Urology

PSA

Introduction to PSA

PSA stands for prostate specific antigen. It is tested using a blood test to help with the diagnosis of conditions such as prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate.

Written by Doctify Team 27/04/2020

What is Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)?

PSA stands for prostate specific antigen. It is tested using a blood test to help with the diagnosis of conditions such as prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate. The prostate makes PSA and a raised level may mean you have prostate cancer. However in about 2 out of 3 men with a raised PSA level do not have prostate cancer. They may have acute retention of urine, an enlarged prostate, of older age, have a urine infection, have acute prostatitis or may have recently had a catheter to help pass urine.

How is PSA performed?

The PSA test is a blood test, measuring the levels of PSA in your blood. If you decide to have a PSA test, your doctor will usually give you a digital rectal exam as well. A digital rectal exam will find out if the prostate is enlarged or feel abnormal. These two tests can aid in the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

How to prepare for a PSA procedure?

There is not much you can do to prepare for a PSA test. You should not have a PSA test in the following circumstances: If you have an active urine infection, have ejaculated in the previous 48 hours, have heavily exercised in the previous 48 hours, ave had a prostate biopsy in the previous 6 weeks or had a digital rectal examination in the previous week.

Any of the above can give an abnormally raised PSA result.

What happens after a PSA procedure?

If your PSA is not raised, you are unlikely to have prostate cancer. Usually no further action is needed, however you may need a repeat test in the future.

If your PSA level is slightly raised, you are still unlikely to have prostate cancer. However you are likely to need a repeat PSA test in the future.

If your PSA level is definitely raised, you will be refereed to a specialist for further tests. This may involve having a prostate biopsy to confirm or rule out prostate cancer.

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