Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA): The Key to a Long and Healthy Life

Blog post by Steven Van Keuren - Published at Aug 15, 2023

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA): The Key to a Long and Healthy Life

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein produced within the prostate gland that contributes to the production and transport of sperm. It. Is detectable in small amounts in the blood and elevated levels of PSA can indicate potential health issues. However, it's important to note that an increase in PSA levels does not confirm prostate cancer. Factors such as inflammation or benign prostatic enlargement can also lead to elevated PSA levels. Nevertheless, PSA testing is a critical component in the early detection and treatment of prostate cancer.

The benefits of PSA testing include:

   1. Early Detection: PSA tests can identify prostate cancer in the early stages, potentially reducing the overall health risk and improving patient longevity [1].

   2. Assessment of Advanced Stages: In instances where prostate cancer is not identified in the early stages, a PSA test can ascertain the progression of the disease, aiding in treatment decisions.

   3. Identification of Other Conditions: In addition to cancer, PSA tests can detect benign prostate conditions such as enlargement, inflammation, and infection, enabling more effective management and treatment of these conditions.

Who Should Consider PSA Testing?

PSA testing is generally recommended for men over the age of 50, with an annual test helping to identify changes in prostate health earlier [2]. The truth is, all males should undergo regular PSA testing, especially those with a family history of prostate cancer, or who have previously been diagnosed with the disease. Symptomatic indications for PSA testing include difficulties with urination, or pain in the pelvis and lower back; however, it’s important to get testing before these signs emerge.

Recommended Frequency of PSA Testing

The American Cancer Society advises men to undergo a PSA test at least annually; however, biannual testing may be appropriate for those at higher risk, or with a family history of prostate cancer. Individuals previously diagnosed with prostate cancer should consider a PSA test every three to four months. Regular testing is always recommended, even if PSA levels remain below 4 ng/mL, because testing can aid in early detection and significantly improve prognosis. The frequency of testing should be personalized, taking into account factors such as age, overall health, family history, and previous PSA test results. 


To summarize:

- At a minimum, annual PSA testing is recommended for all men.

- High-risk individuals should consider more frequent testing.

- Individuals with a prior diagnosis should undergo testing every three to four months.

- Regular monitoring is essential, even if PSA levels remain below 4 ng/mL.

Regular PSA testing can play a crucial role in the early detection and successful treatment of prostate cancer or any other prostate problems.


[1] Schröder, F. H., Hugosson, J., Roobol, M. J., Tammela, T. L., Ciatto, S., Nelen, V., ... & Auvinen, A. (2014). Screening and prostate cancer mortality: results of the European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) at 13 years of follow-up. The Lancet, 384(9959), 2027-2035. [Link](

[2] Loeb, S., Bjurlin, M. A., Nicholson, J., Tammela, T. L., Penson, D. F., Carter, H. B., ... & Schaeffer, E. M. (2014). Overdiagnosis and overtreatment of prostate cancer. European urology, 65(6), 1046-1055. [Link](

Steven Van Keuren

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