Details of prostate-specific antigen blood test
Prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system and PSA (prostate specific agent) is a protein produced by prostate cells. Prostate cancer is diagnosed with the help of a PSA test. PSA test is performed by taking a blood sample from the patient. High PSA range indicates cancer or inflamed prostate. So, when PSA test is taken, other factors that confirm prostate cancer must be taken into account as well.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. Though high level of PSA can indicate cancer, a healthy man without any cancer should have little amount of PSA in his blood circulation.
To prepare for the test, make sure your doctor is aware of the medication you are on. Some medication can tamper with your blood test and make your PSA range appear falsely low. Other than informing your doctor about the medication, there is nothing more you have to do to prepare for the test.
The PSA test is performed for these reasons:
- To check if the patient has prostate cancer
- To check if the treatments for prostate cancer are going right and if the cancer has returned
- To check if the prostate gland is normal or not during physical exam
Checking the PSA range may increase the chance of finding prostate cancer when it is at an early stage. But before you take this test, ask your doctor if there can be any negative consequences of the test.
The PSA test alone cannot diagnose the prostate cancer. One needs to get a prostate biopsy done to diagnose this cancer. Your doctor will consider your age, medication, ethnicity and other things along with your test to decide whether your PSA is normal or more tests are required.
PSA range is considered normal when it is 4.0 nanograms per millimeter or blood (4.0 ng/ml). Men who are in their 50s or are younger should have their PSA range below 2.5 ng/ml of blood. Older men usually have higher ranger of PSA as compared to younger men.
PSA test is important to know if someone has prostate cancer or not, but it is not foolproof. This is because there are other causes of high level of PSA such as:
Infection is prostate
UTI Urinary Tract Infection
Recent intercourse or ejaculation
Recent placement of catheter tube
Recent bladder tests