Understanding High PSA Levels: A Prostate Health Guide
PSA is also known as the prostate-specific antigen. This is a protein that your prostate gland naturally produces. In healthy individuals, PSA levels are small all the time, and this type of protein circulates freely through the bloodstream.
However, doctors and researchers have discovered that PSA can get really high sometimes. This is usually because the patient has a significant prostate infection or prostate cancer. Developing prostate cancer is something that scares most people, but luckily, high PSA levels don't necessarily mean that you have cancer.
Dive into this article and learn why sometimes your PSA levels are high, yet this is not a diagnosis for cancer.
Table of Contents
- Understanding High PSA Levels: A Prostate Health Guide
- What Are Normal PSA Levels?
- Your Age Might Naturally Increase PSA Levels
- Prostatitis Can Also Cause High PSA Levels
- Having a Recent Medical Procedure Might Raise PSA Levels
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Could Also Cause High PSA Levels
- If You Exercise Often, Your PSA Levels Might Increase.
- Having a urinary tract infection could cause high PSA levels
- Why Should You Order a PSA Test?
- Free PSA vs. Regular PSA Test
- Order Your PSA Test From DiscountedLabs Today!
What Are Normal PSA Levels?
PSA can fluctuate in the bloodstream depending on various factors. However, individuals who don't have prostate cancer have PSA levels under 4 ng/mL. Most often, healthy men have PSA levels revolving around 1-2 ng/mL.
At the same time, scientists have discovered that PSA levels above 4 ng/ml usually translate into prostate cancer. Some cancer patients have PSA levels above 6 or even 7 ng/ml, and they usually receive some sort of treatment to bring these levels down.
Your Age Might Naturally Increase PSA Levels
Now that you know what the normal levels of PSA are, it's time to see how age affects it. Men who are 50 years of age or older begin to see a significant spike in their PSA levels. This happens because the prostate tissue naturally produces more PSA.
Men in their 70s usually have higher PSA levels than normal. However, this doesn't automatically mean that they have cancer. In many cases, screening seniors for PSA levels might result in false positives.
Other types of tests are necessary, besides a PSA test, to determine if a patient has cancer or not. Therefore, if you or your dad have high PSA levels, you shouldn't be scared because this doesn't usually translate into prostate cancer.
Prostatitis Can Also Cause High PSA Levels
Prostatitis is nothing but an inflammation of the prostate tissue. It can happen to men of all ages, and it comes with various symptoms. For example, patients who have prostatitis experience mild fever, difficulty urinating, or painful ejaculations. Feeling pressure in the rectum area is another sign of prostatitis.
Some men may experience something known as chronic nonbacterial prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. These individuals with CNP or CPPS might experience symptoms similar to prostatitis.
For example, they might complain of mild lower back pain, painful ejaculation, and discomfort in the pelvic area. In some cases, prostatitis can be asymptomatic as well. For many patients, prostatitis can be a chronic problem, but this is not a confirmed diagnosis for prostate cancer.
Having a Recent Medical Procedure Might Raise PSA Levels
Different types of medical procedures done on the prostate tissue or urinary tract might make the prostate produce more PSA. For example, if you've had a recent prostate exam, your PSA levels are probably higher than normal.
At the same time, having a urinary catheter inserted in the urethra can cause mild irritation and make the prostate tissue release more PSA. As a rule of thumb, patients should wait a few weeks after having a procedure before they take a PSA test.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Could Also Cause High PSA Levels
Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is another reason why your PSA levels are high, but you don't have prostate cancer. This type of condition is frequently encountered among older men. It is an enlargement of the prostate tissue, and it's usually accompanied by symptoms similar to prostatitis.
At the same time, BPH can have similar symptoms as those experienced by those with prostate cancer. This includes painful urination and problems with ejaculation.
If You Exercise Often, Your PSA Levels Might Increase.
