psa test explained

PSA Test Explained - What EVERY Man Should Know...

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland.  Your doctor might suggest that you have a  PSA test as this measures the level of PSA in your blood.

The PSA test is very simple and involves your doctor taking a quick a blood sample, and the amount of PSA in your blood is then measured in a laboratory. Watch My Prostate Video 

Because PSA is produced by your body and can be used to detect disease, it is sometimes called a biological marker or tumor marker.

The ideal situation is for you to have low levels of PSA in your blood; however, prostate cancer or benign (not cancerous) conditions can increase your PSA levels.

As Men Age the Most Common Benign Prostate Conditions  They Face Are:

1.Prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate)

2.And benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) (enlargement of the prostate).

NOTE: There is no evidence that prostatitis or BPH causes cancer, but if you  have one or both of these conditions, it is an indication that you may develop prostate cancer as well.

PSA Tests Not All Inclusive

Your PSA levels alone will not give  your doctor enough information to distinguish between benign prostate conditions and cancer.

But he or she will take the result of your PSA Test into account when deciding whether to check further for signs of prostate cancer.

Other Tests to Check for Prostate Cancer

The other test your doctor will possibly perform is a DRE or Digital Rectal Exam.

During a DRE, a doctor inserts a gloved finger into your rectum in order to feel your prostate gland through the rectal wall to check for bumps or abnormal areas.

Before you start thinking; "Yikes! that sounds uncomfortable! Yes it is but nowhere near as uncomfortable as the alternative.

Doctors Often Combine the PSA Test and DRE as a Prostate Cancer 'Screening' Method.

The important thing to keep in mind is that together, these tests can help your doctor detect prostate cancer in men who have no symptoms whatsoever of the disease.

How Often Should You Have a PSA Test?

I  am not a doctor so this is my opinion only but based on my research, I personally suggest that every man over the age of 45 get a yearly test.

In the USA, Medicare provides coverage for an annual PSA test for all men age 50 and older.

Are There Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer?

Good question. The answer is yes.

There are numerous risk factors that can increase your chances of developing prostate cancer.

Your doctor will take these into consideration when  he or she recommends screening.

The most common risk factor is your age, with nearly 65 percent of prostate cancer cases occurring in men age 65 and older

Other Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer Include:

  • Do You Have a Family History of Prostate Cancer? Men who have a father or brother with prostate cancer have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer.
  • Are You An African American? African American men have the highest rate of prostate cancer, while Asian and Native American men have the lowest rates.
  • Do You have a Junk Food Diet?  If you eat a diet high in fat, especially animal fat, you face an increased risk of prostate cancer.

I know from personal experience how frightening it can be to be told by your doctor "You may have prostate cancer"

It is a horrible feeling and one that can leave you feeling totally numb. But is does not have to be the end of the world.

If you are reading this, can I encourage you - get a PSA test.

  • Do it for yourself.
  • Do it for those you love.
  • Do it for those that love you.

Your PSA test could save your life.

Chris Bloor reveals his own prostate story and invites you to get the most up-to-date information on the PSA Test and dozens of other Must-Know prostate facts at You can watch the free video of his own prostate story at the site