New research explains that a spike in the prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood may not be a sufficient way to accurately determine a prostate cancer diagnosis in patients.
Also, research showed that testing for these spikes may lead to the overtreatment of patients as well.
The National Cancer Center Network explains that men who notice a spike in prostate specific antigen levels should receive a prostate cancer biopsy, whether or not additional factors show a prostate cancer risk or diagnosis.
However, researchers believe this is unnecessary and leads to increased worry and tests that are not required. Regardless of recent PSA increases, if overall numbers remain low and exams show no danger, men should not be falsely alarmed, researchers explain.
The second largest death-causing disease in the United States for men is prostate cancer, as it claims around 250,000 lives annually.
For the study, researchers worked to determine whether or not PSA is an accurate benchmark to use as a prostate cancer predictor.
Evaluating over 5,000 men older than 55 years old, researchers looked at prostate biopsy data.
No noticeable link was present between a rapid rise in PSA levels and the risk of prostate cancer.
However, an overall higher PSA number did appear to be an effective method to determine a future diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Experts explain that PSA data alone is not sufficient to alarm men.