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New research by University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio suggests interpreting a popular prostate cancer screening test is far more complicated than doctors once believed.

Earlier men were told that PSA scores below a particular threshold were normal, while high results could indicate cancer. Instead, the risk of cancer rises steadily along with PSA levels.

About 75% of American men over 50 have had a PSA test. It is performed to find prostate cancer early in the hope that smaller tumors might be more curable.

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 232,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and about 30,000 will die of it.

The PSA test has long been controversial. No one has ever proven that the procedure saves lives. The PSA misses many cancers and leads some men to have biopsies they don't need.

William Catalona, director of the clinical prostate cancer screening program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, says doctors might develop a way to more precisely weigh a number of factors, including age, race, family history and obesity, to create more individual risk assessments.

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If your PSA is between 3-10 should get both a Total and Free (unbound) test. If you have free/bound ratio of 25%+ you are likely normal. Mine was 13% free and they found cancer at age 43. The Prostatic Acid Phosphatase (PAP) test below 1.0 is good (mine was .9), above 3 may indicate a tough cancer. I found the research at www.pcri.org
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