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Prostate Cancer / Elevated PSA / Elevated Prostate-Specific Antigen / Elevated Serum PSA – Doctor and Condition

Elevated PSA can be detected on routine screening blood tests. An elevated PSA could be an indication of prostate cancer. Other reasons for an elevated PSA could be an enlarged prostate gland or inflammation of the prostate gland. The PSA test is a screening test for prostate cancer. Prostate-specific antigen is a protein produced in the prostate gland.

Common Symptoms and Related Terminology:

Description of the Problem:

Yearly blood tests of PSA prostate specific antigen are recommended by many physicians. There is some controversy over what age PSA testing should begin. The PSA blood test can detect elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen. The PSA test is just one diagnostic test used to detect prostate cancer. A digital rectal exam is also used to detect an enlarged prostate. A biopsy of the prostate gland may be necessary if an enlarged prostate is found along with an elevated PSA, or if a nodule (hard spot) is felt on the prostate.

Elevated PSA Causes:

An elevated PSA, or elevated prostate-specific antigen can be seen with trauma to the prostate, including a straddle injury, from insertion of a Foley (bladder drainage tube), or even can go up from recent sexual activity. PSA can rise as the prostate gets larger as men get older. It can go up with benign enlargement or with cancer of the prostate. Anything that causes inflammation of the prostate can raise the PSA, including infection of the prostate or bladder. A UTI will also cause the PSA to rise.

Elevated PSA Differential Diagnosis (What else could it be?):

Elevated PSA Evaluation:

Evaluation of an elevated PSA will depend on how high the PSA level is and what the physician finds on the digital rectal exam (DRE). Some doctors may choose to check PSA levels every 3-4 months. Sometimes a course of antibiotics is taken and then the PSA is rechecked. A biopsy may be ordered if the physician finds abnormal results on the DRE and/or the PSA blood test. A first degree blood relative (father, brother, uncle or grandfather) who has prostate cancer may increase your risk for getting prostate cancer.

Elevated PSA Treatment:

Treatment will depend on several factors. How high is the PSA, how quickly did the PSA rise, are there other factors affecting the elevation? An elevated PSA does not always indicate prostate cancer, therefore some physicians may choose to closely monitor PSA results, checking every 3-4 months or further testing may be necessary. Antibiotics are often used with or without anti-inflammatory medications if infection is suspected as the cause for the elevated PSA.

Elevated PSA Summary:

Elevated PSA or high PSA is a blood test that sometimes suggests prostate enlargement (BPH), prostate infection or prostate cancer. The evaluation will be focused on finding out the reason for the high PSA and once the reason is found, therapy is focused on that problem. After treatment, PSA usually goes down if the treatment was effective at solving the reason for the PSA elevation.

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