A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test is a way to check for prostate cancer.
PSA is a naturally-occurring substance made in the prostate gland. It’s found primarily in your semen, but your blood also contains small amounts.
Most healthy men without prostate cancer have PSA levels under four nanograms per milliliter of blood. If your PSA level goes up, so do your chances of having prostate cancer.
Men with a strong family history of prostate cancer should begin PSA screening as early as 40 years of age. It’s recommended that all men have PSA and digital rectal examination annually beginning at age 50.
Higher levels of prostate-specific antigen in your system don't guarantee that you have prostate cancer because various things can affect the PSA level in your blood.
Your PSA may rise due to various circumstances and conditions, such as:
If you’ve ejaculated recently, your PSA level may go up temporarily, so it’s best to abstain for a few days before having the blood test. Some studies even link riding a bicycle to an increase in the PSA level.
On the other hand, your PSA level may drop if you're considerably overweight. It can also go down due to medications you're taking, such as aspirin, statins, and diuretics. Even over-the-counter herbal supplements and some drugs used to treat BPH or urinary issues may cause your PSA level to decrease.
The prostate is the small gland beneath a man’s bladder that produces seminal fluid.
Prostate cancer that develops in the gland cells of the prostate is called adenocarcinoma. This type makes up more than 99% of prostate cancers. Less commonly, a kind of prostate cancer called sarcoma can develop in other prostate tissue.
The urologists at Summit Urology are skilled at treating all prostate conditions from mild infections to cancer.
Your PSA levels can fluctuate, and high numbers aren't always problematic. If your level appears high at your initial screening, your doctor may recheck it after four to six weeks.
Summit Urology offers advanced diagnostic tools to help your doctor diagnose prostate cancer. For example, the 4Kscore® blood test combines your clinical information with four prostate-specific biomarkers to provide a personalized assessment of your prostate cancer risk.
Depending on your PSA level, prostate symptoms, and the results of your digital exam, your doctor may perform an ultrasound or a prostate biopsy.
Call or schedule an appointment online to learn more about your prostate cancer treatment options through at Summit Urology today.