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Prostatic Specific Antigen (PSA) Test


The Prostatic Specific Antigen (PSA) Test is a blood test that measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood.

PSA is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland, which is located just below the bladder. The test is primarily used to screen for prostate cancer, as high levels of PSA can be an indication of this condition[1][2][3][4].

Key Features:
– Measures the level of PSA in the blood
– Can help detect prostate cancer at an early stage
– Results are usually expressed as nanograms of PSA per millilitre (ng/mL) of blood
– Quick and relatively painless process
– May be used in combination with other tests to diagnose prostate cancer

Uses of PSA Test:

  • Screening for prostate cancer in men after age 55 until they are 69 years old, as recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force[2]
  • Diagnosing prostate conditions, such as prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or prostate inflammation, if a man has symptoms or an abnormal prostate gland during a physical exam[2]
  • Determining the cause of a physical abnormality on the prostate found during a physical exam[1]
  • Helping to decide when to begin treatment if a man has been diagnosed with prostate cancer[1]
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of prostate cancer treatment[1]

Benefits and Limitations of PSA Test

– Early detection of prostate cancer, which can lead to easier and more successful treatment[3]
– Controversial due to uncertainties about the benefits of early detection and the risks of misdiagnosis[1]
– Can also detect noncancerous conditions that increase PSA levels, leading to unnecessary follow-up testing[1]
– Doctors may not always agree on the interpretation of PSA test results[6]

Preparation for Prostatic Specific Antigen Test

– Minor discomfort, such as a brief sting from the needle prick and possible minor bruising, during the blood sample collection process[2]
– Avoiding sex or masturbating for 24 hours before the test, as releasing semen can increase PSA levels and make the results less accurate[4]
– Informing the healthcare provider about any medications that may affect the test results[4]


Other Relevant Tests

  • Free Prostatic specific antigen
  • Your doctor may opt for a biopsy, based on the results of the PSA test.  This is an important diagnostic procedure especially when prostate cancer is suspected.



[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/psa
[2] https://www.testing.com/tests/prostate-specific-antigen-psa/
[3] https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/psa-test/about/pac-20384731
[4] https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/prostate-specific-antigen-psa-test/
[5] https://www.pcf.org/about-prostate-cancer/what-is-prostate-cancer/the-psa-test/
[6] https://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/psa

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Prostatic Specific Antigen (PSA) Test
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