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Also known as: Total PSA; Free PSA
Formal name: Prostate Specific Antigen

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At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To screen men for prostate cancer, to help determine the necessity for a biopsy of the prostate, to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for prostate cancer, and/or to detect recurrence of prostate cancer

When to Get Tested?

When a man has symptoms suggestive of prostate cancer such as difficult, painful, and/or frequent urination; may also be ordered during and at regular intervals after prostate cancer treatment; in asymptomatic men, after a discussion with your healthcare provider about the benefits and harms of screening and you make an informed decision to undergo screening (For specific details, see prostate cancer screening for Adults and Adults 50 and Up).

Sample Required?

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm

Test Preparation Needed?

Avoid ejaculation for 24 hours before sample collection as it has been associated with elevated PSA levels; the sample should also be collected prior to your health practitioner performing a digital rectal exam (DRE) and prior to (or several weeks after) a prostate biopsy.