A Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein that is made by the prostate gland. A PSA blood test is able to measure levels of PSA in the blood. PSA can be an indicator and can help to diagnose prostate disease. Normally low levels of PSA are found in the blood but with age, the prostate can become enlarged or diseased and as a result PSA levels can increase.
PSA level testing is not a specific test to assess cancer risk. Increased PSA levels can be present with (non-cancerous) benign growth of the prostate (this is common with aging); infection or inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis); and sometimes less commonly with prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Indicator
Statistics show that approximately 1 in 3 men with a PSA level between 4-10ng/ml will have developed prostate cancer. Research shows that there is still a small risk of prostate cancer even with normal blood PSA levels (false negative result). This means that potentially, a normal PSA level in the blood may not rule out the presence of prostate cancer.
Use of PSA Testing in Clinical Practice
The PSA test can be useful in assessing whether there are issues with the prostate. Generally PSA levels only increase with aging and disease. However this does not specifically correlate with cancer risk. PSA test is usually used as a first line indicator of prostate disease before taking further investigative measures (ie prostate biopsy).
A blood specimen is required, which can be taken at any time of the day. Fasting is not required.
Once the practitioner has given the patient their request form, the patient takes it to their nearest Australian Clinical Labs collection centre. If you are unsure of your nearest collection centre head to location on our website or call us on 1300 554 480 between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday for details.
Turnaround time is usually 7-10 working days.
Patients does not need to fast or make any special preparation before having blood collected.
Patient results are delivered via electronic download unless requested otherwise. Results can also be issued via hardcopy, fax or web based e-viewer.
All Australian Clinical Labs Functional Pathology tests are accompanied by an Interpretive Guide to assist practitioners in their clinical understanding and patient management for each result. Australian Clinical Labs Functional Pathology also has experienced full time Technical Advisors available for practitioners to discuss appropriate test selection, interpretation of test results, individual cases and other technical matters. Please call 1300 55 44 80 between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm AEST or email csfp@AustralianClinicalLabs.com.au