Prostate Specific Antigen Test

PSA Test Is Included in Basic Check-Up

When should you get tested?
Doctors’ recommendations for screening vary. Some encourage yearly screening for men over age 50, and some advise men who are at a higher risk for prostate cancer to begin screening at age 40 or 45.
Why PSA test?
The total PSA test  may be used to screen both asymptomatic and symptomatic men for prostate cancer. If either the PSA or the DRE are found to be abnormal, then the doctor may choose to follow this testing with a prostate biopsy and perhaps imaging tests, such as an ultrasound
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test: Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is highly specific for prostate tissue, and its levels may be increased in prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate). Mild to moderately increased concentrations of PSA may be seen in those of African American heritage, and levels tend to increase in all men as they age. Also, because many people with prostate cancer have normal PSA levels, diagnosis involves other modalities including biopsy. PSA is present in a free (not bound) form and a complexed (bound to a protein) form in the blood. Patients with prostate cancer may have decreased amounts of free PSA and increased amounts of complexed PSA.
Information about prostate
The prostate gland is chestnut shaped and sits at the base of the bladder, in front of the rectum and behind the base of the penis. It produces prostatic fluid (a component of semen), functions as a valve to keep urine and sperm flowing in the proper direction, and pumps semen into the urethra during orgasm. The gland is about the size of a pea at birth and grows until it reaches its normal adult size (roughly 1.5 inches in diameter) in a man's early 20s. When a man reaches his mid-40s or later, the inner portion of the prostate tends to enlarge, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
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