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What are the causes of fluctuating PSA levels?

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Quick Answer

PSA levels in men may rise due to prostatitis or a urinary tract infection, prostate biopsies and prostate surgery, states the National Cancer Institute. Conversely, lower PSA levels may be caused by certain drugs such as finasteride and dutasteride, which are used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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Full Answer

Prostate-Specific Antigen, also known as PSA, refers to a protein that is produced by the cells of the prostate gland, states the National Cancer Institute. The higher a man’s PSA level, the higher the chances of prostate cancer. Similarly, continuous elevation in a man’s PSA levels over time may be an indication of prostate cancer. However, there are other causes of high PSA levels, and so even men with prostate cancer may not have high levels. The PSA test is used to measure the blood levels of PSA. It is commonly used to check for prostate conditions including prostate cancer, states WebMD.

PSA levels may fluctuate up and down, and therefore, a repeat PSA test is recommended after six weeks instead of an immediate repeat or immediate biopsy, advises WebMD. PSA levels may vary across testing laboratories. In fact, research has established that about 50 percent of cases initially found to have high PSA levels had a normal outcome in a subsequent test.

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