Tracking Your PSA Results Transcript

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Date: September 2008
Duration: 0 / 01:45

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The prostate specific antigen, or PSA, test is a simple blood test that measures the amount of PSA in a man’s bloodstream. PSA is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. This measurement, along with other factors, helps your primary care provider determine your relative risk for prostate cancer. 

M. D. Anderson recommends that men track their PSA results over time. A complete testing history is important if an abnormality is ever found. Other pieces of information to track include the date of your PSA test and your age at the time of testing. The risk for prostate cancer increases with age.

Document the name of the testing location and the provider who ordered your test. Knowing this information will help in case you need official copies of results in the future.

The amount of PSA in the blood is measured in nanograms per milliliter. Ask your primary care provider for the actual PSA level, not just if the level is normal or elevated. Lower levels of PSA may suggest a lower risk for prostate cancer, but it is important to understand that there is no lower limit at which there is no risk for prostate cancer. 

Lastly, two different measurement standards are used for PSA testing: Hybritech and World Health Organization. Your test results will vary depending on which standard is used. Values may not be comparable if the standard is not known. Ask your primary care provider which test he or she used.

To make it easier to track your PSA information, download our PSA Tracking Tool from our Web site. The tool can be found in the September issue of Focused on Health at

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