PSA (Total) DETAILS
A useful test to screen both asymptomatic and symptomatic men for prostate cancer
Our Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test basically consist of an assay to measure the total PSA level in the blood. To perform this test you will need to visit your laboratory of choice for the collection of a blood sample. Fasting is not required for this test. We also recommend you see the list of “don’ts” (below under the Test Background Information section) before going for your PSA test to help ensure your results are as accurate.
The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test is a useful test to screen men for prostate cancer, to help determine the necessity for a biopsy of the prostate, to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for prostate cancer, and/or to detect recurrence of prostate cancer. Also when a man has symptoms suggestive of prostate cancer such as difficult, painful, and/or frequent urination.
The PSA test and digital rectal exam (DRE) may be used to screen both asymptomatic and symptomatic men for prostate cancer. PSA is a protein produced primarily by cells in the prostate and most of the PSA is released into semen, but small amounts of it are also released into the blood. PSA exists in two forms in the blood: free (not bound) and complexed (cPSA, bound to other proteins). Laboratory tests can measure free PSA or total PSA (bound plus unbound).
For men who wish to be screened for prostate cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends that healthy men of average risk consider waiting to get tested until age 50. For those at high risks, such as American men of African descent and men with a family history of the disease, the recommendation is to consider beginning testing at age 40.
If a total PSA level is elevated, a healthcare provider may order a repeat test a few weeks later to determine whether the PSA concentrations have returned to normal.
Here is a list of “don’ts” to help ensure your test results are as accurate as possible.
Disclaimer: Laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as a "stand-alone" item. Test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental information/tests. The meaning of your tests results will be explained by your healthcare providers, based on additional information you provide them.