PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) Test
The Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a type of protein that is produced by cells in the prostate. Prostate is a tiny reproductive gland that helps to produce semen, the fluid that transports sperm from the testicles through the penis during ejaculation. Healthy prostates create low levels of PSA. A higher level of PSA may indicate a problem with the prostate.
What is the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test?
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein that is secreted by the prostate gland. The PSA total analyses the PSA levels (both free and bound) in the blood. This protein is manufactured by normal as well as cancerous cells. This PSA is considered to be a tumor marker since its levels in the blood are increased in prostate cancer. It also serves as a useful tool to monitor the progression of prostate cancer.
The most frequent conditions that cause an elevation in PSA levels are prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
What are the other names for the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test?
The other names are PSA, PSA Total, and TPSA.
What are the test parameters included in the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test?
There is only one parameter: Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA).
What does a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test measure?
The PSA test analyses the total PSA levels (both free and bound) in the blood. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein that is secreted by the prostate gland. The prostate gland is the male reproductive organ, the secretion of which contributes to the formation of the seminal fluid. Most of the PSA is manufactured and is secreted in the seminal fluid along with the prostatic secretions, and only a small amount is secreted into the bloodstream. PSA is considered to be a tumor marker since its levels in the blood are increased in prostate cancer and BPH, and this is used as a preliminary screening test before further diagnostic procedures.
This prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood is found in either complex PSA (bound to other proteins) or free PSA. The PSA test usually calculates the total PSA levels in the blood. This includes both free and complex forms. Separate tests for the levels of these two forms may be used to distinguish between prostate cancer and BPH.
Who should get a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test?
These PSA tests may determine if you have high levels of PSA in your blood. Normally, PSA is produced and it is released within the prostate gland, where it helps make semen and plays a very important role in fertility. In healthy people, only small amounts of PSA move out of the prostate and into the bloodstream, but several prostate conditions can cause higher levels of PSA in the bloodstream.
A doctor may order a PSA test for multiple reasons:
Cancer screening: The cancer screening checks for cancer in people who don’t have the symptoms. People who have prostate cancer often have elevated levels of PSA in their blood, but elevated levels are also found in people without prostate cancer. These decisions about whether or not to use a PSA test to screen for prostate cancer are highly individualized and based on a patient’s risk factors and health history. Patients should discuss with their doctor the risks and benefits of PSA screening for their specific situation.
Diagnosis: If you have any symptoms of a prostate condition or if your prostate gland is not normal during physical examination, your doctor might recommend a PSA test. An increased level of PSA may indicate an issue in the prostate, such as prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or inflammation of the prostate. This then might lead to more follow-ups in testing to determine the diagnosis.
Monitoring and follow-up: If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or BPH, your doctor may recommend PSA tests to monitor the effects of treatment. For those who have completed treatment for the prostate cancer, the PSA test can be used to check for signs that cancer has come back or not.
Are preparations needed for the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test?
Fasting is not required. There are no special preparations. You may inform the doctor about the medicines. He may advise you to stop and wait until the test is done.
What is the cost of a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test?
What is the type of sample required?
This test requires a blood sample.
Who performs a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test?
A healthcare provider, who is also called a phlebotomist, usually performs blood draws, including those for Prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests, but any healthcare provider trained in drawing blood can perform this task. The samples are sent to a lab where a medical laboratory scientist prepares the samples and performs the tests on analysers or manually.
What should I expect during my Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test?
You can expect to experience the following during the blood test or a blood draw:
You will have to sit comfortably on the chair, and a healthcare provider will check your arms for an easily accessible vein. It is the inner part of your arm on the other side of your elbow.
Once they have located a vein, they will clean and disinfect the area with an alcohol swab.
Then they will insert a small needle into your vein to draw a blood sample. This might feel like a small pinch.
After they insert the needle, the required amount of blood will be collected in a test tube.
When they have collected enough blood for the test, they’ll remove the needle and hold a cotton ball or gauze on the site to stop any bleeding.
They will put a band-aid over the pricked site, and the blood collection is finished.
This process takes less than five minutes.
What should I expect after my Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test?
Once the healthcare provider has collected the blood sample, it will be sent to the laboratory for processing or testing. When the results are ready, your healthcare provider will share the results with you.
What are the risks of a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test?
These blood tests are very common and don’t carry any significant risks. You may have a slight pain like an ant bite when the needle gets inserted, and a small bruise may develop there.
When can I expect my Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test results?
At Orange Health, these reports are available via email or WhatsApp within 6 hours of the collection of the blood sample.
What do the results of a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test mean?
Interpreting test results
These PSA test results should be interpreted with caution and under the guidance of a doctor. In considering your test results, the doctor will consider various factors, including your age, ethnicity, and the medications you are taking. Additionally, doctors rarely make clinical decisions based on a single increased PSA test result. Rather, doctors might look for trends in a patient’s PSA level over a period of time and look at other diagnostic results as well.
Cancer screening: If you receive a higher PSA result from a screening, your doctor may order the follow-up tests to help diagnose the cause. Additional tests might include a urine test to check for a urinary tract infection and/or a physical exam of the prostate called a digital rectal exam. Repeating the PSA testing may be recommended to look for the trends.
Diagnosis: A higher PSA value may also prompt a doctor to recommend a biopsy test if they suspect cancer. However, most of the people who are referred for a biopsy test based on a high PSA level do not have cancer. Increased PSA levels are more often a sign of non-cancerous conditions such as urinary tract infections, prostatitis, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). These types of conditions are unrelated to prostate cancer.
Monitoring and follow-up: If you have received an elevated PSA test result during or after prostate cancer treatment, it is important to talk to your doctor about what the test results mean for you. If you are presently undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, consistently elevated levels of PSA might indicate a need to reevaluate the treatment. If you have an increasing PSA level after completing cancer treatment, your doctor will consider the type of treatment you received when interpreting PSA test results. In some patients, a rising PSA after completing treatment for prostate cancer indicates that cancer has returned.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Free Prostate Specific Antigen, Transrectal Ultrasound, and Biopsies.
How do I book a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test at home?
Log on to www.orangehealth.in and submit your details. Our highly trained and vaccinated eMedics will be at your doorstep within 60 minutes or at a slot booked by you.
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