options with you. This will enable you to make an informed choice about whether to have a PSA test.
For more information about prostate problems, visit Andrology Australia.
Our PSA Test Service
The MyHealthTest PSA test is a simple, at-home fingerprick test that measures the level of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood.
PSA is a protein made in the prostate gland. A high level of PSA can indicate changes or potential problems with the prostate gland.
If you’ve discussed PSA testing with your doctor and decide that it’s a good option for you, our test service is a convenient, simple and reliable way to take the next step.
For our fingerprick blood test, we only need a few spots of blood placed onto a special collection card that you mail back to our Australian pathology lab. We send the results directly to you (via a secure online portal) and you can share and discuss these results with your doctor.
This fingerprick blood testing service is a confidential and convenient alternative to visiting and having blood taken at your local pathology centre. Our method of dried blood spot sampling has been extensively validated and is comparable to testing with traditional whole blood samples. So, you can rest assured that you’ll get accurate, reliable results.
If your PSA level is raised, your healthcare provider can discuss the options available to best manage your health based on your particular circumstances.
What will a PSA test show?
A PSA blood test can identify changes or problems in the prostate gland. It’s also used as a first-line test for prostate cancer.
However, PSA is not specific to cancer – a higher PSA result can also indicate other prostate issues, like an enlarged prostate or an infection.
PSA levels also increase with age. This means an expected level for a healthy 75-year-old may be higher than the expected level for a 55-year-old.
Other factors can increase PSA levels, such as recent sexual activity.
If you record a higher PSA than the expected level for your age group (provided with your test results), please consult your doctor.
What can affect the results of this test?
Vigorous exercise or sexual activity up to 48 hours before taking the test may affect your test results.
If you’ve had a urinary tract infection (UTI) or prostate examination, it’s best to wait six to eight weeks before taking the test because your results could be affected.
It’s important to note that blood test results from different laboratories can and do vary. This should be considered if you’re comparing your MyHealthTest results to those from other labs.
Who should not use this test?
This test is not suitable for monitoring prostate problems after treatment such as prostate surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.
PSA tests should not be used for:
- Women or children
- Men under 40 years who have no family history of prostate cancer
- Men older than 70 (unless recommended by your doctor)
Men should always make an individual informed decision about PSA testing based on the latest available evidence on the benefits and potential harms of testing.
Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about PSA testing or using this test service.
Using the PSA test during active surveillance
Some men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer may decide against immediate treatment due to the side effects of surgery and radiotherapy.
A PSA test every three to six months (along with physical examination and biopsies) can be used to monitor your condition. This will indicate whether the cancer gets worse and needs treatment.