Test Results & Interpretations
Overview of Prostate Specific Antigen (Total) PSA
This test is usually ordered when a man has symptoms suggestive of prostate cancer like difficult, painful or frequent urination, or it is ordered at regular intervals after prostate cancer treatment to see the treatment effectiveness. Sometimes it is advised in asymptomatic men as a screening modality for prostate cancer.High levels can be seen in prostate cancer although benign prostatic hypertrophy, inflammation of prostate can also produce increased levels.
Why Get Tested
- If you have symptoms suggestive of prostate cancer like difficult, painful or frequent urination, back pain
- At regular intervals during prostate cancer treatment
- For screening against prostate cancer, the American cancer society recommends that healthy men of average age should consider getting their PSA levels done routinely after 50 years of age
- For men who are at high risk for prostate cancer like those of African or American descent or a family history, the recommendation is that they should get their PSA done regularly after 40 years of age
- 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.
What Results of Prostate Specific Antigen (Total) PSA mean?
- If the level of total PSA is less than 4ng/ml, it is unlikely that prostate cancer is present
- If the total PSA levels are greater than 10ng/ml, their is increased risk of prostate cancer
- Total PSA between 4.0 to 10 ng/ml may indicate prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, or inflammation of the prostate
- During treatment for prostate cancer, the PSA levels begin to fall. At the end of the treatment, it should be very low or undetectable in blood. If the concentrations do not fall, then the treatment has not been fully effective
Patient Concerns about Prostate Specific Antigen (Total) PSA
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are their any precautions which I should take before giving my sample for PSA?
Rectal examination can increase the level of PSA temporarily. Therefore, the blood sample should be given before rectal examination.
Q. Will PSA testing detect all prostate cancers?
No, sometimes cancer does not produce enough PSA, then the test will be negative even when the disease is present.