PSA, which stands for prostate-specific antigen, is produced by the prostate and released as part of the ejaculate. Under normal circumstances, the only two places we expect to find significant amounts of PSA are in the prostate gland and in the seminal fluid. Detecting elevated levels in the bloodstream is a clear indication that something is amiss. When things are functioning according to plan, the concentration of PSA in semen is a startling million fold higher than the minuscule trace there would be in a blood sample. The higher the level, the greater possibility of prostate cancer as the PSA rises when a man has cancer. Cancer can prostate protocol reviews 2021 cause the prostate to grow larger, and generally speaking, larger prostates produce more PSA than do smaller prostates.
If you are undergoing tests for prostate problems, pay close attention to the order in which those tests are performed. According to a study reported in the Journal of Urology, PSA levels can rise when the doctor uses a needle to take a biopsy of prostate tissue. Thus, the PSA test should be done before a needle biopsy.
It should be a simple matter of measuring the PSA levels in the blood to diagnose cancer. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy, because:
* If you have a small prostate with low PSA level, adding cancer to the equation may only bring your PSA up to “normal.”
* If you have a large prostate with a relatively high PSA level, the test may suggest that you have cancer when you are, in fact, healthy.
* Prostate infections can make the PSA go up.
* BPH can make the PSA go up.
* There are prostate drugs that can make the PSA go down, possibly masking the presence of cancer.
* A primitive but still very malignant cancer may not be making much PSA yet.
The term prostate-specific highlights the fact that the prostate gland is the sole organ that manufactures a significant amount of PSA even though, a tiny bit is produced by the salivary glands. Antigen is a substance capable of provoking a response by the body’s immune defenses. A PSA test can detect when damage or disease in the gland allows the antigen to leak into the bloodstream.