A high PSA level has been linked to an increased chance of having prostate cancer.
PSA testing is an important tool for detecting prostate cancer, but it is not foolproof. Other conditions can cause a rise in PSA, including:
- A larger prostate
- Prostate infection (prostatitis)
- Urinary tract infection
- Recent tests on your bladder (cystoscopy) or prostate (biopsy)
- Catheter tube recently placed into your bladder to drain urine
Your doctor will think about the following things when deciding on the next step:
- Your age
- If you had a PSA test in the past and how much and how fast your PSA level has changed
- If your doctor finds a prostate lump during your exam
- Other symptoms you may have
- Other risk factors for prostate cancer, such as ethnicity and family history
Men at high risk may need to have more tests. Your doctor may recommend:
- Repeating your PSA test, most often sometime within 3 months
- A prostate biopsy
- A follow-up test called a free PSA (fPSA). The lower the level of this test, the more likely it is that prostate cancer is present.
- A urine test called PCA-3
If you have been treated for prostate cancer, the PSA level can show if treatment is working or if the cancer has come back. Often, PSA level rises before there are any symptoms, sometimes months or years beforehand.