Q:

How accurate is a free PSA level in determining prostate cancer?

A:

Quick Answer

Free PSA levels are not typically ordered as a stand-alone test. When evaluated alongside total PSA, free-PSA levels are a fairly accurate indicator of prostate cancer, according to Harvard Medical School.

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Full Answer

Total PSA readings alone are not sufficient indication that further investigation is necessary, according to the National Cancer Institute. However, men who have a total PSA reading between 4 nanograms per milliliter and 10 nanograms per milliliter should have their free-PSA levels drawn, states Harvard Medical School. If the free-PSA levels are at 10 percent or less, there is a 56 percent chance that cancer is present. The most aggressive cancers are typically associated with the lowest free-PSA levels.

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