Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test: About This Test

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Male anatomy highlighting the prostate

What is it?

A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test measures the amount of PSA in your blood. PSA is released by a man's prostate gland into his blood. A high PSA level may mean that you have an enlargement, infection, or cancer of the prostate.

Why is this test done?

You may have this test to:

  • Check for prostate cancer.
  • Watch prostate cancer and see if treatment is working.

How can you prepare for the test?

Do not ejaculate during the 2 days before your PSA blood test, either during sex or masturbation.

What happens before the test?

Tell your doctor if you have had a:

  • Test to look at your bladder (cystoscopy) in the past several weeks.
  • Prostate biopsy in the past several weeks.
  • Prostate infection or urinary tract infection that has not gone away.
  • Tube (catheter) inserted into your bladder to drain urine recently.

What happens during the test?

A health professional takes a sample of your blood.

What happens after the test?

You can go back to your usual activities right away.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any questions about this test.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

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