What Is a PSA Test?


Quick Answer

A prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, test is intended to measures the level of PSA in the blood. Prostate-specific antigen is a protein that is produced in the prostate gland. This test is carried out by a doctor when trying to diagnose the presence of cancer.

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Full Answer

Most of PSA is found in the semen, which is also made in the prostate. An elevated PSA level in the blood could be an indication that the patient has prostate cancer. Further examination may be required to confirm the presence of cancer, as elevated levels of PSA is also associated with other health conditions, such as an inflamed or enlarged prostate. The decision to have a PSA test is usually discussed between a patient and his doctor.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common nonskin cancers and can lead to death if not managed well. Early detection and treatment can prevent the progression of the condition. Even though men with cancer usually have high levels of PSA, a PSA test is not enough to confirm the presence of cancer. Typically, it helps to identify any early symptoms and sometimes a doctor may recommend a biopsy, as stated by Mayo Clinic.

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