PSA = Public Service Announcement

Prostrate Antigen Test (PSA)

Dr. Jellyfinger I presume?

* Hello folks, the blog has once again been hijacked by Meredith’s husband

The one thing we have learned through our experiences in the hospital, chemo, and radiation facilities is that cancer does not discriminate. Cancer does not care about your age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or the fact that when you eat Captain Crunch you save all the crunch berries to eat last (ok, maybe that one is just me).

So todays PSA is aimed at the gentlemen in the audience. Ladies, you are not off the hook however, you need to listen up if you have any important men in your life – husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, boyfriends, just friends, cabana boys, etc.

PSA also stands for Prostrate-Specific Antigen test.

The common dialouge I keep hearing regarding men and prostrate cancer is not if but when we get this disease. You can be 80 years old or 40 years old. As with any cancer, early detection is the key to treatment and increasing our odds of living a longer, productive life. Family history can play a large part in your likelihood of getting prostrate cancer.

Case in point, I have a very good friend who is my age and has a familiy history of men having prostrate cancer. He made sure to have yearly testing and sure enough his PSA tests continued to increase until it was confirmed he did indeed have prostrate cancer. He went ahead with the decision to have his prostrate removed – he is 41 years old. Aside from having to sit on a donut shaped pillow for a few weeks he is now fine and cancer free.

So gentlemen, two things I recommend:

1. Get a physical. If you were like me the last time you had a physical was probably some time in high school/college when you were playing a sport. Well it is time to step up and get another one now that the hair line has started to recede and your verticle jump has decreased by about half (ok, again that may just apply to me). Yes it will probably be awkward and when the doc gets to the part where he manually checks your prostrate size, you will sing “Moon River”. Whatever, go get it done.

2. Go get your baseline PSA blood test. The recommendation is to have your PSA test starting around age 50. I say you start at age 40. Some insurances will allow an early baseline test. If they don’t I would recommend going ahead and paying for the baseline test to have the peace of mind of knowing the state of your prostrate. This test is around $125. I went ahead and paid for the test. The measurement reading for the PSA antigen is to be less than 4.0. Mine came back at .07. This at least gives me a baseline number. The expectation is that this number would gradually increase over time. However knowing the baseline number, I can be aware if there is a significant spike in that number and take preventative measures.

Thank you for your time. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.