Prostate is a walnut size gland which helps in production of seminal fluid and control of urination in men.
Prostate enlargement is a common problem associated with aging in men & is also known as Benighn Prostatic Hyperplasia.
PSA is a protein produced by normal as well as cancerous cells of the prostate gland. Amount of PSA present in the blood is used as a screening test for prostate cancer, but an increase is also commonly seen in cases of BPH.
PSA exists in both bound and free form in the blood. Total PSA is the total amount of both bound and free form of PSA present in the blood, while free PSA test tells us about the free PSA present in the blood.
Ratio of free and total PSA is a more sensitive indicator of the presence of malignancy as compared to total or free PSA alone. People with benign enlargement of the prostate have a greater proportion of free PSA as compared to those with malignancy. Additionally, PSA levels may change due to intake of antibiotics, a per rectal examination, a prostate biopsy or hormone therapy.
Always consult your physician in case of any increase in your PSA levels.
The Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test is a blood test used primarily to screen for prostate cancer and monitor prostate health. PSA is a protein produced by cells in the prostate gland. Elevated PSA levels can indicate various prostate conditions, including inflammation, enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), or prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Screening: PSA testing aids in detecting prostate cancer in its early stages when treatment is more effective. Monitoring Prostate Health: Regular PSA tests help monitor changes in PSA levels over time, assisting in the evaluation of prostate health.
Elevated PSA Levels: Higher-than-normal PSA levels may indicate prostate conditions like inflammation (prostatitis), BPH, or prostate cancer. However, elevated PSA doesn't necessarily confirm prostate cancer and might require further evaluation.
The PSA test involves a blood draw, typically performed in a laboratory. No special preparation is usually needed.
Question:At what age should I start getting PSA tests? Answer:The decision to start PSA screening and its frequency should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Typically, discussions about PSA screening begin at around age 50 for most men, earlier for those with higher risk factors.
Question:Can medications or prostate conditions affect PSA levels? Answer:Yes, certain medications, prostate infections, BPH, recent ejaculation, or recent physical activities like cycling may affect PSA levels. It's crucial to inform your doctor about any such conditions or activities before the test.
Question:Can a high PSA level confirm prostate cancer? Answer:An elevated PSA level is not definitive for prostate cancer but can indicate the need for further evaluation, which may include additional tests like a prostate biopsy.
Question:What if my PSA levels are slightly elevated? Answer:Slight elevations in PSA levels might be due to non-cancerous conditions. Your doctor might recommend monitoring PSA levels over time or additional tests for a conclusive diagnosis.
Question:Are there lifestyle changes that can impact PSA levels? Answer:A. Certain lifestyle factors, like maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and a balanced diet, may positively impact prostate health, potentially influencing PSA levels.
When discussing your PSA test results with your doctor, consider asking: