Screens for prostate cancer in men; also used to look for tumor recurrence in those who’ve been treated.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL RESULTS AND INFORMATION PROVIDED BY HEALTH eLABS ARE INTENDED FOR GENERAL HEALTH INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. AS SUCH THEY ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR A MEDICAL EXAMINATION, AND SHOULD NOT BE USED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, PREVENT OR CURE ANY DISEASE, SYNDROME, OR CONDITION WITHOUT THE SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED PHYSICIAN.
This test can also be purchased as part of our Men’s WellCheck panel.
PREPARATION: No fasting or other special preparation is needed for this test.
What does this test do?
This test determines the concentration of prostate specific antigen (PSA) circulating in the bloodstream.
Why is this important?
Prostate specific antigen is a protein produced by the prostate gland.
The PSA test is widely used to check for prostate cancer in men who have no symptoms of the disease, and to monitor the progression of treatment in those who have already been diagnosed with it. Routine PSA testing is also recommended for men who are receiving supplemental testosterone therapy.
Establishing a baseline PSA level is important, because the rate of change in a man’s PSA level over time (referred to as the PSA velocity) may indicate the presence of prostate cancer as well.
What do the results mean?
Usually the PSA level stays within the normal reference range. An elevated PSA level can be caused by several conditions including urinary tract infections, inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis), enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH), and prostate cancer. Since an elevated blood level of PSA can be a result of many different causes, this test has limitations when used as a cancer screening tool.
That being said, since any PSA level of 4.0 ng/ml or higher, or a rise in the PSA level of more than 0.35 ng/ml in a given year (even if the total PSA level is below the normal limit) may indicate the presence of prostate cancer, it is highly recommended that any man with these results should be followed up as soon as possible by a visit to a primary care physician or urologist for further evaluation.