What is prostate cancer and the PSA test?
The prostate is located inside your body, above your penis.
Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate. Prostate cancer can be detected with a blood test. The blood test is called a PSA test.
The PSA test can show that something has changed in your prostate. Certain changes are not dangerous, whilst other changes can lead to prostate cancer.
The PSA test is free of charge.
When will I be offered a test?
Are you male and between 50 and 74 years old? Then you will be offered regular prostate cancer testing.
It can take a few years before you are called for testing.
Prostate cancer is uncommon in younger men. In older men, prostate cancer grows slowly and is usually harmless.
Therefore, only men of certain ages receive an offer to be tested.
How it works
- You will receive a letter in the post.
- Find out the advantages and disadvantages with getting tested.
- Want to get tested? Make an appointment for a blood test within a month. You can make an appointment at a primary care centre (vårdcentral) in Skåne or at a hospital in Skåne.
Primary care centres in Skåne
Testing at hospitals in Skåne
Don't want to get tested? Then you don't have to do anything. You will receive a new letter in two years.
- Take your letter with you when you go for your test. Give the letter to the healthcare professional and show your ID. For example, your ID card, driving licence or passport.
- You will provide a blood sample.
- You will receive the test results by post within two weeks.
You will be examined further if necessary. Otherwise, you will be tested again in two years or six years.
Advantages and disadvantages with getting tested
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There are both advantages and disadvantages associated with taking a PSA test. That's why you need to decide for yourself how you want to do it.
This could be good
It's easier to find prostate cancer early if you get tested regularly.
If the doctor finds harmful prostate cancer, you will be treated straight away.
Then the disease is usually curable, and you can get well again.
This could be bad
However, prostate cancer can grow slowly. Sometimes, the cancer never becomes harmful. In other cases, it can take many years.
If the doctor finds cancer, you will still continue to get tested. You will continue to get tested for many years, even if the cancer never becomes harmful. It can be hard knowing about the cancer.
It can sometimes take many years before you are treated. You may also be treated even though it is not actually needed. This is more common than the prostate cancer being harmful.
The treatment may cause symptoms
Treatment can cause different symptoms. Certain symptoms may improve or completely disappear. Other symptoms may remain with you for the rest of your life.
Here are some examples of symptoms:
- You can have incontinence problems.
- You may need to urinate more often.
- You may find it difficult to get an erection if you are going to have sex.
- Your poo may become looser.
When will I get the results?
You will get the results within two weeks. You will get a letter home.
The letter will include the following information:
- your PSA level, which shows your risk of getting prostate cancer
- when you will be able to submit samples again
- whether you need any further examination.
Call Prostatacancercentrum Skåne if you don't receive the letter. You can also call them if you have any questions.
If you have not been offered to get tested
Do you still want to get tested, even though you haven't been offered?
- First, read why getting tested can be both good and bad.
- Make an appointment at your primary health centre.
- You will see a doctor at the primary health centre. The doctor will examine you and decide whether you should be tested. If so, the doctor will also arrange for you to have the PSA test.
- Leave a blood sample at the health centre.
- You will get the test result from the doctor. The doctor will also tell you if you need further tests.
Seek treatment if you think you have prostate cancer
If you think you have prostate cancer, call your primary health centre.
For example, if any of these situations apply to you:
- You have difficulties urinating, or need to urinate more often.
- When you urinate, the urine flow, at times, has been slow.
- You’ve found blood in your urine.
- You’ve found blood in your semen more than once during a period of three months.
- It hurts somewhere in your bones, and you don’t know the reason for the pain. You also have not previously felt pain of that nature. You experience pain both when you are moving and when you are at rest.
If your relatives have had prostate cancer
Prostate cancer can be hereditary.
Do you have at least two relatives who had prostate cancer when they were younger than 75? Call Prostatacancercentrum Skåne for advice.