If you are a male over 50, you are probably familiar with the term elevated PSA, and have likely had PSA screenings over the years. But if you are younger, perhaps you are less familiar with the term. If so, PSA stands for prostate-specific antigen, which is a protein produced by the prostate gland. Elevated PSA levels are found in men with prostate cancer. However, according to cancer.gov, a number of benign, or not-cancerous, medical issues can cause elevated PSA. Here are some factors that can cause elevated PSA as listed in an article from Everyday Health.
- Prostatitis: Prostatitis is an infection in the prostate gland. Sometimes it is caused by bacteria, and thus can be treated with antibiotics. There is also a non-bacterial form of prostatitis that is harder to treat. This infection is the most common problem men under 50 have with their prostates.
- Medical Procedures: Having a PSA test shortly after receiving a medical procedure near the prostate is not a good idea, since trauma to the prostate can cause elevated PSA. So after procedures such as the placing of a catheter or getting a biopsy, wait several weeks before taking a PSA test.
- Urinary Tract Infection: UTIs can cause elevated PSA. Any infection near the prostate gland can cause the prostate gland to be inflamed and cause PSA levels to rise. Like prostatitis, a urinary tract infection can be treated with antibiotics.
- Indicator of Prostate Cancer: If a man has a dramatic increase in his PSA level, or has multiple tests with elevated PSA scores, he should talk with his physician and consider having a biopsy to determine if cancer is present.
These are just a few of the benign causes of elevated PSA levels. Of course, any prostate concerns or PSA level concerns should be addressed with your doctor. If you are in the Austin, Texas area, contact us at Urology Austin to discuss PSA levels with any of our urologists or specialists. While cancer is a cause for elevated PSA, we can narrow down the cause and help you get the appropriate treatment.