PSA is an abbreviation for Prostate Specific Antigen. PSA is produced by both benign or malignant prostate cells in the prostate gland. The PSA test was originally approved by the FDA in 1986 to monitor the progression in prostate cancer in men who had already been diagnosed with the disease. However in 1994 the FDA approved the use of PSA in conjunction with a physical exam, to screen men for prostate cancer.
There are a number of non-cancerous conditions that can cause a mans PSA to rise. The most common being prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) as well as enlargement of the prostate. There is no evidence that these conditions lead to prostate cancer, however, it is possible to have one or both of these condition as well as prostate cancer.
Screening for prostate cancer can lead to values that fall outside what is considered the normal range. This can be very concerning for a patient. In the past, most doctors considered a PSA level of 4.0ng/mL and lower as normal. If a PSA value was above this then the physician would most often recommend a prostate biopsy. Today, we know that some men with PSA values below 4.0 ng/mL may harbor cancer, while other with higher levels may have no cancer present.
If you are sent to South Land Urology for consultation of an abnormal PSA, you can expect a thorough medical history and physical examination. We will likely re-test the PSA as we know that PSA can fluctuate widely. We may offer further testing with urinary biomarkers to further risk stratify you prior to proceeding with a prostate biopsy.
We strive to make you as knowledgeable and confident as possible when making decisions as to how it is best for you to proceed.