The Prostate Health test (Prostate-Specific Antigen Tota (PSA) is a blood test that is used to screen for the presence of prostate cancer. Because PSA is produced by the body and can be used to detect disease, it is sometimes called a biological marker or tumor marker. Prostate specific antigen is a protein found in the fluid portion of blood, called serum. PSA is specific to the prostate.
No other human tissue or body part can make it. PSA levels can be measured in an individual’s serum.
It is normal for men to have low levels of PSA in their blood; however, prostate cancer or benign (not cancerous) conditions can increase PSA levels. As men age, both benign prostate conditions and prostate cancer become more frequent.
The most common benign prostate conditions are prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH = enlargement of the prostate).
There is no evidence that prostatitis or BPH cause cancer, but it is possible for a man to have one or both of these conditions and to develop prostate cancer as well.
Prostate Specific Antigen $48.00
PSA is only present in men. PSA is present in all normal prostate tissue. The normal prostate cell holds onto most of the PSA. Very little leaks into the bloodstream. The small amount that leaks out is what is measured by the blood test. Prostate cancer cells actually have less PSA in each cell. However, the cancer cell tends to leak more PSA into the bloodstream. Knowing this fact, experts developed a range of expected values in patients with a normal prostate gland. The PSA value should be less than 4.0. This number reflects the belief that most men, roughly 95%, with normal prostate glands have a PSA value of 4.0 or less. (See below for age-specific normal values.) Almost any condition that affects the prostate can make the PSA rise.