PSA Blood Test

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test

The PSA blood test measures the level of Prostate-specific antigen in the blood.  PSA is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland.  PSA is normally present in minor amounts (less than four (ng/mL)) in a man’s blood but becomes elevated with the presence of a prostate disorder such as prostate cancer.  There is currently much debate over the use of the PSA blood test but  the test is still considered the most effective tool for the early detection of prostate cancer.

The Prostate Specific Antigen blood test is one that is recommended for men 40 years and older. Because prostate cancer sometimes lacks symptoms it is important for men to engage in yearly screenings. Along with the PSA blood testing it is also recommended that a digital rectal exam be performed. These tests for any tumors that might need further testing or review. If an increased level of the prostate specific antigen is found by the blood tests, it may require further testing. There are other conditions such as benign conditions and prostate disease that can lead to an abnormal level of the prostate specific antigen, without the presence of cancer.

Ranges & Levels Of The PSA Blood Test

The PSA test shows the level of PSA within the blood stream. The levels are reported in nanograms per milliliter recorded as ng/mL. A level less than 4.0 is considered normal. Those with level between 4.1 and 9.9 are likely to have prostatic cancer. A recent study notated by the National Cancer Institute suggested that 65 to 75% of men that had a level higher than 4.1 had cancer, but with a level less than 9.9 did not. The reasons for the fluctuations are other disorders such as Prostatitis, or the inflammation of the prostate, or Hyperplasia the enlargement of the prostate can cause fluctuations in the PSA levels.

Regular screening is recommended for males over the age of 40, but also for men that have a family history of prostate cancer. Other prostate conditions can also prompt physicians to recommend more frequent blood testing for males younger than 40 years of age.