What is a Prostate Test?
Our prostate test is a blood test which can be conducted from the convenience of your own home. We will send you a blood collection kit so that you can collect a small sample of blood and send it off for testing. Please click here to see a video that explains how to collect the blood sample and send it off. A leaflet explaining what to do is also available here. It’s a simple painless process that takes less than 5 minutes.
When collecting the blood sample it's important to avoid squeezing the finger to get the blood to flow. This can cause haemolysis of the sample and make it useless for testing. Please follow the instructions on the leaflet provided carefully and remember the following tips:
- Do not squeeze the finger when collecting the blood sample. A good firm prick from the lancet is needed, and then take your time.
- Warm the hand before sample collection, this can help a great deal.
- Use the little finger and gently milk the hand rather than squeezing the finger.
- Stand up when collecting the blood sample, as this can really assist blood flow.
The prostate test measures total levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. PSA is an enzyme secreted by the prostate. It is present at low levels in the blood of men with healthy prostates, but is often elevated in men with prostate cancer or other prostate problems.
Why should I have a Prostate Test?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in countries of the developed world. Globally it is the second most common type of cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death in men. It is more common in older men, with the vast majority of cases occurring in the over 50s. As prostate cancer is so common, it’s important to be able to test for it. A digital rectal examination of the prostate is the best test for prostate abnormality, but a PSA test can also indicate if there may be a problem.
The treatment of low levels of testosterone with testosterone replacement therapy can exacerbate prostate cancer as the testosterone can cause the cancer to grow more quickly. As a result, it is sensible to monitor PSA levels when testosterone replacement therapy is being used. This is why we recommend a prostate test for patients we treat with testosterone replacement therapy.
The results of the test will be sent to the “Test Results” area of your Pharmacy2U Online Doctor account. You will be notified by email when the results are there, and the doctor will also be notified of the results.
The result will tell you the level of total PSA in your blood, and it will indicate the normal levels and indicate if your result falls within the normal range.
Raised levels of PSA are not a perfect indicator that a man has prostate cancer, as levels can be elevated by a number of other factors such as the presence of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or a prostate infection. Physical trauma or frequent recent sexual activity can also result in a raised PSA level. As a result it has been estimated that only 30% of men with elevated PSA are diagnosed as having prostate cancer by subsequent biopsy.
If we do find abnormal levels, the doctor will get in touch with you to recommend the appropriate course of action.
Please note: These can not be sent overseas, only to UK residential addresses.