Things That Could Affect Prostate PSA Levels

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When it comes to figuring out exactly what is wrong with your prostate, PSA testing is your first line of defense. Knowing is half the battle after all, and this form of testing is known to be the most effective means of isolating the nature of your prostate problem. If your doctor recommends that you take a PSA test, make sure not to skip it.

Inside the human prostate, PSA or prostate specific androgens are generated. Androgens are male hormones, and every human male is born with a minimal amount of PSA. Abnormal levels of PSA would portend an imbalance in glandular production, which could mean a lot of things, among which is prostate cancer. But a slightly high PSA level may not be an indication of prostate cancer at all. A variety of factors can affect PSA level, namely:

1. Injury. Some forms of injury, heavy or light, may cause the PSA level to rise. Not all forms of injury may affect PSA level, however, so if you are concerned that a specific accident might have affected your PSA count, be sure to tell your doctor.

2. Ejaculation. Sexual activity could raise PSA level. It is important to refrain from having sexual intercourse or masturbating at least 24 hours before the PSA testing is accomplished.

3. A digital rectal examination. Your doctor may instruct you to undergo a digital rectal examination for prostate problems. If you undergo such an examination so soon before a PSA test, your blood may reflect a slightly higher PSA count than normal.

If you have not experienced any of these within 24 hours of your PSA test and still reflect a PSA level that is slightly higher than normal, you may still be able to rule out cancer. Other conditions that are related to high PSA include prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland), and BEP (benign enlargement of the prostate - also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH).

So if you think you have experienced anything that would raise your prostate PSA level, make sure to tell your doctor about it. Your doctor will be better able to diagnose the precise nature of your prostate problem if he or she has all the facts right at the onset.