What Does PSA Mean? PSA is a blood test that is commonly used to help predict the presence of prostate cancer . It stands for Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) and refers to a protein first identified in 1979 that is made only by the prostate gland. It is currently used as a tumor marker and can also help monitor disease progression or lack of recurrent disease in patients who have previously undergone treatment for prostate cancer . A tremendous amount of confusion exists amongst patients and the popular press regarding PSA. Part of this lack of understanding has occurred because many think that an elevation in the PSA level means that one definitely has prostate cancer. In actuality, this is not true and this article should help clarify some of the confusion surrounding PSA testing. Most important is the “S” in PSA, which refers to the protein being specific to the prostate gland and not specific to cancer. Many conditions, both benign ...
Dear Dr. Motola,
Can sexual activity just before a PSA blood test make PSA results jump from 2 to 12?
PSA testing immediately after sexual activity remains controversial. The most widely held belief is that patients should wait 3 days after sexual activity prior to obtaining a PSA, however some recent studies suggest that sexual activity will not cause a rise. Repeating the PSA after 3 days of abstinence will be the easiest way to resolve this.
In the 21st century, medicine has seen unrivaled advances, enabling patient care that includes finding cures for previously incurable diseases. Surgical intervention has moved into a minimally invasive platform, with illness being treated in manners that allows for rapid return to work. Patients in the U.S. are constantly benefitting from the technology that is available; as a result, the American people are living longer, healthier and more productive lives than ever.
Recent events that have occurred on Capitol Hill have threatened to change this. Since this is a urology blog, first allow me to address the United States Preventive Task Force (USPSTF) decision regarding PSA testing . Recently this organization has given PSA screening a “D” rating. The panel has advised against PSA-based prostate cancer screening for men of all ages based on the panel’s moderate certainty that the potential harms of testing outweigh the benefits of testing. The...
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