Prostate-Specific Antigen(PSA) is a protein that is produced by both normal and cancerous cells of the prostate gland in males. It is located on Chromosome 19 in humans. This protein liquefies semen and allows sperm cells to swim freely. It is also found in very little quantity in females and helps in dissolving cervical mucus, allowing sperm cells to enter the uterus.
PSA test is used to determine the quantity of PSA present in a man’s blood. PSA test also helps to monitor patients who have a history of prostate cancer, to see if there is a recurrence or improvement.
The most common cause of the increase in PSA level is the presence of prostate cancer. Prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate) can also cause increased PSA levels. There can be fluctuations in PSA levels and this can be as a result of Urinary Tract Infection, Prostate Biopsy or Prostate Surgery. Also, some drugs which are used to treat BPH can reduce PSA levels.
For this procedure, a blood sample is analyzed in the laboratory to determine the level of prostate-specific antigen. A direct rectal examination (DRE) is combined with a PSA test to screen asymptomatic men for prostate cancer. Urine microscopy is done to detect urinary tract infections. If prostate cancer is suspected, a prostate biopsy is done in the Histopathology laboratory. A study by Thompson I.M. et al. (2004) showed that some men with PSA levels below 4.0ng/ml have prostate cancer while some with PSA levels higher than 4.0ng/ml do not have prostate cancer. Hence, there is no specific normal level of PSA in the blood and the levels may vary over time in the same man.
Meanwhile, the higher a man’s PSA level, the more likely he is to have prostate cancer. Men who are 50years and above are advised to go for a PSA test, as PSA level increases with age.
Visit MedBioTechLab for your Prostate Specific Antigen Test to determine your PSA level.
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