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What is the PSA Blood Test?
PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen which is a hormone secreted purely by the prostate. The level of PSA in the blood depends upon the size of the prostate, your age, the number of cells within the prostate itself and whether or not infection of the bladder or prostate is present. The PSA blood test measures the levels of Antigen in the blood. The blood measurement is looked at in three different levels as follows:

Level I 0-4
This indicates that there are unlikely to be any problems with the prostate. At a level less than 4 the prostate can be considered to be benign and we would not proceed with further prostate investigations, such as biopsy of the prostate, as a matter of routine. However, we would continue to investigate any problems you may have concerning your ability to pass urine.

Level II 4-10
At this level 30% of patients will be found to have changes in the prostate which could be considered to be early prostate cancer. At a level between 4 and 10 arrangements would normally be made for a special x-ray called a Transrectal Ultrasound Scan and prostate biopsies would be performed in the Radiology Department. The biopsies enable us to determine whether or not there are any malignant changes within the prostate gland. However we emphasise that only 30% of patients will have prostate cancer, whereas 60-70% of patients will have a normal prostate.

Level III 10+
In this event it is likely that the prostate has enlarged and there will be various changes, possibly malignant, within the prostate or the prostate may be inflamed or infected.

At a level of 10+ a Transrectal Ultrasound Scan and prostate biopsies will be carried out as a matter of routine and it may be that we will need to consider some form of surgery on the prostate if this has not already been contemplated in view of the severe symptoms which you may be experiencing.

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