A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is an important part of men’s reproductive health routine. This test measures levels of PSA in your prostate glands, a protein that both normal and abnormal (cancerous) prostate cells have.
At Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, our board-certified providers use your PSA levels to discover prostate cancer at its early stages, ensuring you begin treatment at the right time so it’s most effective.
Other conditions that we detect with PSA tests include benign prostatic hyperplasia, enlarged prostate, and infections.
If you’re confused about when you need to start getting PSA tests or how often you need them, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together this guide to answer those questions and give you what you need to know about PSA tests.
When to get a PSA test
The best way to find out if you need a PSA test is by talking to us at Urology Associates Medical Group. General guidelines recommend starting PSA screenings at age 55, but you may need one earlier based on different factors, such as:
- Having a close relative or multiple extended family members with a history of prostate cancer
- Being a Black male (increased risk for more aggressive types of cancer)
There are many factors that determine the frequency of routine PSA testing. Generally, you should get tested every 2-3 years after age 55. But we may recommend more or less frequent tests according to your results and specific situation, as well as:
- Your current age
- The results of your previous PSA tests
- Any existing prostate conditions
Additionally, if you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, we may recommend increasing the frequency of your tests. We may schedule you for regular PSA tests, as this tracks the progression of cancer and monitors treatment effectiveness.
What PSA results mean
When determining if your PSA test results are normal or abnormal, we consider your age and the presence of any erectile, urinary, ejaculatory, and lower body symptoms.
High PSA levels do not always mean prostate cancer. If we inform you that your test shows high levels of PSA, any of these conditions could be the culprit:
- Prostate infection
- Prostatitis (inflammation)
- Enlarged prostate
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia
For any of these prostate conditions, early detection makes treatment more effective. We may order additional tests to confirm your diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. We also take time to discuss the condition with you, addressing any questions or concerns you may have.
If prostate cancer is likely based on your results, you may need to have a biopsy. If so, we remove small samples of your prostate tissue for further analysis.
Prostate cancer outcome is excellent when we detect it early. Based on the state of prostate cancer, your age, and other factors, treatments may involve:
- Watchful waiting
- Hormone therapy
- Biological therapy
If you’re ready to learn more about PSA tests and whether you would benefit from this simple screening, don’t hesitate to set up a consultation with us at Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California. Schedule an appointment by giving us a call at 818-853-9659.