Prostate health

Prostate Health Test

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Changes in PSA levels are not uncommon in men as they get older and can be caused by a number of factors including a urine infection, an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer

Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a protein made by the prostate gland and is naturally secreted at low levels into the bloodstream. A raised PSA level may be a sign of prostate cancer, but is more likely to be a sign of another condition that is not cancer, such as an enlarged prostate, prostatitis or a urine infection.

In the UK, men over 50 years can request a PSA test from their doctor. Screening for PSA can be controversial as about 3 in 4 men with a raised PSA level will not have cancer and around 1 in 7 men with a normal PSA level will have prostate cancer.

The pros and cons of PSA testing should be carefully considered before deciding to take a test.


  • it may reassure you if the test result is normal
  • it can find early signs of cancer, meaning you can get treated early
  • PSA testing may reduce your risk of dying if you do have cancer


  • it can miss cancer and provide false reassurance
  • it may lead to unnecessary worry and medical tests when there's no cancer
  • it cannot tell the difference between slow-growing and fast-growing cancers
  • it may make you worry by finding a slow-growing cancer that may never cause any problems

The SELFCHECK Prostate Health Test is a simple and reliable 10 minute test to detect raised levels of PSA in a finger-prick sample of blood. If you have a positive result, speak with your doctor who can review your symptoms and arrange for further tests to find out why your PSA level is raised.

An independent published trial of the rapid test device at the Department of Urology, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany (Berg et al, 1999), showed that compared to a laboratory reference test, the sensitivity was 91%and specificity 84% with a cutoff level of 4ng/ml of PSA. Noted deviations were in the cutoff area between 3 and 5 ng/ml. The authors conclude, "The qualitative PSA one-step test presented here demonstrates good reproducibility. It can be conducted by the patient and is easy to use. The test offers a simple, feasible method for early detection programs for prostate cancer".

The SELFCheck Prostate Health Test is a screening test giving a yes/no answer as to whether your PSA levels are higher than normal and are not intended to be used for monitoring PSA levels.

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