Prostate Specific Antigen

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What is Prostate Specific Antigen (Total) PSA?

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein secreted by the prostate gland. PSA total measures the PSA levels (both free and bound) in blood. This protein is produced by normal as well as cancerous cells. PSA is considered to be a tumor marker since its levels in the blood are elevated in prostate cancer. It serves as a useful tool to monitor the progression of prostate cancer.

The most frequent conditions that cause an elevation in PSA level are prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Why is Prostate Specific Antigen (Total) PSA done?

The PSA Test is performed:

  • To screen for and help diagnose prostate cancer
  • To detect and diagnose diseases of the prostate gland like BPH
  • To monitor the effectiveness of treatment for prostate cancer
What does Prostate Specific Antigen (Total) PSA Measure?

The PSA Test measures the total PSA levels (both free and bound) in blood.

PSA is a protein which is secreted by the prostate gland. The prostate gland is a male accessory reproductive organ, the secretion of which contributes to the formation of the seminal fluid. Most of the PSA produced is secreted in the seminal fluid along with 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 elevated in prostate cancer and BPH, and it is used as a preliminary screening test before further diagnostic procedures.

PSA in blood is found as either complexed PSA (bound to other proteins) or free PSA. The PSA Test usually calculates the total PSA levels in blood including both free and complexed forms. Separate tests for the levels of these two forms can be used to distinguish between prostate cancer and BPH.

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