What is PSA Test?
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. This cancer remains in our body without any symptoms and then suddenly becomes acute and causes death. The main function of the prostate gland is to make semen. The test used to detect prostate cancer is called PSA.
So let’s understand about PSA blood test
What is PSA Blood Test What Is PSA Test?
PSA means Prostate-Specific Antigen and it is a protein that makes our prostate gland. It is mainly found in our semen and in small amounts in our blood. Whenever the level of PSA in our blood increases, it indicates prostate cancer.
The prostate is a small gland in our reproductive system that is located under the bladder. The PSA blood test helps a lot in the early detection of cancer. The sooner you detect prostate cancer, the more likely you are to avoid death from prostate cancer. Early detection of prostate cancer reduces the mortality rate by up to 25%.
What is Free PSA?
PSA occurs in our blood in two forms, one associated with a blood protein and one alone. The antigen alone is called free PSA.
It is often seen that about 75% of men who have elevated PSA levels do not get cancer. In such a situation, getting a biopsy becomes very painful and risky. That’s why the doctor gets a free PSA test done instead of a biopsy.
It is very simple and also very accurate. The lower the percentage of your free PSA and total PSA, the higher your chances of getting cancer.
What other tests should be done along with PSA?
Many times the PSA blood test does not tell the exact status of prostate cancer. Even when there is inflammation in the prostate, the level of PSA rises.
Therefore, if your PSA level is elevated, then the doctor must do a prostate biopsy or free PSA.
What is the normal value of the PSA blood test?
PSA levels vary with age. But doctors believe that if the level of PSA is more than 4.0 ng/mL then you may be prone to cancer.
To confirm this, doctors do a biopsy or a free PSA test.
- If the PSA level is between the borderline (4 ng/mL to 10 ng/mL), you have a 25% chance of developing cancer.
- If this value is more than 10 ng/mL then you have a 50% chance of getting cancer.
What can affect the PSA test
Certain circumstances can affect the PSA report, such as:
1) People who have enlarged prostate i.e BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) or Those who have inflammation in the prostate also have an increased level of PSA test.
2) Certain medicines (drugs to increase testosterone) and chemotherapy can lower PSA levels. Apart from these, obesity can also reduce the level of PSA.
3) Sometimes even after having prostate cancer, the level of PSA comes to normal. That’s why the doctor also gets the biopsy and MRI done.
What precautions should be taken before getting the PSA test done?
Before getting the PSA test done, you have to take special care of some things
1) You do not have urinary infection
2) Have not had a biopsy of the prostate in the last 6 weeks
3) You haven’t done any strenuous exercise in the last 48 hours
4) Do not have sex or ejaculation for 48 hours before getting the test done
Symptoms of an elevated PSA
In most cases, there are no symptoms when the PSA is elevated. But some people have the following symptoms.
1) Difficulty urinating
2) Frequent urination, especially at night
3) decreased flow of urine
4) Difficulty holding urine
5) blood in semen
6) Pain in ejaculation
7) back pain
How much does a PSA blood test cost?
- The cost of a PSA blood test is around Rs.800.
- Whereas the cost of a Free PSA blood test is around 1800.
- Its rates are different in every lab and city