Prostate-specific antigen is a protein found in the blood that may be elevated in individuals with prostate cancer. However, screening healthy men for early prostate cancer with PSA tests is controversial and no longer recommended by many doctors, says the National Cancer Institute.
A study determined that screening with PSA tests did not reduce men's likelihood of dying from prostate cancer and may result in men requiring unnecessary medical treatment for nonaggressive prostate tumors, according to the National Cancer Institute. Regardless, PSA tests are still covered by many insurance policies. PSA tests are believed to be useful for monitoring disease burden in patients who are receiving treatment for prostate cancer, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.