PSA (which stands for prostate-specific antigen) is an enzyme made by your prostate gland. Your PSA level is measured with a simple blood test .
If your PSA level is high—or has risen significantly in a short period of time—your doctor may perform a digital rectal exam (DRE). Based on the results of the PSA and DRE, your doctor may recommend a repeat PSA or biopsy. If your test results suggest something other than prostate cancer, your doctor will recommend additional tests. Normal PSA range is 0.0–2.5 ng/mL for men younger than 49 years old, 0.0–3.5 ng/mL for men 50–59 years old, and 0.0–4.0 ng/mL for men 60 years and older.
PSA levels higher than these may indicate prostate cancer, or could be a sign that your prostate is inflamed or enlarged. How quickly or how high your PSA levels have risen are an important factor in determining testing and treatment steps.
A PSA test and digital rectal exam (DRE) are recommended for relatively healthy men aged 40 or older who want to be screened. Knowing your baseline PSA values to compare with future PSA test results may be helpful. However, all men should be informed of the risks and benefits of early screening, based on their individual situation.
Because there are so many factors to consider when it comes to PSA levels, you should discuss any elevated PSA test result with your doctor. Injury, infection, age, race and many other factors can cause abnormal PSA results. Your risk of prostate cancer depends on many factors, not just your PSA level.
Click here to download our comprehensive brochure on Elevated PSA.
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