PSA and PSA tests are medical terms related to the male prostate gland. Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by cells in a man's prostate gland. The level of this antigen present in the prostate gland can be measured by a simple blood test.
Many physicians consider the PSA test a valuable tool to aid in the early detection of prostate cancer and to monitor the results of treatment approaches to its cure.
Generally, the accepted guidelines for a normal PSA test are 0-4 nanograms. Test results between 4 and 10 are most likely to be associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a nonmalignant enlargement of the prostate, which is common in men over 40 years of age, or prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate.
A PSA level over 10 is thought to be high and suggests further evaluation for possible prostate cancer.
Although the highest PSA values are generally found in advanced stages of prostate cancer, there have been reports of very high values as a result of vigorous stimulation of the prostate, as might occur in a long bike ride. Thus, high PSA readings are not always indicative of prostatitis or prostate cancer. A high PSA level merely indicates additional evaluation should be undertaken.
PSA Levels: Age-Dependent
PSA levels are known to be age-dependent, and deviation from the average range for one's age group may represent a normal deviation and may or may not be indicative of any disease of the prostate gland.
Copyright 2002 Sinclair Intimacy Institute