Prostate Specific Antigen Test

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.

What is the need for a PSA test?

One may be prescribed a PSA test if they are experiencing signs of a prostate issue, such as

  • Pain or frequent urination (peeing)
  • Blood in the pee or sperm
  • Back and/or pelvic discomfort
  • You've been diagnosed with prostate cancer. PSA testing may be used by your doctor to monitor your condition or to determine how well therapy is working.

What happens during a PSA test?

A tiny needle will be used by a healthcare expert to draw blood from a vein in your arm. Following the insertion of the needle, a little quantity of blood will be collected in a test tube or vial. When the needle goes in or out, you may feel a slight sting. The collected blood sample will be sent for testing.

How to prepare for the test?

You must refrain from having intercourse or masturbating for 24 hours before your PSA test. Because releasing sperm can raise your PSA levels, your results may be less accurate. Additionally, certain medications may interfere with your test findings, so inform your doctor about any medications you are taking.

Understanding results

PSA levels in the blood are neither normal nor abnormal. The higher your PSA level, the more probable you are to have cancer.

High PSA levels might indicate prostate cancer or a non-cancerous prostate problem, such as an infection (prostatitis) or an enlarged prostate. If your PSA levels are higher than usual, your doctor may suggest further testing to determine the cause.

A low PSA level is a good result. In certain situations, a PSA level may be artificially low if taking certain medications and due to obesity. Discuss these with your doctor to know more about the results.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is PSA?

PSA stands for prostate-specific antigen. It is a protein produced by the prostate gland in men.

2. What is the purpose of PSA testing?

PSA testing is used to screen for prostate cancer or to monitor the progression of the disease in men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

3. How is PSA testing done?

PSA testing involves a simple blood test that measures the level of PSA in a male's blood.

4. What is a normal PSA level?

The normal range for PSA varies depending on the man's age. Generally, a PSA level of 4.0 ng/mL or lower is considered normal. However, some doctors may consider a PSA level above 2.5 ng/mL a cause for concern.

5. Can a high PSA level always indicate prostate cancer?

No, a high PSA level does not always indicate prostate cancer. Other conditions, such as prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) or benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate), can also cause elevated PSA levels.

6. Can PSA testing detect all cases of prostate cancer?

No, PSA testing is not 100% accurate in detecting prostate cancer. Some men with prostate cancer may have normal PSA levels, while others with benign conditions may have elevated PSA levels.

7. Can PSA testing show false positives?

PSA testing can lead to false positives (indicating cancer when none is present) or false negatives (missing cancer that is present).

8. Who should get a PSA test?

Generally, men over the age of 50 should consider regular PSA testing, while men with a family history of prostate cancer or other risk factors might need to start screening at an earlier age.

9. What is the cost of PSA testing?

PSA test(Prostate-specific antigen) costs approximately Rs. 400. It might differ depending on the place.

10. Where can I get PSA testing?

You can get PSA testing at Medicover Hospitals.

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