What Is PSA Test? How Can It Help To Detect Prostate Cancer?

PSA Test

July 24th, 2018   |   Updated on May 25th, 2022

PSA stands for Prostate-specific antigen which is a protein produced by both malignant cells and normal cells of prostate gland of male. As the name suggests, the PSA test measures PSA level in the bloodstream of a male.

The blood is drawn from the male’s body and sent to the lab for analysis. The one who has prostate cancer, the level of PSA will be elevated in the bloodstream. The test got FDA approval in the year 1986 and is used to detect the progression of cancer in male.

This test will be carried out at regular intervals when one is already diagnosed with the deadly disease. It is done to assess or monitor the progression of this ailment.

When used in combination with DRE or Digital Rectal Examination, it may even test asymptomatic males for prostate cancer. If there is any prostate symptom, the doctor asks for this test to find the exact cause of the problem.


1. Other Conditions May Also Increase PSA In The Blood

PSA Test

Other than prostate condition, there may be any benign condition resulting to elevated level of PSA. One of the prostate conditions that might lead to an increase of PSA level is prostatitis or inflammation of male prostate gland.

There may be the enlargement of male prostate gland resulting to an increase of PSA level. The condition is called BPH or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. A male can have all the conditions including prostate cancer.


2. Can PSA Test Screen Prostate Cancer?

PSA Test Screen Prostate Cancer?

Just like creatinine test helps to detect kidney disease, Prostate specific antigen test helps to screen prostate cancer or other conditions relating to prostate gland. It is suggested that a male must undergo this test each year after the age of 50 years.

The ones who have a family history of prostate cancer, they must do the test just after 40 years of age. Regular test is necessary. It should be done at least once a year. But, we don’t know what normal report is.

The PSA level in males varies according to the age. If the level exceeds 4.0ng/ml, then the doctor will ask for biopsy of prostate to detect if it is prostate cancer or not. So, anything above 4.0ng/ml is not considered normal.

However, in some males the PSA level moved below 4.0ng/ml and still they were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Indeed, the level of PSA keeps fluctuating and depends on a variety of factors.

Opinion as regards to normal PSA level varies from individual to individual. Anyone with elevated PSAs will be asked to do frequent DREs and PSA screening.


3. The Importance Of Early Tests

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If the test is done at the earliest and the level of PSA is elevated, treatment may be done at the earliest. Even prostate cancer may be cured if it is at the earliest stage.

But know one thing that the test report may falsely read a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. It is important to be careful.The test reports of PSA screening,TSH test and others speaks a lot about your health.

It is important to take such tests from time to time if there is any family history of thyroid disorder or prostate cancer.

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