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Monday, December 29, 2008

Effectiveness of Antibiotics Given to Asymptomatic Men for an Increased Prostate Specific Antigen .

I'd like to comment on this article, Effectiveness of Antibiotics Given to Asymptomatic Men for an Increased Prostate Specific Antigen
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PSA is a screening tool for prostate cancer but can become elevated by a variety of conditions, such as prostate enlargement, inflammation, or infection.

The prostate biopsy, or TRUS, is one tool in the evaluation of an elevated PSA.  Prostate biopsies are safe but can cause patients to develop infections with fevers after the procedure.  This complication occurs often if the biopsy is performed on a man with an undiagnosed prostate infection.

Prostate infections can be difficult to diagnose.  Sometimes, the only sign that one may exist is an elevated PSA. 

Urologists do biopsies in selected patients with elevated PSAs in order to detect prostate cancer.  Since infection can cause an elevated PSA in a man and such an infection would make performing a prostate biopsy more dangerous, it is not unreasonable to give a man a trial of antibiotics for several weeks and repeating the PSA.  If the PSA does not come down, then biopsy.  If it does, then patient and doctor can have another discussion and decide if a biopsy is still warranted.

Antibiotics do not treat prostate cancer.
PSA does not harm any body.

Good urologists use more than just numbers to determine whether or not to do a biopsy.

I hope this helps.

Dr S