Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA) Serum Test
The Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Serum Test measures PSA levels in the blood to screen for prostate cancer or other benign prostate conditions.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Serum Test, which measures PSA levels in the blood to screen for prostate cancer. The prostate gland produces a protein called Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA), and increased PSA levels could indicate prostate cancer. However, high PSA levels may also signal a non-threatening prostate condition like an enlarged prostate or infection.
Typically, most men have PSA levels below four (ng/mL), which is the cutoff for determining if further testing is necessary to screen for prostate cancer. Although cancer is possible at any PSA level, most men with prostate cancer have PSA levels higher than four. For instance, studies reveal that men with a normal prostate gland on examination and a PSA level:
- Below four have a 15% chance of prostate cancer
- Between four and 10 have a 25% chance of prostate cancer
- Over 10, the risk of prostate cancer increases to more than 50%
It is essential to note that not all prostate cancer cases will result in elevated total PSA levels, and other conditions could cause higher PSA levels besides cancer. Moreover, for most men diagnosed with prostate cancer, it could take several years before any symptoms appear.
When should I order a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Serum Test?
Men over 50 are often advised to undergo yearly PSA tests for screening. Nonetheless, individuals with a family history of prostate cancer may opt to start screening earlier.
Individuals may also order this test if they are:
- Suffering from painful or frequent urination
- Experiencing severe pelvic or back pain
- If diagnosed with prostate cancer, this test can help monitor the effects of their treatment
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