Different types of vigorous exercises, such as running or high-intensity interval training, can increase your PSA levels and potentially contribute to prostate problems. They will eventually remain elevated for a few days. That's why you need to stop exercising for at least two days before going for an early-detection PSA test. Bicycle riding is especially linked to potentially increased PSA levels. Factors that might affect PSA levels include certain medicines, such as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors like finasteride (Proscar or Propecia) or dutasteride (Avodart), which can lower PSA levels. According to the National Cancer Institute, a PSA test can find high levels of PSA that may mean a person has prostate cancer. An elevated PSA level can also be caused by other problems with the prostate, like an enlarged or inflamed prostate. Therefore, determining what a high PSA score means can be complicated. To decide whether to have a PSA test, discuss the issue with your doctor, considering your risk factors and weighing your personal preferences. A higher level of PSA means a higher risk of prostate cancer. A high PSA level can be the first sign of prostate cancer and can also indicate less serious conditions, such as an enlarged prostate. Keep up with your regular appointments and tests so your care team can keep tabs on your health. If you’re experiencing prostate symptoms, such as an enlarged prostate, dull pain in the lower pelvic area, frequent urination, and pain or difficulty while urinating, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and diagnosis. If your PSA level is high, a prostate biopsy is the only way to find out if the cause is cancer. And prostate biopsies have possible harm.
Having a urinary tract infection could cause high PSA levels
Urinary tract infections might also increase your PSA levels. These are common among men, and they can cause irritation to the prostate tissue. As a result, the prostate will produce more PSA and give a false positive for prostate cancer to a PSA test.
The level of the urinary tract infection can also affect how much PSA the prostate produces. For example, those who experience painful urination, blood in the urine, and other serious symptoms usually have their PSA levels increase.
Why Should You Order a PSA Test?
It's important to understand that you can have various symptoms, such as painful urination, pelvic pain, abdominal discomfort, and back pain, without having prostate cancer. One or more of the previously mentioned conditions frequently cause these symptoms.
However, those who do indeed have prostate cancer and are unaware of it experience these symptoms. That's why it's important to do a PSA test as soon as you start to experience one or more of the symptoms presented in this article.
If your PSA levels are slightly higher, your doctor might take you through other types of tests to determine if you really have prostate cancer or not. Most patients don't, so don't get scared right away.
If your PSA levels are very high and other tests indicate that your prostate might be cancerous, it's best to discover it as soon as possible, right? Your doctor might recommend various treatment methods to help you keep your PSA levels under control.
In any case, it's very important to do a PSA test, especially if you're older and experience recurring pelvic pain or discomfort while urinating.
Free PSA vs. Regular PSA Test
When PSA levels are elevated, free PSA can be used as a marker to help determine if prostate cancer is a possibility. Free PSA is the amount of PSA in the blood that is not bound to other proteins. A low percentage of free PSA may indicate a higher likelihood of aggressive prostate cancer. An enlarged prostate, BPH, and certain medications can also cause high PSA levels. To confirm a diagnosis, additional tests may be needed beyond just a PSA test.
Order Your PSA Test From DiscountedLabs Today!
You might be happy to find out that prostate cancer screening, including the PSA screening test and urine test, for different types of prostate cancer diagnosis is much more affordable these days. Order your blood test for PSA screening from DiscountedLabs and get your test results back in just a few business days. You don't even need your doctor's approval; you just order the PSA test, offer a blood sample to a nearby clinic, and receive your test results back by email. Ideally, a small PSA test is used for men who have at least 10 years of life expectancy or are being evaluated for a metastatic prostate cancer diagnosis. In general, we recommend prostate cancer screening for men ages 55 to 69, unless a male has a higher risk of prostate cancer diagnosis (a family history, being of African American descent), in which case we screen at age 50. This aligns with guidelines from the U. The next step after a positive PSA level or rectal exam indicating possible prostate cancer is a biopsy. This is a test where the doctor takes a small amount of tissue from your prostate and sends it to a lab for testing. It’s the only way to be sure you have cancer.
It has never been easier to check the health of your prostate, so order your PSA test today.