Elevated PSA

What Is Elevated PSA?

PSA (prostate-specific antigen) is a protein produced by the prostate gland. When your prostate functions correctly, you will have a “normal” amount of PSA in your bloodstream.

Normal PSA levels vary based on your age. If you have an elevated PSA level, you may have a condition affecting your prostate.

Elevated PSA can be a sign of several prostate conditions, including:

  • Enlarged prostate
  • Infection
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostate inflammation

Elevated PSA Symptoms

Men with elevated PSA are often asymptomatic, but some men with elevated PSA experience:

  • Difficult or frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Pelvic pain
  • Weak or slow urine stream

PSA Testing

Doctors use simple blood tests to detect elevated PSA levels. PSA testing is used to screen for prostate cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends that all men talk with their doctor about PSA testing. Discussions should take place at various ages, depending on your prostate cancer risk.

  • Age 40 for men with more than one first-degree relative with an early (under 65) prostate cancer diagnosis
  • Age 45 for African-American men and men with a first-degree relative with an early prostate cancer diagnosis
  • Age 50 for men at an average risk for prostate cancer

An elevated PSA result is not a diagnosis of prostate cancer. However, it alerts your doctor that a closer evaluation is needed. Additional tests that could be used following an elevated PSA result include:

  • Repeat PSA testing with Free PSA component
  • Prostate MRI
  • Prostate biopsy

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