What is PSA?

PSA stands for prostate-specific antigen, a substance that breaks down the gel-like consistency of semen, allowing sperm to swim towards the egg. PSA, an essential component of semen, is produced by specialized epithelial cells in the prostate gland. Normally, men with a healthy prostate have a small amount of PSA in their blood, and the normal range can vary by age. An increase in PSA levels does not necessarily indicate prostate cancer; it suggests that something is amiss with the prostate gland and requires evaluation.

PSA levels can be influenced by various factors, such as prostate inflammation, enlargement, or cancer. However, PSA levels can also remain elevated for up to 48 hours after sexual activity. Moreover, vigorous exercise, particularly cycling, can affect PSA levels. Therefore, it is advised that men avoid ejaculation and vigorous exercise 48 hours before undergoing a PSA test.

PSA in the blood exists in two forms: free PSA (the inactive form) and bound PSA (the active form). A low ratio of free to bound PSA suggests a problem with the prostate gland. Specifically, if the ratio is less than 25%, there is a considerable likelihood of prostate cancer. Interestingly, women with breast, lung, or uterine cancer can also exhibit high PSA levels, though the origin and exact role of PSA in these conditions are not well understood.

In summary, PSA plays a critical role in fertilization as an important component of semen. While elevated PSA levels can indicate an issue with the prostate gland, they do not necessarily confirm the presence of prostate cancer. It is essential to consult a healthcare provider to address any concerns and determine an appropriate course of action.

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended solely for informational purposes. It is not meant to serve as medical advice. For professional medical guidance, please consult your doctor.


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