Prostate-specific androgen levels increase for a variety of reasons, the most serious of which is prostate cancer, according to Everyday Health. However, the PSA level alone is not a reliable indication of cancer or even the presence of a serious health condition. An elevated PSA carries only a 25 percent chance of being the result of prostate cancer.
Prostate-specific antigen is a substance that the prostate gland produces, and a PSA blood test shows when this level is higher than expected or is rapidly increasing, explains Everyday Health. High PSA levels can be the result of either a prostate inflammation known as prostatitis, a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or a urinary tract infection. While all of these conditions require medical intervention, they are typically not dangerous. Other causes of a high PSA include medical procedures involving the bladder or prostate, recent ejaculation or simply aging. In these cases, the higher PSA usually does not require any treatment nor does it present any significant health risk to the patient.
When a patient with a family history of prostate cancer or other risk factors presents with a high PSA, a biopsy may be advisable, says MedicineNet. However, in many cases, prostate cancer does not require immediate treatment, and doctors commonly keep the cancer under active surveillance unless it becomes aggressive or grows.