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Prostate Test (PSA)

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The Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test measures the level of PSA, a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. The PSA blood test is frequently ordered to assess prostate health, including potential for early detection of prostate cancer.. Most cases of early prostate cancer are found using a PSA blood test.

PSA is present in small quantities (under four (ng/mL)) in the blood of healthy men, but the presence of prostate cancer or other prostate disorders can increase a mans PSA level. According to published studies, men who have a PSA level between four and 10 have a 25% chance of having prostate cancer and if the PSA level is higher than 10, the risk of cancer increases to 67%. Rising levels of PSA over time are almost always associated with prostate cancer.

Prostate disorders and prostate cancer become more common as men age. The most frequent benign prostate disorders are inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) and enlargement of the prostate (prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)). There is no evidence that these conditions cause cancer, but it is possible for a man to have one or both of these conditions and to develop prostate cancer as well.