What does the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test help detect?

Arthur W. Perry, MD
Plastic Surgery
Today we have a much better understanding of the strengths and limitations of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. In addition to detecting prostate cancer, we now realize that the PSA test is great for detecting benign (non-cancerous) prostate disorders, such as prostate infections (prostatitis) and benign prostate enlargement or BPH. These non-cancerous conditions affect many more men than does prostate cancer. Before proceeding with a biopsy looking for cancer, the goal of PSA testing should be to rule out prostatitis and BPH first. Understanding and implementing this approach makes the PSA test much more effective.

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