Prostatic specific antigen for Prostate Cancer detection
Early Detection of Cancer
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) has been used for prostate cancer detection since 1994. PSA testing has revolutionized our ability to diagnose, treat, and follow-up patients. In the last two decades, PSA screening has led to a substantial increase in the incidence of prostate cancer (PC). This increased detection caused the incidence of advanced-stage disease to decrease at a dramatic rate, and most newly diagnosed PC today are localized tumors with a high probability of cure. PSA screening is associated with a 75% reduction in the proportion of men who now present with metastatic disease and a 32.5% reduction in the age-adjusted prostate cancer mortality rate through 2003. Although PSA is not a perfect marker, PSA testing has limited specificity for prostate cancer detection, and its appropriate clinical application remains a topic of debate. Due to its widespread use and increased over-detection, the result has been the occurrence of over-treatment of indolent cancers. Accordingly, several variations as regards PSA measurement have emerged as useful adjuncts for prostate cancer screening. These procedures take into consideration additional factors, such as the proportion of different PSA isoforms (free PSA, complexed PSA, pro-PSA and B PSA), the prostate volume (PSA density), and the rate of change in PSA levels over time (PSA velocity or PSA doubling time). The history and evidence underlying each of these parameters are reviewed in the following article.