Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Is the PSA Test Reliable for Prostate Enlargement?

Thursday, 13 May 2010 08:52 AM

Question: Is the PSA a reliable test for prostate enlargement?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

The PSA ( which stands for prostate specific antigen) blood test is sensitive to prostate tissue and increases with an enlarging prostate gland. The PSA will also elevate (sometimes as high as 100 or more) with infection, inflammation, prostatic calculi (stones), and prostatic tumor. While it is a very good marker of prostatic hypertrophy (enlarging of the glandular component of prostate tissue), it is not to be used as a marker of prostatic enlargement without an accompanying rectal examination.

The absence of PSA elevation does not mean there is no cancer present. There are PSA negative prostate tumors that can only be detected initially by rectal examination and diagnosed by directed ultrasound and biopsy confirmation. Men need to have a rectal examination as well as a PSA for proper evaluation of their prostate gland.

© HealthDay

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