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You are here : AllRefer.com > Health > Tests & Exams > PSA

PSA

Alternate Names : Prostate-specific antigen, Prostate cancer screening test 


Definition

PSA stands for prostate-specific antigen. It is a protein found in prostate cells. It can be detected at a low level in the blood of all adult men.

This article discusses the blood test to measure the amount of PSA in a man's blood.

Why is the Test Performed?

This test is done to screen for prostate cancer. It is also used to monitor patients after prostate cancer treatment.

Several conditions besides cancer can cause the PSA level to rise, including:

Discuss with your doctor or health care provider whether a PSA test is appropriate for you.

How is the Test Performed?

Blood is typically drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The site is cleaned with germ-killing medicine (antiseptic). The health care provider wraps an elastic band around the upper arm to apply pressure to the area and make the vein swell with blood.

Next, the health care provider gently inserts a needle into the vein. The blood collects into an airtight vial or tube attached to the needle. The elastic band is removed from your arm. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.

How to Prepare for the Test?

No special preparation is usually needed.

How will the Test Feel?

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a bruise.

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Review Date : 8/10/2009
Reviewed By : Reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. Also reviewed by Scott Miller, MD, Urologist, private practice, Atlanta, Georgia.



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