Simplifying your lab experience
For the convenience of our patients and to save time & money, Five Valleys Urology provides an accredited in-house lab for urology-specific testing. Our lab charges are significantly lower than facility-based testing services. We offer prostate-specific antigen (PSA), testosterone levels (TES), Urinalysis (UA), and Urine PCR testing. Screening tests are an essential part of preventative healthcare. The tests we provide offer a tool to find certain illnesses or conditions in their earliest and most curable stages, sometimes even before you notice symptoms.
Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA)
PSA testing screens for levels and trends that might indicate prostate cancer. The screening process helps determine the necessity for further treatment, such as a prostate biopsy or monitoring the effectiveness of prostate cancer treatment. PSA testing also detects recurrence of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men. After lung cancer, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men. As many as 1 in 7 American men will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime, with most cases diagnosed in men 65 years of age or older. Some prostate cancers progress quickly and cause death within months or a few years, but most grow slowly and never pose a significant health threat.
When you have symptoms suggestive of prostate cancer such as difficulty urinating, pain, frequent urination, or other indicators for prostate cancer, screening is advised. PSA testing is also ordered during and at regular intervals after prostate cancer treatment; in asymptomatic men, after a discussion with your provider about the benefits and harms of screening (For specific details, see prostate cancer screening for Adults and Adults 50 and Up).
Testosterone Levels Test (TES)
Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in males. For adult men, testosterone controls sex drive, maintains muscle mass, and helps make sperm. During puberty, testosterone causes body hair growth, muscle development, and deepening of the voice. Women also have testosterone in their bodies, but much smaller amounts.
This test measures the levels of testosterone in your blood. Most of the testosterone in the blood is attached to proteins. Testosterone that is not attached to a protein is called free testosterone. There are two main types of testosterone tests:
- Total testosterone, which measures both attached and free testosterone
- Free testosterone, which measures just free testosterone. Free testosterone can give more information about certain medical conditions
Testosterone levels that are too low (low T) or too high (high T) can cause health problems in both men and women.
You may need this test if you have symptoms of abnormal testosterone levels. It’s ordered chiefly for adult men if there are symptoms of low T levels. It’s mostly ordered for women if there are symptoms of high T levels.
Symptoms of low T levels in men include:
- Low sex drive
- Difficulty getting an erection
- Development of breast tissue
- Fertility problems
- Hair loss
- Weak bones
- Loss of muscle mass
- Hair Loss
TES testing can help you and your provider in diagnosing several conditions such as infertility, Erectile Dysfunction (ED), and tumors of the testicle
Many illnesses and disorders affect how your body removes waste and toxins. Problems with your lungs, kidneys, skin, urinary tract, and bladder can affect the appearance, concentration, and content of your urine. The urinalysis laboratory test helps your provider detect problems in the urine. UA testing is performed if your provider suspects you may have a urinary tract infection, liver disease, or kidney disease. In some instances, your UA may be sent to an outside lab for culture. In some cases, your urine will be sent to our polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing lab. PCR testing identifies more bacteria than traditional urine culture in patients with symptomatic urinary tract infection (UTI).
We may want to do UA testing if you experience specific symptoms, including:
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
- Blood in your urine (hematuria)
- Painful urination (discomfort during urination that may originate in the bladder, urethra, or perineum)
Polymerase Chain Reaction Urine Test (PCR)
While urinalysis and urine culture are commonly used to test for a UTI, there is arguably no better or more accurate UTI testing method than the highly advanced Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.
The PCR urine test utilizes a technologically advanced process to “copy” a portion of DNA from the patient’s urine sample to identify the specific pathogen causing their UTI. PCR testing identifies which antibiotics may be most effective in treating UTIs and which antibiotics their bacteria may resist. A PCR urine test can be performed right in our office and typically offers same-day results, allowing patients to begin their treatment course almost immediately.
The urine culture has long been a valuable tool for diagnosing urinary tract infections. However, the PCR test offers several exciting benefits compared with a urine culture, including:
- In-office test vs. sending to an outside lab
- Same-day results vs. three-day results for cultures
- More accurate diagnosis
- Can identify a more comprehensive list of bacteria and pathogens
- Can evaluate for yeast, STDs, and other debris
- Identifies antibiotic sensitivities and resistances for faster and most effective treatment