Prostate-specific Antigen (Psa)

What is PSA?

  • “PSA is a protein made by the prostate. Levels of this protein usually go up when a person has prostate cancer. The protein also goes up for reasons that do not involve cancer.”
    • PSA is checked via a blood draw.

What does prostate cancer screening entail and who should be screened?

  • At least a yearly PSA blood draw AND a digital rectal exam.
    • Every male starting at age 50 (unless you have risk factors, which may lead your healthcare provider to recommend screening beginning prior to 50 years of age.
  • Around the age of 70 your healthcare provide may begin to discuss with you no longer checking a PSA but continuing a yearly digital rectal exam.
    • If you have multiple health conditions your healthcare provider may discuss the pros/cons of continuing to check a PSA regardless of your age.

Why is prostate cancer screening important?

  • “To allow for early detection of prostate cancer, before it has a chance to grow, spread, or cause

Actives to avoid prior to having a PSA drawn.

  • There are many actives that can cause a false elevation of your PSA. We request that you avoid the following listed activities for 5-7 days prior to having your lab drawn.
    • Sexual activity/ejaculation
    • Riding a bicycle
    • Riding a golf cart
    • Riding a lawnmower
    • Riding a motorcycle
    • Riding any machine/vehicle that may cause trauma/jarring motion to the buttocks/genitals.
  • Please notify your healthcare provider prior to having your lab drawn if you have had any of the following within the last three months:
    • Prostate infection
    • Urinary tract infection
    • Mechanical manipulation of the prostate (such as a Foley catheter, cystoscopy, or prostate surgery).

Please know there are many personalized factors that are considered when evaluating a PSA lab value. If you have questions/concerns about your PSA, please review this with your healthcare provider.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office with questions or concerns.

Reference: Freedland, S. (2020). Measurement of prostate-specific antigen. In M.P. O’Leary (Ed.), UpToDate. Retrieved March 23, 2020.