Common non-cancerous causes of elevated PSA are always evaluated prior to a biopsy.
Prostate cancer is a leading form of cancer among men. Today, 1 in 9 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lives. The PSA blood test is a baseline diagnostic tool for prostate cancer screening, and is one aid in diagnosis. However, an elevated PSA does not explicitly mean prostate cancer is present. There are several non-cancerous causes of elevated PSA – both medical and non-medical. When men visit a urologist, these additional factors will be considered so that the appropriate diagnosis can be made.
Non-cancerous causes of elevated PSA
There are several factors that can skew PSA test results. Some of these include:
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): Any degree of inflammation near the prostate can produce higher levels of PSA. An in-office urinalysis is a simple tool that is used to screen for an UTI.
- Recent Intercourse: While elevations are usually slight, intercourse can temporarily raise prostate levels. It is important to inform the doctor if you have had intercourse prior to testing. For more accurate results, it is best to refrain from ejaculation for approximately two days prior to a PSA test.
- Digital rectal exam: The digital rectal exam is a physical evaluation of the prostate gland. This examination can elevate PSA levels while manipulating the prostate.
- Age: As men age, PSA levels naturally rise and may be entirely benign.
- Recent Trauma: This may include trauma to the perineal area, or even catheter use.
- Prostatitis: An inflammation of the prostate gland can increase PSA levels. Further evaluation will be needed to determine if the infection is bacterial or non-bacterial so that appropriate treatment can be started.
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or an enlarged prostate: Not all gland enlargements are cancerous. The overgrowth of prostate tissue can lead to more PSA production. There are several treatment options available for an enlarged prostate.
- Cycling: Some studies suggest that cycling may contribute to an elevation in PSA levels.
Do not let an elevated PSA create unwarranted anxiety for yourself and your loved ones. If you’re interested in having a prostate evaluation, contact Urology Austin to schedule an appointment at the location nearest you.