PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, is a protein in the blood produced by the prostate. It is used as an indicator in a man’s blood to determine the health of the prostate. An elevated PSA can indicate prostate cancer, but other non-cancerous issues can cause elevated PSA as well. Two of the most common non-cancerous causes of elevated PSA levels are prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlargement of the same organ. Issues that lead to an elevated PSA can cause reduced fertility or even infertility in men. Many of these issues can be successfully treated, cured, or reduced. Since the PSA test is just an indicator, it is important to run further tests to find the cause of an elevated PSA level. Read about what impacts PSA levels below.
PSA Increases after Surgery
If your PSA is elevated after prostate cancer surgery, it can be a false positive result. It may take some time for your blood to show the results of the surgery. During your recovery, your physician will monitor the level closely. Since results immediately after surgery can be skewed, any test results should be repeated after you have fully healed and recovered. Since each patient is different, this recovery time may take a few weeks or even up to a few months. During that time, your physician will let you know how often to test your PSA. Once you fully recover, your physician may ask for further tests to determine the cause of the elevated PSA and formulate a plan for any additional treatment.
Benign Causes of Elevated PSA
Although both benign, prostatitis and BPH can still cause issues related to discomfort and infertility in men. Therefore, treatment may be ordered to alleviate these conditions. Discussing symptoms and treatment options with your physician is the best way to find the right treatment for you and your situation. Most physicians will start with the least intrusive treatment first to make treatment easy as possible for their patients. Treatments can include:
- Restricted diet
- Restricted medications or changing medications
- Adding medication to treat the affected area
- Checking for any abnormalities in the prostate
- Using ultrasound, X-ray, or MRI
Depending on the continued cause of an elevated PSA level, you and your physician will decide on further treatment, which may include radiation or specialized medications. It is best to take care of any cancerous cells at the earliest opportunity; however, your physician will work with you to eradicate the cancerous cells in the least intrusive manner possible. If you have questions about prostate cancer or PSA levels, Georgia Urology can help. Contact us to schedule an appointment.