More Awareness Needed for PSA Testing

I have called for wider awareness and a reminder system to be introduced for men to avail of the PSA test.

The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test is a screening measure to detect the early stages of prostate cancer, making it an important feature in making sure that we catch the disease as early as possible, however awareness of its availability remains low.

The PSA test, taken through a routine blood test can make the difference in pre-empting the development of prostate cancer, which will effect 1 in 7 Irish men at some point in their life.

While the PSA test does not offer a direct confirmation of prostate cancer it does prove an effective red flag for investigation which could result in life saving treatment.

There remains some issues regarding men’s comfortability when discussing matters of prostate cancer, I believe a reminder system for men over 50 to have a PSA test, as is done with some other cancer screening tests, can allay some stigma of requesting it.

Prostate cancer represents the most common cancer for men in Ireland after skin cancer and we must recognise that we can improve our detection rate by breaking stigmas and improving our systems in simple ways.

While this is not a silver bullet, it is another indicator that we can integrate into our system that has the potential to detect an issue earlier than would otherwise be possible, which as we know, is crucial in fighting cancer.

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