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PSA Meaning

PSA Meaning Explained: Importance in Prostate Health

Regular health care is an important aspect of all of our lives. As men get older, monitoring prostate health becomes part of the routine. Prostate cancer is quite common – affecting nearly 1 in 8 men at some point. Learn more about what the meaning of PSA is.

Taking care of your prostate involves:

  • regular check-ups
  • a healthy diet
  • exercising regularly
  • being aware of any changes in your bod

Regular check-ups with your doctor are essential because they can catch potential issues early when they are most treatable. In addition, neglecting prostate health can lead to problems like:

  • difficulty urinating
  • painful ejaculation
  • frequent trips to the bathroom
  • serious conditions such as prostate cancer

During these visits, your doctor might perform a prostate exam and a screening test to measure your PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels. Both tests can help detect abnormalities, which can help ensure prostate cancer is found early when it is most treatable.

PSA Meaning

PSA meaning in medical terms is prostate-specific antigen. It’s a simple blood test that measures the level of prostate-specific antigen in your blood. PSA is a protein produced by both normal and cancerous cells in the prostate gland. The PSA level in your blood can be an indicator of prostate health.

What Do Elevated PSA Levels Mean?

An elevated PSA level can be alarming, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate prostate cancer. Higher levels can also be caused by less serious conditions like an enlarged prostate or an infection. An elevated PSA level could be due to:

How is PSA Tested?

PSA tests are typically recommended as part of routine check-ups for men starting around age 50 or earlier for those at higher risk of prostate cancer, such as those with a family history of the disease.

PSA screening detects early signs of potential problems when they are often more manageable and treatable.

During the test, a blood sample is taken from a vein in the arm and sent to a lab for analysis. Levels that come back higher than normal may require further investigation.

PSA levels alone do not confirm prostate cancer; they simply signal the need for further tests, such as a prostate biopsy.

What If My PSA Level Is High?

If your PSA levels are elevated, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a serious problem. Still, it does mean that additional diagnostic tests are needed to get a clearer picture of what’s going on with your prostate. Added tests could include things like:

  • An MRI
  • A digital rectal exam (DRE)
  • A biopsy, where a small sample of prostate tissue is taken and examined for signs of disease

Monitoring your PSA levels over time is another approach your doctor might take. This means having regular PSA tests to keep an eye on any changes. If your PSA levels remain stable, it might just be a matter of keeping up with routine check-ups. However, if there are significant changes, further action might be necessary.

How Are High PSA Levels Treated?

Treatment options will vary depending on the underlying cause of the elevated PSA levels. If the cause is an infection or inflammation, antibiotics or other medications might be prescribed.

In cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia, medications to shrink the prostate or relax the muscles around it can help. Minimally invasive procedures are also available.

Sometimes, lifestyle changes can help manage or reduce elevated PSA levels. This might involve actions such as:

  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Cutting back on red meat and dairy
  • Incorporating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Regular exercise

If prostate cancer is detected, treatment options could range from surgery to radiation therapy to hormone treatments, depending on the stage and aggressiveness of the cancer.

Schedule Your PSA Test

If you’re over 50, it’s time to start monitoring your prostate health and have your PSA levels checked regularly. A urologist is your partner in ensuring your prostate stays healthy.

Don’t delay getting your PSA and regular prostate exams – call 843.347.2450 to schedule an appointment today!

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