The prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the prostate gland. While the majority of PSA is carried out in semen, a small portion can escape into the blood stream. This is totally normal. With the aid of prostate specific antigen testing, physicians can determine conditions typically affiliated with elevated amounts of PSA in the blood.
PSA is detected in a blood test. However, the type of blood test is not common, but instead uses monoclonal antibody technology. This test not only determines the level of PSA in the blood, but whether or not the proteins joined with other substances in the blood stream. This is known as bound PSA.
A normal PSA level is around 4 ng/mL, but anything below a 10 is acceptable. It is important to note that PSA levels increase with age, due to the growing size of the prostate. A male between the ages of 70 and 79 can typically register 6.5 ng/mL of PSA in the blood, while a male of 20 to 29 will typically register the normal level of 4 ng/mL. Regardless, PSA screenings are essential for monitoring conditions associated with the prostate.
A 10 ng/mL of PSA in the blood can likely be a sign of prostate cancer. This is not always the case, however. Abnormal levels of PSA can be the result of an infection of the prostate, or even be the result of a preexisting condition. Importantly enough, prostate specific antigen screenings can detect a multitude of conditions affiliated with the prostate, and can even be used to monitor prostate cancer.
To conclude, PSA screenings are essential for all males. They detect things that regular prostate screenings cannot always discover, and can serve as a warning for potential threats.
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