A A A

What should you know about PSA testing?

30 September 2020

Early detection of prostate cancer can improve outcomes Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian men, but did you know that when it’s detected early, close to 100% of men will survive 5 years or more past their diagnosis?

How can prostate cancer be detected earlier?

Prostate cancer can be detected through the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. PSA is a protein made by prostate cells, and the test measures the amount of PSA in the blood. Small amounts can be found in the blood of healthy men, but a higher amount is a possible indicator of prostate cancer, or another health concern impacting the prostate.


A PSA test can help by:


 • Helping find prostate cancer early in men who don’t have any signs or symptoms of the disease
 • Confirming a diagnosis when other tests suggest prostate cancer
 • Predicting an outcome for prostate cancer
 • Planning treatment for prostate cancer
 • Monitoring people with prostate cancer who are being treated with active surveillance
 • Finding out if cancer treatments are working

Should I get tested to help find prostate cancer early, and when?

 • Talk to your doctor about your personal risk factors and make an informed decision about whether the PSA test is right for you.
 • If you are at an average risk of developing prostate cancer, consider testing from age 50.
 • If you’re at a higher risk, consider testing from age 45. Black men and those with a family history of the disease are considered to be at high risk.

This Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, help create a future without prostate cancer and support men living with prostate cancer. Learn more at cancer.ca.