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Prostate Anatomy

Prostate Enlargement (BPH)

Prostate Infections (Prostatitis)

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The PSA Test


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Basic Prostate Info. - Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), is a substance produced only by the prostate, and is generally accepted to be an indicator of disease, particularly prostate cancer. PSA levels tend to be elevated in cancerous prostates, but can also be elevated by prostatitis or an enlarged prostate, albeit not usually to the same high levels as with  prostate cancer

The Prostate Specific Antigen  (PSA) test  is a simple blood test typically performed routinely on men over fifty as a  prostate cancer screening test. It is not a highly conclusive test, as abnormal values can indicate problems other than cancer while normal values do not conclusively rule it out.  However, a high PSA reading usually means that there is some kind of problem in the prostate that needs attention. 

There is much controversy regarding the PSA test. Some believe it is responsible for an increase in survival rates for prostate cancer, while others conclude that it simply skewing statistical survival rates because of the earlier detection of the cancer. Or, in other words, is it improving the survival rate, or does the statistical improvement simply mean that men are living with knowledge of their cancer longer?

Typically, an elevated (abnormal) PSA leads to a prostate biopsy—a process where hollow needles are inserted into the gland and tissue is removed for analysis. This procedure can sometimes cause problems with large prostates, particularly if there is an infection present (prostatitis.) If the prostate is enlarged and the biopsy is negative, the diagnosis is benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, which means abnormal prostate enlargement without any detectable cancer cells.

This is where conventional medicine fails us. A patient with a benign biopsy is sent home, happy with his benign diagnosis, and scheduled for another PSA and/or biopsy in six months or one year. Little is offered in the way of lifestyle modification or nutritional advice. Thus, the criteria that brought about the problem remain unaltered, and the patient is blissfully unaware that his condition may be progressing, and that the next biopsy—or the one after it—may not have such a pleasant outcome. It is my strong belief that the time to address so-called benign problems is when they are first discovered—while they are still benign!

In my opinion, the term benign in BPH is a misnomer. Studies show that men with prostate cancer often have a history of an enlarged prostate (BPH) and/or prostatitis for several years before their cancer diagnosis. Thus, while there is no specific scientific proof that these conditions lead to prostate cancer, there is circumstantial evidence that they all originate from the same sources.

The same can be said about erectile dysfunction (ED), low libido and problems with having an orgasm. Many studies show that men diagnosed with prostate cancer had a history of ED or other sexual problems long before the diagnosis. The bottom line is that ED, BPH, and prostatitis—even though they are relatively benign conditions—are indicators that the prostate is not as healthy as it should be.

Rather than wait for such conditions to develop into something potentially far worse, it is prudent to treat these conditions early.

Typically, conventional medicine approaches the more benign prostate problems with medication to alleviate symptoms.  While this solves the immediate problem, it does little to correct the cause. I believe the best approach is to rectify the problem at its source using natural techniques to improve the prostate’s overall health. This may take longer, but the results are often permanent.

On the other hand, more serious conditions—like prostate cancer—often trigger treatments that could be classified as overkill. I have personally known several men who had small, non-aggressive prostate tumors, for which the treatment and its consequences were far more debilitating than the likely course of the disease!

Again, if your PSA is high, your prostate is telling you that it has a problem and you should address the problem, not wait for it to grow into something more severe.  Also, if you are over fifty, and you have not had your PSA tested recently, you should arrange for a PSA test.  You can see your doctor about this, or, if you prefer, you can order a test kit from this site to test your PSA in the privacy of your home. Click the link that follows to order a personal PSA test kit.