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There are several causes of elevated PSA aside from prostrate cancer.

The PSA blood test is a screening tool used in the detection of prostate cancer. Sometimes, test results will indicate an elevation in PSA blood levels. Fortunately, this does not definitively mean a cancer diagnosis. Known causes of elevated PSA can range from simple activities such as cycling prior to the blood test, to an inflammation of the prostate. In fact, a number of benign (non-cancerous) medical issues can affect PSA numbers.

In general, PSA screening should begin as men reach their 50s. However, men who are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, such as African American men and those who have a history of prostate cancer in their family, should begin PSA testing by 40.

Causes of elevated PSA

PSA levels can be influenced by common activities, medications, and various medical conditions. Before having a PSA blood test, discuss your current medical condition and medications with your provider. In the event that PSA blood testing shows an elevation, the physician will have this additional information to help determine further testing.

Common factors that can influence PSA test results include:

  • Prostatitis – An infection in the prostate gland. Sometimes it is caused by bacteria and is treated with antibiotics. Non-bacterial prostatitis is harder to treat.
  • 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.
  • Medications.
  • Catheter placement.
  • Medical procedures such as a digital rectal exam; prostate biopsy.
  • Enlarged prostate.

If you are interested in having a PSA blood test or prostate screening, contact Urology Austin to schedule an appointment.

Related links / Research papers

Long distance cycling and PSA

The effects of cycling on PSA

Effect of ejaculation on PSA

Ejaculation and PSA

What not to do before a PSA blood test.