Why Do Doctors Order PSA Tests?


Quick Answer

Doctors order PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, tests to screen for prostate cancer in men and to judge the efficacy of treatment for prostate cancer, states Mayo Clinic. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland, and a higher than normal presence of this protein sometimes indicates cancer.

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Full Answer

Doctors look at PSA test results for preliminary indications of cancer, but the test is in no way definitive, says Mayo Clinic. In addition to this test, experts recommend that men have a digital rectal exam once per year. This exam brings to light any swelling, abnormal shape or abnormal feel of the prostate gland that indicate a need for more testing. The final test to screen for prostate cancer is a biopsy of any enlarged areas of the prostate to determine if there is cancer present.

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