Prostate Cancer 2
Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Prostate-specific antigen is a protein produced by the prostate and released in very small amounts into the bloodstream. High amounts of PSA in the bloodstream could indicate prostate cancer. Dr. Edward Hill talks about PSA tests in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

A prostate-specific antigen or PSA, test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood.  PSA is released into a manís blood by his prostate gland. Healthy men have low amounts of PSA in the blood. The amount of PSA in the blood normally increases as a manís prostate enlarges with age. PSA may increase as a result of an injury, a digital rectal exam, sexual activity, inflammation of the prostate gland or prostate cancer.

During a PSA test, blood is drawn from the arm, and the level of PSA is measured. Levels under 4 are usually considered normal, over 10 are usually considered high, and results between 4 and 10 are considered intermediate.

Prostate cancer often grows very slowly, without causing major problems. Detecting prostate cancer early and treating it may prevent future health problems and reduce the risk of dying from the cancer.  Because early prostate cancer has no symptoms, men should consider annual blood tests for PSA after age 50. Discuss this with your doctor.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.