Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test

Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a protein made by the prostate. Prostate is a walnut-sized gland in men that makes a fluid for semen. Most PSA is released into semen. Some of it is released into the blood. If there is a problem with the prostate, the PSA level in the blood can become elevated.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After the test, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Bleeding from the puncture site
    • Red, swollen, or painful puncture site
    • If you have not heard from your doctor in 1-2 weeks

  • Definition

    Prostate specific antigen
    (PSA) is a protein made by the prostate. Prostate is a walnut-sized gland in men that makes a fluid for semen.

    Most PSA is released into semen. Some of it is released into the blood. If there is a problem with the prostate, the PSA level in the blood can become elevated.

    Anatomy of the Prostate
    Anatomy of the Prostate Gland
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Test

    The PSA test is used to:

    • Monitor treatment effectiveness for prostate cancer
    • Help determine if cancer has returned in men who have already been treated for prostate cancer

    • Test for other conditions, like
      prostatitis
      , or
      benign prostatic hyperplasia


    The PSA test may also be used as a screening tool for
    prostate cancer
    . However, this use is controversial. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of the PSA test, and your personal risk factors for prostate cancer.

  • Possible Complications

    There are no major complications associated with this test.