What is a Prostate-specific antigen?
Prostate-specific antigen is a protein produced by the prostate gland in men. It is mainly found in semen, but little amounts of PSA can also be present in the blood.
The PSA test is a type of blood test that measures the PSA level in a male person’s blood. The test is used to screen for prostate cancer and to monitor the progression of the disease in men who have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The high PSA level can be caused by a variety of factors other than cancer, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), inflammation, infection, or recent ejaculation. However, an elevated PSA level can be an indication that further testing is needed, such as a prostate biopsy, to determine if the cancer is there or not.
It is essential to note that not all cases of prostate cancer result in elevated PSA levels, and not all men with elevated PSA levels have prostate cancer. The decision to have a PSA test should be made after consultation with a doctor, considering individual risk factors and preferences.
The PSA test is typically recommended for men over the age of 50 or for men at higher risk for prostate cancer, such as those with a family history of this disease. The test may also be recommended for men with symptoms such as difficulty urinating or frequent urination, which can be signs of prostate problems.