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What should you do before a PSA test?

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Quick Answer

Individuals who are planning to undergo a prostate-specific antigen test should inform their doctors about any over-the-counter or prescription medication or supplement that they currently take, states Healthline. Some drugs may cause false-negative PSA test results, which occur when a person’s PSA level is falsely low. In such cases, doctors may have patients do a different test or ask them to stop taking the drug for a few days prior to the test.

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Full Answer

PSA is a protein produced by certain prostate cells, and a PSA test is a blood test that doctors use to screen for prostate cancer, explains MedicineNet. The PSA serum concentration normally ranges between 1.0 and 4.0 ng/ml. It tends to be lower in young men, as PSA production within the prostate gland increases with age. Aside from age, ethnicity and prostate volume also affect PSA levels.

The PSA test is not used to diagnose prostate cancer, clarifies MedicineNet. Although high levels of PSA may indicate the possibility of prostate cancer, elevated PSA levels also occur in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (an enlargement of the prostate gland) or prostate infection. Ejaculation, urinary retention, catheter placement, prostate examination and prostate biopsy may also cause PSA elevation. Diagnosis of prostate cancer is only possible through a biopsy.

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