PSA Testing

PSA is a protein that is made in the prostate gland and can be detected in the blood.

PSA testing is used in the assessment of prostate cancer risk and its treatment.

PSA Testing
What is a Normal PSA Level?

There has been much controversy over what a ‘normal’ PSA level should be. As a general guide, we would expect a 40 year old man to have a PSA <1.0 ng/ml and a 70 year old man to have a PSA <4.0 ng/ml.

These numbers are only a guide and there are many other factors that we take into account when interpreting a PSA level. Some of these factors include:

  • The size of the prostate gland
    • The larger the prostate gland the greater the PSA level would be expected to be
  • Repeat PSA tests: how has the PSA level changed (or not changed) over a period of months and years?
  • PSA free:total ratio
    • Some of the PSA in the blood is bound to protein and some is not
    • The lower this number is the higher the risk of prostate cancer
  • Other factors that can elevate a PSA level include
    • Recent urine/bladder infection
    • Recent prostate infection or inflammation
    • Recent procedure on the urinary tract
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