When a man gets the results that he has an elevated PSA, it can strike fear in him much the same as when a woman finds a lump in her breast. While an elevated PSA can mean prostate cancer, often times there are more benign causes.
The following are 6 non-cancerous sources of an abnormal PSA test:
- Prostatitis — inflammation in the prostate gland, either bacterial or non-bacterial, can cause elevations in the PSA. This is the most common cause of prostate concerns in men younger than 50 years of age.
- Medical Procedures — any procedure that causes trauma to the prostate gland can cause the PSA to elevate. An example of this is having a urinary catheter placed into the bladder. Another is having a prostate exam or biopsy collected. There should be a two-to-three week interval between these types of trauma and having the PSA tested.
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) — this is an enlargement of the prostate gland and is the most common prostate issue in men older than 50 years old.
- Urinary Tract Infection — urinary tract infections, or any infection near the prostate for that matter, can inflame the prostate cells causing an elevation in the PSA. BPH increases the risk of this type of infection in men.
- Aging — even in the absence of prostate problems, there is a gradual increase in PSA values as men age.
- Sexual Intercourse — ejaculation can cause a mild increase in PSA although it’s probably not enough to matter unless the levels are borderline.
In conclusion, an elevated PSA is not always associated with cancer. If you have concerns regarding your prostate health, contact us at Urology Austin to schedule an appointment to address your fears about the meaning of your test results.