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What do high PSA levels indicate when no cancer is present?

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Quick Answer

High prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, levels occur for a variety of reasons including inflammation of the prostate gland, an enlargement of the gland or a urinary tract infection, according to Everyday Health. Additionally, medical procedures such as using a scope or placing a catheter can cause elevated PSA levels.

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Full Answer

PSA levels do rise with age, and sexual intercourse resulting in ejaculation can also cause a slight rise, states Everyday Health. Some studies indicate that riding a bike increases PSA levels, while other studies have not found a connection. PSA testing does have limitations, as a high result does not always mean a person has cancer, and a normal result does not rule out cancer, explains Mayo Clinic. Additionally, some medications and chemotherapy drugs lower PSA test results.

Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in men, according to Mayo Clinic. While PSA testing along with a digital rectal exam are tools used to detect cancer, neither test provides enough information for a physician to conclude that a person has cancer. Additionally, a PSA test does not provide diagnostic results in relation to the condition of a person's prostate. A person who has abnormal PSA results may undergo a biopsy procedure with the recommendation of a physician.

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