A PSA test, or a prostate specific antigen test, is meant to measure the presence of the hormone and enzymes that causes semen to liquefy from its original gelatinous state. This makes it easier for semen to pass through the cervical canal during sexual intercourse. It’s used as a detector of an enlarged prostate gland, which is one of the earliest and most noticeable prostate cancer symptoms.
Prostate cancer is one of the most lethal diseases in men over fifty years old. It’s slow to grow, so it’s important to catch this condition early. An enlarged prostate is noticeable mainly by its symptoms, such as trouble urinating, blood in urine or stool, and possible impotence.
It’s important to have a proper PSA level. A PSA test measures the amount of enzyme present by taking a biopsy of the prostate, comparing the amount of PSA in the sample and comparing it to an ultrasound scan of the prostate to determine if it’s the size it should be. Generally, the accepted healthy level of PSA is between 4 and 10 nanograms per milliliter.
Any more than this is linked to an increase in the likelihood of prostate cancer. The best way to keep these levels in an acceptable level is to ejaculate frequently – it’s commonly accepted that men who ejaculate at least five times a week are a third less likely to develop prostate cancer. A low-stress lifestyle, with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is another possible preventive measure.
Causes of PSA Increase
PSA isn’t just at high levels because of an enlarged prostate – it also can be at high levels before and after ejaculation, and also if the prostate gland itself is infected.
PSA tests are debated as to whether or not they’re really a good measure of how large the prostate gland is. This is because, as stated, the prostate can be enlarged for several reasons, and the PSA levels can be free-roaming in the blood, rather than bound to a specific protein. Even so, it’s still necessary to have regular examination to see that the prostate gland hasn’t become too enlarged and isn’t infected.
Although prostate cancer is a lethal disease if untreated, it can be taken care of if the disease is detected early on with a PSA test.