So Your PSA is Elevated: What Next?
You just received your lab results and found out that your PSA is elevated. You have heard how important it is to screen for prostate cancer. You asked your doctor for the test and now what?
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a protein secreted by the prostate. It is elevated in 80% of prostate cancers but also can be seen due to benign causes. These include common conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, prostate enlargement) and inflammation. An elevated PSA is a red flag and an indication to undergo further testing to determine the cause.
Often times the level will be repeated, along with a referral to a urologist. Workup includes a complete physical exam including a digital rectal exam to evaluate the prostate. This was most likely done when your PSA was checked. Depending on the PSA level and other risk factors, an imaging study, such as an ultrasound, and biopsy may be performed.
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