Particularities?The results of the PSA blood test usually take 48 hours.
The PSA blood test measures an antigen in the blood. An increase in the PSA in the blood can indicate prostate cancer. However, the PSA is also increased with inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) and in case of enlargement of the prostate (benign prostate hypertrophy BPH). A BPH is by definition benign. There is therefore no prostate cancer (yet). PSA increases with age, but clear limits have been described for PSA in the blood.
What do we determine with the PSA blood test?The PSA blood test is only performed on men, because women do not have a prostate. The PSA value shows whether there are any abnormalities in the prostate. PSA is a protein that is produced almost exclusively by the prostate cells. Good prostate function is necessary for the lubrication of sperm cells.
PSA: Prostate Specific Antigen Blood TestPSA occurs in the blood as free PSA (not bound) and complex PSA. That is PSA bound to a protein. In this blood test for PSA we measure the total amount of PSA. That's free PSA + complex PSA together. So a PSA blood test means a total PSA test in the blood. We can also determine free PSA, because this is sometimes more specific for the presence of prostate cancer. In men with prostate cancer, research has shown that there is less free PSA in the blood, compared to complex PSA. However, for preventive screening for prostate cancer, the total amount of PSA is also fine.
A normal total PSA value is generally less than 4.0 µg / l (microgram per liter of blood). However, there are also people with prostate cancer and PSA between 2.5 µg / l and 4.0 µg / l. There are also men who do not have prostate cancer and have a PSA higher than 4.0 µg / l. In other words, the PSA blood test is not a diagnostic, but a screening test.
If the PSA value is higher than 10.0 µg / l, then the chance of prostate cancer more than 65%. You can only do additional research if your PSA is elevated. This is often a biopsy in which a piece of prostate tissue is removed with a needle. This piece of tissue is studied by the pathologist.
In the Netherlands there is no screening for PSA. In some other countries yes. This is due to the trade-off between the costs of screening and the gain in life expectancy.
When to choose the PSA blood test?Only choose the PSA blood test for:
- Urinary complaints such as reduced flow or frequent urination of small amounts
- Men aged 40 and over with urinary complaints