A PSA test is a blood test that health care providers may recommend to some men.
PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen, which is a substance that can be measured in the blood. The PSA test may help determine whether you are at risk of prostate cancer. If your PSA is too high, it may mean you are at risk of having prostate cancer. But PSA can be high due to many other reasons than prostate cancer, for instance, infections, enlarged prostate without cancer, or problems with emptying the bladder.
Regular PSA testing in men who are at risk of developing prostate cancer can help discover prostate cancer at an early stage, with a good chance of cure.
However, not all men with prostate cancer need treatment. With PSA testing, sometimes tumours are discovered that would not cause major health problems. This may lead to anxiety and stress, and even over-treatment of such tumours.
PSA testing is also used in men who have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer, to monitor the disease.
Discuss with your doctor or nurse the pros and cons of PSA testing, and if it is right for you.