- Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA)
PSA (Prostrate-Specific Antigen)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States, other than non-melanoma skin cancer. Your physician may recommend a PSA test to screen for early signs of prostate cancer. PSA is a protein produced by the cells of your prostate, a small gland just underneath your bladder, which circulates through your entire body at low levels at all times. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood. High levels of PSA may be associated with prostate cancer before any physical symptoms appear. However, high levels of PSA may also mean you have a noncancerous condition that’s increasing your PSA levels. A PSA test is sensitive and can detect higher-than-average levels of PSA.
However, a PSA test alone doesn’t provide enough information for your physician to make a diagnosis. Your physician can take the results of a PSA test into consideration when trying to decide whether your symptoms and test results are due to cancer or another condition. In addition to testing for prostate cancer, your doctor may also order a PSA test to determine what’s causing a physical abnormality on your prostate found during a physical exam and/or to help decide when to begin treatment, if you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer and/or to monitor your prostate cancer treatment.