PSA stands for Prostate-Specific Antigen. It is a protein made in the prostate and released into the bloodstream, and this blood test is what is measured to check a ‘PSA level’.
PSA is often elevated in men with prostate cancer, but the PSA can be elevated due to other benign pathologies and does not necessarily mean that there is prostate cancer present. Screening for prostate cancer typically includes use of the PSA blood test in conjunction with the digital rectal examination (DRE) of the prostate.
PSA is also used to follow response in men who have been treated for prostate cancer.
There are conflicting opinions on who should be screened for prostate cancer using the PSA test, but ultimately it should be a shared-decision made by a person and their doctor, with their physician providing all the information they need to make a choice.