The key difference between PSA diagnostic and PSA screening is that PSA diagnostic is a blood test carried out to detect prostate cancer, while PSA screening is a test performed to detect symptoms of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer in males. The prostate is a gland that lies below the bladder in males. Early detection of prostate cancer is essential for timely treatment. PSA or prostate-specific antigen shows elevated levels during prostate cancer. PSA is a protein produced in prostate tissues. Prostate cancer cells usually divide and make more PSA than normal cells, causing a rise in PSA levels in the blood. Prostate cancer develops with age, race, family history, diet, and inherited gene mutations.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is PSA Diagnostic
3. What is PSA Screening
4. Similarities – PSA Diagnostic and PSA Screening
5. PSA Diagnostic vs PSA Screening in Tabular Form
6. Summary – PSA Diagnostic vs PSA Screening
What is PSA Diagnostic?
PSA diagnostic test is a blood test to detect prostate cancer. The test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. Both cancerous and non-cancerous tissues in the prostate gland produce PSA. It is also present in the semen. Therefore, PSA circulates in the blood even in small amounts. PSA diagnostics are in nanograms of PSA per milliliter of blood.
Several limitations are present in a PSA diagnostic test. PSA-raising factors and PSA-lowering factors are common limitations. Besides cancer, PSA level also increases during conditions such as inflamed or enlarged prostate gland and with age. Certain drugs and medications treating urinary conditions, high chemotherapy doses, and obesity lower the PSA level. PSA diagnostic may sometimes show misleading results in a few cases. The presence of high PSA levels does not always mean cancer, and some patients will not have elevated PSA levels.
Potential risks of PSA diagnostic are biopsy issues and psychological effects. A biopsy may cause pain, bleeding, and infections in some patients. Psychological issues such as anxiety and distress also result in the presence of cancer and with false-positive results.
What is PSA Screening?
PSA screening is a test to look for signs and symptoms of prostate cancer in the presence of prostate-specific antigen. The aim of screening for prostate cancer is to detect cancers that are at high risk of spreading. This screening test facilitates early treatment. This lowers the chance of death from prostate cancer. Prostate screening is usually done in men aged between 45 and older. PSA screening is sometimes done with a digital rectal exam (DRE) to feel any abnormalities in the prostate gland. PSA screening detects prostate cancer early for proper treatment. A few side effects of such treatments are urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and bowel dysfunction.
PSA screening is done with specific screening guidelines to reflect a careful balance of benefits and harmful effects that may result in side effects. The majority of men with prostate cancer follow active surveillance. Therefore, diagnosis of prostate cancer helps to make suitable decisions in maintaining sexual health. Screening also indicates the risk level in cancer, whether the patient is at a high, intermediate, or low risk.
What are the Similarities Between PSA Diagnostic and PSA Screening?
- PSA diagnostic and PSA screening are carried out to detect prostate cancer.
- Both are detected by the presence of prostate-specific antigen.
- Moreover, both tests are carried out only among males.
- The tests help in the early detection of cancer and are subject to treatment.
- Furthermore, in some cases, these tests may lead to psychological effects in men.
What is the Difference Between PSA Diagnostic and PSA Screening?
PSA diagnostics is a blood test carried out to measure the amount of PSA in males, while PSA screening is a test carried out to detect the symptoms of prostate cancer. Thus, this is the key difference between PSA diagnostic and PSA screening. PSA diagnostic tests are carried out among males that show symptoms, while PSA screening can be performed even in the absence of symptoms. Moreover, PSA diagnostic is a direct detection method of prostate cancer, while PSA screening is a measurement of the severity of the condition.
The below infographic presents the differences between PSA diagnostic and PSA screening in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – PSA Diagnostic vs PSA Screening
Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer in males. PSA diagnostic test is a blood test to detect prostate cancer. PSA screening test is a test to look for signs and symptoms of prostate cancer in the presence of prostate-specific antigen. So, this is the key difference between PSA diagnostic and PSA screening. PSA diagnostic measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. The aim of PSA screening for prostate cancer is to detect the risk level of prostate cancers and risk of spreading and to find them early for special treatment.
1. “Prostate Cancer Screening: Should You Get a PSA Test?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
2. “PSA Test.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
1. “PSA-sandwich 3QUM” By E A S – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Diagram showing prostate cancer pressing on the urethra CRUK 182” By Cancer Research UK – Original email from CRUK (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia