Prostate Specific Antigen ‘PSA’ Testing

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Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA test is a recognised screening test for men over the age of 50 or men over the age of 45 if they have a family history or have a raised risk of prostate cancer. 

It is useful to monitor PSA over time so that any change in what is normal for you can be investigated quickly.

What is the PSA test?

The PSA test is a blood test that measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood.

PSA is a protein produced by normal cells in the prostate and also by prostate cancer cells. It’s normal to have a small amount of PSA in your blood, and the amount rises slightly as you get older and your prostate gets bigger.

A raised PSA level may suggest you have a problem with your prostate, but not necessarily cancer.

Unlike other providers of PSA testing you can speak with our Private GP to discuss whether this test is right for you or after the test to provide you with that reassurance or further investigations you may need.

Who can have a PSA test?

If you’re over 50 or 45 and have a higher risk of prostate cancer, for example if you’re black or you have a family history.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommends PSA testing in men with symptoms that suggest an obstruction between the bladder and the outside world. These include:  

  • Having to wait a long time before you start to pass urine.
  • The flow of urine being slow or stopping and starting whilst you are passing urine.
  • Urine continuing to dribble after you thought you had finished passing urine.
  • Feeling that you have not completely emptied your bladder after you have finished passing urine. 
  • Having to get up at night to pass urine.

If you are experiencing these symptoms then you should discuss them with our doctor as you are likely to need a physical examination of your prostate.

What will the test results tell me?

Your PSA level

Your PSA level is affected by various factors therefore a PSA test alone cannot usually tell you if you have prostate cancer.

Whether you are at higher risk of prostate cancer

Any other health problems or things that may have affected your PSA level

What can the PSA test tell me?

A raised PSA level can be a sign of a problem with your prostate. This could be:

An enlarged prostate.

Benign prostate enlargement (BPE) is the medical term to describe an enlarged prostate, a condition that can affect how you pass urine.

BPE is common in men aged over 50. It is not a cancer and it isn’t usually a serious threat to health.

Prostatitis

Prostatitis is the inflammation or swelling of the prostate gland. It can be very painful and distressing but will often get better eventually.

Prostatitis can develop in men of all ages, but it commonly affects men aged between 30 and 50.

There are 2 main types of prostatitis:

chronic prostatitis – where the symptoms come and go over a period of several months; it’s the most common type and not usually caused by an infection

acute prostatitis – where the symptoms are severe and develop suddenly; it’s rare, but can be serious and requires immediate treatment, and is always caused by an infection

Prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years.

There may be other causes for raised PSA which you could discuss with our Private GP or be referred to see a specialist.

 

Your Results

 

After your blood test, you will receive blood results by email. You will then be able to use these to discuss with a Doctor.

Please note, your results will not diagnose any condition but will indicate if you should consult a doctor for any further action.

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