By Leslie Deane, MD
As a young boy growing up, I saw two of my grandfather’s brothers be diagnosed with prostate cancer and develop metastases from it, and ultimately succumb to this disease. This was in the pre-prostate specific antigen (PSA) era. This was at a time when men were still treated with diethylstilbestrol, and treatments for advanced prostate cancer were not available. Had screening been an option at that time, they may have been diagnosed earlier and possibly not suffer the way they did.
PSA is an enzyme that is present in prostatic tissue, and its level in the blood can be measured by simple blood test. It is used to estimate a man’s chances of having prostate cancer based on its level.