Prostate-specific antigen is a kind of protein that is produced by the cells of the prostate gland. If the PSA level increases then it indicates a non-cancerous medical condition like prostate cancer, enlarged prostate, and prostatitis. The PSA levels among men increase when they age up.
The PSA test is done to measure the PSA level in the blood of a man. The sample of the blood is collected from the person and then it is sent to the lab for further examination. The PSA test result is generally recounted as nanograms of PSA per millilitre of the blood. The PSA is present in the blood in two main forms which are complex and free.
The test is performed to measure the sum of free and complexed PSA in the blood of the patient.
Why get tested?
The PSA test is performed by the doctor to screen or check both asymptomatic and symptomatic men for the prostate cancer. The test usually measures free as well as total PSA levels. The doctor advises for PSA test in case of slow-growing cancer. The PSA test is used to check the ratio of free to total PSA. The PSA test determines the efficacy of treatment of prostate cancer.
The patient should not consume dietary multivitamins or supplements that contain biotin. It is found in skin, hair supplements, and nail supplements for around 10 hours before the blood test. The patient should also avoid ejaculation for at least 24 hours before the collection of the sample.
The sample should be collected before the prostate biopsy and digital rectal exam because it can elevate the level of PSA. The patient should also inform about the medications, allergies and medical condition before the PSA test.