Explainer: What does my PSA mean?

What is PSA?

PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen.  PSA is naturally produced by the prostate gland.  It helps in semen production.  PSA is not produced anywhere else in the body.

If PSA levels are elevated, then we know there is something going on in the prostate gland.  The raised PSA could be due to:

The first sign of prostate cancer is usually a high PSA, and PSA testing means that significant cancers can be diagnosed at an early (curable) stage.

My GP is concerned about my PSA.  What now?

To work out the significance of your PSA, a careful specialist assessment needs to be made.  Factors to consider will be:

  • Your age and general health
  • Any regular tablets you take
  • Family history of prostate or breast cancer
  • Symptoms of benign prostate enlargement or prostate inflammation
  • Previous PSA results
  • Your prostate size and examination findings

Depending on the above, ongoing monitoring by your GP may be all that is required.  If further tests are necessary, we will discuss MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the prostate or prostate biopsy.