Urology Expert Forum
PSA testing
About This Forum:

Questions in the Urology forum are answered by medical professionals at Healthcare Magic. Topics covered include benign prostate disease, penis curvature, cystisis, kidney stones, pediatric urology, prostate, sexual dysfunction, urinary tract infections (UTI), and urological cancers.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

PSA testing


     I recently had a PSA test. Overall number was 1.1. However, the "free per cent" (not sure if this is the correct term or what this means) was 16 per cent. My urologist said this was low and could indicate that a biopsy should be performed to rule out cancer. What does this figure mean? Is it really possible to be cancerous when the PSA itself is only 1.1?
    Thank you very much.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Lee,
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) has been in widespread use over the past several years as a screening tool to detect possible prostate cancer in individuals before the cancer becomes large enough to spread.  This is because prostate cancer is insidious in its earlier stages and does not cause any symptoms, usually until it spreads and is too late to cure.  The PSA test however is not perfect.  Like any other laboratory test, there are conditions under which a person may have an elevated PSA in the absence of cancer.  Some of these causes include a urinary tract infection, prostatitis (infection of the prostate), BPH (enlargement of the prostate that occurs with aging, etc.  Therefore, the concept of free PSA was looked at as a possible way of differentiating patients with an elevated PSA and prostate cancer from those with an elevated PSA due to other causes.
Usually some of the PSA in the blood is bound by protein.  It is thought that prostate cancer produces more proteins which bind to PSA in addition to the normal binding, therefore leaving less unbound (or free) PSA circulating in the blood.  Free PSA is a ratio of the free unbound PSA in the blood to the total PSA and is expressed as a percentage.  Although much of this is still being examined by investigators, it has been observed that a free PSA less than 20% is most likely associated with the presence of prostate cancer, and a free PSA higher than 25% is usually not associated with prostate cancer, and between 20-25% is somewhat of a
Related Discussions
0 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, PSA was started.
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
563773_tn?1374250139
Bhupinder Kaur, MDBlank
Private practice
,
351246_tn?1379685732
Dr. Kokil MathurBlank
Consultant
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
This is Driving Your Emotional Eati...
Jul 02 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
5856747_tn?1403352282
Blank
Sleep Apnoea
Jun 28 by Andrew John Rynne, MDBlank