Prostate Specific Antigen (Free) PSA

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Overview
Interpretations
FAQ's
Prostate Specific Antigen (Free) PSA

Overview of Prostate Specific Antigen (Free) PSA

What is Prostate Specific Antigen (Free) PSA?

Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA is a protein secreted by the prostate gland which serves as a marker for conditions affecting the prostate gland including prostate cancer, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), and prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland). The PSA (Free) Test is performed to measure the levels of unbound or free PSA in blood.

Sample Type

The sample type collected for Prostate Specific Antigen (Free) PSA is: Blood

Preparation for Prostate Specific Antigen (Free) PSA

  • The sample should be collected before a digital rectal examination or rectal prostatic ultrasonography is performed and before or several days after the prostate biopsy.

Why Get Tested for Prostate Specific Antigen (Free) PSA?

The PSA (Free) Test is performed:

·      To identify the need for Prostate biopsy in patients with increased PSA (Total) levels

·   To differentiate between Prostate cancer and other benign conditions of the Prostate gland like BPH

Understand more about Prostate Specific Antigen (Free) PSA

PSA is a protein which is secreted by the prostate gland. The prostate gland is a male accessory reproductive organ, the secretion of which contributes to the formation of the seminal fluid. Most of the PSA produced is secreted in the seminal fluid along with prostatic secretions and only a small amount is secreted into the bloodstream. PSA is considered to be a tumor marker since its levels in the blood are elevated in prostate cancer and BPH, and it is used as a preliminary screening test before further diagnostic procedures.

PSA in blood is found either complexed PSA (bound to other proteins) or free PSA. The PSA Test usually calculates to the total PSA levels in blood including both free and complexed forms whereas the PSA (Free) test measures the levels of unbound or free PSA in blood.

Some doctors prefer to measure free PSA in patients with a total PSA level between 4 ng/ml and 10 ng/ml rather than subjecting everyone with an elevated PSA to a biopsy as it’s an invasive procedure.


What Results of Prostate Specific Antigen (Free) PSA mean?

Interpretations

The normal value of PSA (total) in blood is below 4.0 ng/ml

Total PSA levels roughly between 4.0 and 10.0 ng/ml are considered in “grey zone” and the probability of finding prostate cancer based on % free PSA in such cases is given below:


% free PSA

   Probability of prostate cancer

0%–10%

   56%

10%–15%

   28%

15%–20%

   20%

20%–25%

   16%

Greater than 25%

     8%


Some patients with a “normal” total PSA may have cancer. So, some doctors order both tests at the same time as a low total PSA and a low percentage of free PSA would probably indicate biopsy in these cases.


Patient Concerns about Prostate Specific Antigen (Free) PSA

Frequently Asked Questions about Prostate Specific Antigen (Free) PSA

Q. How is this test performed?
This test is performed on a blood sample. A syringe with a fine needle attached is used to withdraw blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm generally from the inner side of the elbow area. The doctor, nurse or the phlebotomist will tie an elastic band around your arm which will help the blood vessels to swell with blood and hence makes it easier to withdraw blood. You may be asked to tightly clench your fist. Once the veins are clearly visible, the area is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and then the needle is inserted into the blood vessel to collect the sample. You may feel a tiny pinprick during the procedure. Blood sample once collected is then sent to the laboratory.
Q. Is there any risk associated with this test?
There is no risk associated with the test. However, as this test involves a needle prick to withdraw the blood sample, rarely, a patient may experience increased bleeding, hematoma (blood collection under the skin) formation, bruising or infection at the site of needle prick.
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Wellness Pathcare

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