A blood test for Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a routine screening measure for prostate cancer. Prostate cells produce a protein called PSA, and a high PSA level in the blood can be a sign of prostate cancer. The normal range of PSA is 0-4 ng/ml. A PSA greater than 4 may indicate cancer or it may indicate more benign conditions such as enlargement of the prostate or infection. However, the rise of PSA must also be considered, a concept known as “PSA velocity.” A rise of more than .75ng/ml per year indicates possible prostate cancer and warrants referral to a urologist or biopsy, regardless of whether the PSA is in the range of 0-4 ng/ml. The concept was developed specifically to enable physicians to identify a certain percentage of men who develop prostate cancer but do not have PSA levels above 4 ng/ml. By using PSA velocity, these cancers can be identified early and treated.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Medical Malpractice and Negligent Care.