A PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test is an important diagnostic instrument for detecting a chemical that could indicate the presence of prostate cancer. When the PSA result is elevated, a patient usually undergoes a prostate biopsy under ultrasound to establish a definitive diagnosis.
On the PSA test, a score anywhere between zero and four is considered normal, a score that falls between four and 10 is slightly elevated and anything above 10 is abnormally elevated.
The Gleason test is a grading scale that aids the physician in determining how aggressive a patient’s cancer is. The tissue removed from the prostate during biopsy is examined microscopically and is then given a grade. The higher the Gleason score, the more aggressive the cancer.
Anatomy of the Prostate
The prostate gland, approximately the size of a golf ball, is located behind the base of the penis, above the rectum and below the bladder. Its purpose is to secrete components of semen.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in men, however if caught in the early stages, the five-year survival rate is extremely good. Significant research has been done into new and more innovative ways to treat this disease.