A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test measures the level of PSA in your blood. The prostate is a small gland that is part of a man's reproductive system. It is located below the bladder and makes a fluid that is part of semen. PSA is a substance made by the prostate. Men normally have low PSA levels in their blood. A high PSA level may be a sign of prostate cancer, the most common non-skin cancer affecting American men. But high PSA levels can also mean noncancerous prostate conditions, such as infection or benign prostatic hyperplasia, a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate.

Other names: total PSA, free PSA


To screen and detect prostate cancer and to monitor the treatment for prostate cancer.


Test if there are symptoms suggesting prostate cancer present (e.g. difficult, painful, and/or frequent urination). In asymptomatic men, you should discuss the benefits and harms of screening for prostate cancer. If you are currently being treated for prostate cancer, labs may be ordered at regular intervals to test for effectiveness.


Before a sample collection is given, you should avoid ejaculation for 24 hours prior due to the possibility of elevated PSA level. Rigorous physical activity should be avoided. If you are on any medications or herbal supplements, let your doctor know as this may also affect your PSA levels. PSA levels can also be elevated after a digital rectal exam (DRE) or a prostate biopsy, so be sure your sample is collected prior to both exams.


    • Why do I need this test?


    • You may get a PSA test if you have certain risk factors for prostate cancer. These include:
    • A father or brother with prostate cancer


  • You may also get a PSA test if:
  • You have symptoms such as painful or frequent urination, and pelvic and/or back pain.
  • You've already been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The PSA test can help monitor the effects of your treatment.
PSA Total

PSA Total

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Note: The medical information provided here in this website is for informational purposes only and is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.