Prostate specific antigen test is a diagnostic test that is used in the diagnosis and monitoring of prostate cancer. High levels of prostate antigen level may indicate that you have prostate cancer. If you have an elevated PSA level then your doctor may order additional tests for confirmation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
What is Prostate specific antigen level?
Prostate is a reproductive gland underneath the bladder which produces semen. Semen or seminal fluid which transfers sperm from the testicles through the penis at the time of ejaculation. Prostate specific antigen is a type of protein which is produced by the cells of the prostate. Generally the prostate releases a little amount of PSA, and high levels of this protein may indicate complications in the prostate.
What is a prostate specific antigen test?
A prostate specific antigen test is a blood test that measures the amount of prostate specific antigen in the blood sample. This test is very sensitive and can detect higher than normal levels of PSA. An elevated level does not always indicate a prostate cancer, many non cancerous conditions can also accuse high PSA levels.
Only a PSA test is not helpful enough to diagnose prostate cancer. Your doctor might order a digital rectal exam along with this test to analyze the condition.
What are the purposes of the PSA test?
Our prostate gland produces prostate specific antigen which helps semen in playing an important role in fertility. A healthy amount of PSA generally circulates throughout the body. However, high levels can be an indication of complications in the prostate gland.
Multiple prostate conditions can increase the PSA levels. Doctors generally recommends this test for several reasons, such as:
- For diagnosis: If you are experiencing symptoms of prostate conditions then your doctor may recommend this test. They might also recommend this test if they detect an abnormality in the physical exam. A high level may indicate that you have a prostate condition, including prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia.
- To monitor the condition: Doctors use this test periodically during cancer treatment. This will help the doctors to understand whether treatment is working for you or not.
What does this test measure?
This specific test measures the quantity of prostate specific antigen in the blood sample. Usually the level is measured in nanograms per milliliter.
When should I get this test?
Doctors generally recommend getting a PSA test if you are at high risk of developing prostate cancer and having symptoms of prostate cancer. You might need this test if you have a family history of prostate cancer, and your age is above 50.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
Although there are multiple reasons which can cause high PSA levels, it may not cause noticeable symptoms. The common symptoms of prostate cancer are:
- Difficulty in peeing
- Peeing more than normal
- Slow urine flow
- Pain during peeing
- Difficulty in holding urine
- Pain in the chest, lower back and hip
Can I get the PSA test at home?
Yes, you can get a PSA test at home. We offer a home sample collection facility without any extra charges.
What is the PSA test price?
Generally the price of this test generally depends on the laboratory you are choosing. You can get the PSA test price at Rs.400 only.
What preparations do I need? Is fasting necessary?
No, you do not need to fast before the test. However, there are certain precautions that you need to take before the test for an accurate test result.
Make sure to talk with your doctor before the test, if:
- You have an urinary tract infection, or had an UTI in the past three months
- You have a liver condition, such as hepatitis C, cirrhosis, and cystic fibrosis.
- You have had a prostate biopsy in the past six weeks
- You have had an operation to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia
- You are taking medicines for benign prostatic hyperplasia
- You are taking medications for hair loss
Certain medications can affect the PSA levels, this is why it is important to talk with your doctor about this matter before the test. Your doctor may give certain instructions to follow, such as:
- Do not masturbate or be involved in sexual activity 24 hours before the test. Ejaculation may temporarily increase the PSA level which might affect the test results.
- Avoid engaging in vigorous workouts 24 hours before the test, as too intense exercise can impermanently raise the PSA level.
What happens during the blood collection procedure?
At first, a healthcare professional will use an antiseptic lotion to clean the area where the needle will be injected. Then a thin needle will be inserted in a vein of your arm, and the blood will be drawn. After that, a bandage will be placed on the skin to stop the bleeding, and the sample will be sent to the laboratory for examination.
What will be the interpretation of the test result?
You will get a reference range of the tested level mentioned in the test report. However, the reference range may vary depending on the diagnostic center. Therefore, you should ask your doctor about the understanding of your test results. They will give you a clear idea about the test results considering different factors, including your age, family health history, and the medicines you are taking.
An elevated PSA level may indicate certain non cancerous conditions, such as urinary tract infection and benign prostatic hyperplasia. If you are a high-risk patient and your test report shows an elevated PSA level, then your doctor may suggest you have a biopsy.
If you are currently receiving treatment of ovarian cancer, and the test result shows an elevated level then it may indicate that the treatment is not working for you. On the other side, if your treatment is completed and the PSA level is high, then it may indicate that the cancer is recurring.
An elevated PSA level does not always indicate ovarian cancer. There are multiple factors that can cause high psa levels, such as:
- An urinary tract infection
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia
- Prostate biopsy
- Recent prostate surgery
- Recent insertion of a catheter tube
- Saddle riding
- Recent ejaculation
If your doctor suspects that you may have prostate cancer, then your doctor will order additional tests to confirm ovarian cancer diagnosis.