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Employer wellness screening results explained - PSA

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States.1 However, as with other health concerns brought to the forefront of conversations during Men’s Health Month, prostate cancer is more likely to be in a treatable stage the earlier it is caught.

Early detection of prostate cancer often involves a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. While there are varying opinions on when to complete a test, many employers opt to offer optional PSA testing to male employees as part of yearly wellness screenings due to the growing concern over prostate cancer prevalence. While an official diagnosis of prostate cancer is based on a biopsy of the prostate, and not a laboratory test alone, screening for PSA may be useful in early identification of a prostate issue and prompt a screening participant to follow up with a medical professional.

What is PSA, and what do the test results mean?

PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland. A PSA test measures the amount of this protein in the bloodstream. Measured in nanograms per liter of blood (ng/L), a result of less than 4 ng/mL is considered healthy. The higher the PSA level, the greater the likelihood of prostate cancer.

An elevated PSA does not automatically indicate cancer, however. Other health complications such as urinary tract infections and inflammation of the prostate gland can cause PSA to increase. If a PSA screening result is elevated, the individual should follow up with a primary care physician to determine the cause of the elevated result, and whether or not additional testing is needed.

To see how Quest can help you tailor service offerings to fit the needs of your employee populations, contact us. 

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