Clear answers on unclear PSA results
Today, the initial step to diagnose prostate cancer is by testing PSA together with a digital rectal examination (DRE). The PSA test is a well-established prostate-specific marker that measures the concentration of PSA molecules (Prostate-Specific Antigen) in a blood sample. A high level of PSA can be a sign of prostate cancer. Therefore, clinical guidelines recommend a confirmatory prostate biopsy, if PSA > 3 ng/ml. But PSA levels can also be raised for many other reasons including infections, prostate stimulation, vigorous exercise or even certain medications. PSA results are confusing for many patients and even physicians. Patients are sent for time-consuming and anxiety-causing additional examinations, especially when a biopsy is being considered. Currently, over 50% of biopsies with elevated PSA are negative or clinically insignificant. This means overdiagnosis and overtreatment that impacts the physician's routine, our healthcare system, and the quality of patient's lives.