Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA)
Why It Is Done
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is done to:
- Screen men for prostate cancer. Experts agree that PSA testing is not right for all men. If a PSA test is used for screening, it is usually done for men older than age 50 or for those at high risk for prostate cancer, such as men with a family history of prostate cancer, or for African-American men who have a higher chance of developing cancer than other men. Since other common medical conditions, such as Reference benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) Opens New Window and prostatitis, can cause high PSA levels, a Reference prostate biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of cancer.
- Check if cancer may be present when results from other tests, such as a Reference digital rectal exam Opens New Window, are not normal. A PSA test does not diagnose cancer, but it can be used along with other tests to determine if cancer is present.
- Watch prostate cancer during Reference active surveillance Opens New Window or other treatment. If PSA levels increase, the cancer may be growing or spreading. PSA is usually not present in a man who has had his prostate gland removed. A PSA level that rises after prostate removal may mean the cancer has returned or has spread.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology