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High PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test

Blood test
High PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test
Last update: 16/12/2021

What is a high PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test called?

  • PSA high

What is the normal PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test?

If you need to know which are the PSA reference ranges or you require more information about PSA in a blood test, you can visit normal PSA in a blood test.

What does a high PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) mean?

PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a protein produced by the prostate and may be high in the blood when there is a prostate disorder.

The PSA may be present in the blood bound to other proteins (conjugated PSA) or unbound to other proteins (Free PSA). Total PSA is the sum of both.

The two main causes for an elevation of PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in the blood are:

  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): There is an increase in free PSA.
  • Prostate cancer: There is an increase in conjugated PSA.

For that reason, it is interesting to know the ratio Free PSA / Total PSA. The free PSA tends to be lower in men with prostate cancer than in those with benign disease, so an elevated PSA with a low amount of free PSA is more likely to signify a malignancy than an elevated PSA with a high free PSA.

In other words, if the rate Free PSA / Total PSA is over 0.20 is a sign of benign prostatic hyperplasia. On the contrary, if the rate is below 0.20 is a sign of prostate cancer.

Another sign for the diagnosis of a prostate cancer is an increase of more than 0.75 ng/ml from one year to another.

A high PSA level in the blood may be also present in case of infection (prostatitis) or prostate trauma.

  • Mild PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) increase (2.5 - 10 ng/ml in men from 40 to 49 years old, 3.5 - 10 ng/ml in men from 50 to 59 years old, 4.5 - 10 ng/ml in men 60 to 69 years old, 6.5 - 10 ng/ml in men over 70 years old):

    When there is a mild PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) increase is necessary a visit to your doctor.

    A mild PSA increase is in the “gray zone” and a prostate biopsy is recommended to know if it is due to a prostate cancer. Only 25% of men after the biopsy will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and the rest is probably that may be suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia. Of the people who actually suffer from prostate cancer with a mild PSA increase, in more than 75% of the cases the cancer is confined and is potentially curable.

    Another way that may help in the diagnosis is to study the rate between free PSA and total PSA (Free PSA / Total PSA).

    • If the ratio is > 0.2 is a sign of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
    • If the ratio is < 0.2 is a sign of prostate cancer.
    The lower the ratio is, the greater the possibility of developing a prostate cancer is.

    Another sign for the diagnosis of a prostate cancer is an increase of more than 0.75 ng/ml of PSA from one year to another.

  • Moderate PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) increase (10 - 20 ng/ml in men):

    A moderate PSA increase is a matter for concern because the probability to suffer from prostate cancer is high (over 65%).

    You must visit your doctor and he will decide the following steps. For example, a prostate biopsy is usually recommended for a proper diagnosis and in order to prescribe you the best treatment.

  • Severe PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) increase (>20 ng/ml in men):

    A severe PSA increase is usually a sign of prostate cancer.

    You must contact your doctor to know the different treatments available. It is probable that you need a prostatectomy (a surgical procedure for the removal of the prostate).

Which factors can raise the (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test?

There are some health circumstances or drugs than can raise the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test:

  • Rectal examination
  • Ejaculation
  • Drugs
    • Antineoplastics
      • Cyclophosphamide
      • Finasteride
      • Methotrexate

Which diseases can raise your PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test?

The most common diseases why the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) can be higher than normal are:

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Prostate cancer
  • Bladder infection
  • Prostatitis
  • Acute prostatitis
  • Chronic prostatitis

What can I do to lower the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test?

If PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) level is high in the blood due to a bacterial prostatitis, antibiotics may help to solve the infection and decrease the PSA level.

In case that the PSA increase is due to a prostate cancer, your doctor will explain you the different alternatives that may include a prostatectomy. After the removal of the prostate, the PSA level should be below 0.5 ng/ml.

Where can I find more information about PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test?

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered a high PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test?

The following values are considered to be above the normal range:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in ng/ml. They are an example of a healthy man/woman of about 55 years old with no known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

Mild PSA increase
3.6 ng/ml3.7 ng/ml3.8 ng/ml3.9 ng/ml4 ng/ml4.1 ng/ml4.2 ng/ml4.3 ng/ml
4.4 ng/ml4.5 ng/ml4.6 ng/ml4.7 ng/ml4.8 ng/ml4.9 ng/ml5 ng/ml5.1 ng/ml
5.2 ng/ml5.3 ng/ml5.4 ng/ml5.5 ng/ml5.6 ng/ml5.7 ng/ml5.8 ng/ml5.9 ng/ml
6 ng/ml6.1 ng/ml6.2 ng/ml6.3 ng/ml6.4 ng/ml6.5 ng/ml6.6 ng/ml6.7 ng/ml
6.8 ng/ml6.9 ng/ml7 ng/ml7.1 ng/ml7.2 ng/ml7.3 ng/ml7.4 ng/ml7.5 ng/ml
7.6 ng/ml7.7 ng/ml7.8 ng/ml7.9 ng/ml8 ng/ml8.1 ng/ml8.2 ng/ml8.3 ng/ml
8.4 ng/ml8.5 ng/ml8.6 ng/ml8.7 ng/ml8.8 ng/ml8.9 ng/ml9 ng/ml9.1 ng/ml
9.2 ng/ml9.3 ng/ml9.4 ng/ml9.5 ng/ml9.6 ng/ml9.7 ng/ml9.8 ng/ml9.9 ng/ml
10 ng/ml       
Moderate PSA increase
10.1 ng/ml10.2 ng/ml10.3 ng/ml10.4 ng/ml10.5 ng/ml10.6 ng/ml10.7 ng/ml10.8 ng/ml
10.9 ng/ml11 ng/ml11.1 ng/ml11.2 ng/ml11.3 ng/ml11.4 ng/ml11.5 ng/ml11.6 ng/ml
11.7 ng/ml11.8 ng/ml11.9 ng/ml12 ng/ml12.1 ng/ml12.2 ng/ml12.3 ng/ml12.4 ng/ml
12.5 ng/ml12.6 ng/ml12.7 ng/ml12.8 ng/ml12.9 ng/ml13 ng/ml13.1 ng/ml13.2 ng/ml
13.3 ng/ml13.4 ng/ml13.5 ng/ml13.6 ng/ml13.7 ng/ml13.8 ng/ml13.9 ng/ml14 ng/ml
14.1 ng/ml14.2 ng/ml14.3 ng/ml14.4 ng/ml14.5 ng/ml14.6 ng/ml14.7 ng/ml14.8 ng/ml
14.9 ng/ml15 ng/ml15.1 ng/ml15.2 ng/ml15.3 ng/ml15.4 ng/ml15.5 ng/ml15.6 ng/ml
15.7 ng/ml15.8 ng/ml15.9 ng/ml16 ng/ml16.1 ng/ml16.2 ng/ml16.3 ng/ml16.4 ng/ml
16.5 ng/ml16.6 ng/ml16.7 ng/ml16.8 ng/ml16.9 ng/ml17 ng/ml17.1 ng/ml17.2 ng/ml
17.3 ng/ml17.4 ng/ml17.5 ng/ml17.6 ng/ml17.7 ng/ml17.8 ng/ml17.9 ng/ml18 ng/ml
18.1 ng/ml18.2 ng/ml18.3 ng/ml18.4 ng/ml18.5 ng/ml18.6 ng/ml18.7 ng/ml18.8 ng/ml
18.9 ng/ml19 ng/ml19.1 ng/ml19.2 ng/ml19.3 ng/ml19.4 ng/ml19.5 ng/ml19.6 ng/ml
19.7 ng/ml19.8 ng/ml19.9 ng/ml20 ng/ml    
Severe PSA increase
20.1 ng/ml20.2 ng/ml20.3 ng/ml20.4 ng/ml20.5 ng/ml20.6 ng/ml20.7 ng/ml20.8 ng/ml
20.9 ng/ml21 ng/ml21.1 ng/ml21.2 ng/ml21.3 ng/ml21.4 ng/ml21.5 ng/ml21.6 ng/ml
21.7 ng/ml21.8 ng/ml21.9 ng/ml22 ng/ml22.1 ng/ml22.2 ng/ml22.3 ng/ml22.4 ng/ml
22.5 ng/ml22.6 ng/ml22.7 ng/ml22.8 ng/ml22.9 ng/ml23 ng/ml23.1 ng/ml23.2 ng/ml
23.3 ng/ml23.4 ng/ml23.5 ng/ml23.6 ng/ml23.7 ng/ml23.8 ng/ml23.9 ng/ml24 ng/ml
24.1 ng/ml24.2 ng/ml24.3 ng/ml24.4 ng/ml24.5 ng/ml24.6 ng/ml24.7 ng/ml24.8 ng/ml
24.9 ng/ml25 ng/ml25.1 ng/ml25.2 ng/ml25.3 ng/ml25.4 ng/ml25.5 ng/ml25.6 ng/ml
25.7 ng/ml25.8 ng/ml25.9 ng/ml26 ng/ml26.1 ng/ml26.2 ng/ml26.3 ng/ml26.4 ng/ml
26.5 ng/ml26.6 ng/ml26.7 ng/ml26.8 ng/ml26.9 ng/ml27 ng/ml27.1 ng/ml27.2 ng/ml
27.3 ng/ml27.4 ng/ml27.5 ng/ml27.6 ng/ml27.7 ng/ml27.8 ng/ml27.9 ng/ml28 ng/ml
28.1 ng/ml28.2 ng/ml28.3 ng/ml28.4 ng/ml28.5 ng/ml28.6 ng/ml28.7 ng/ml28.8 ng/ml
28.9 ng/ml29 ng/ml29.1 ng/ml29.2 ng/ml29.3 ng/ml29.4 ng/ml29.5 ng/ml29.6 ng/ml
29.7 ng/ml29.8 ng/ml29.9 ng/ml30 ng/ml30.1 ng/ml30.2 ng/ml30.3 ng/ml30.4 ng/ml
30.5 ng/ml30.6 ng/ml30.7 ng/ml30.8 ng/ml30.9 ng/ml31 ng/ml31.1 ng/ml31.2 ng/ml
31.3 ng/ml31.4 ng/ml31.5 ng/ml31.6 ng/ml31.7 ng/ml31.8 ng/ml31.9 ng/ml32 ng/ml
32.1 ng/ml32.2 ng/ml32.3 ng/ml32.4 ng/ml32.5 ng/ml32.6 ng/ml32.7 ng/ml32.8 ng/ml
32.9 ng/ml33 ng/ml33.1 ng/ml33.2 ng/ml33.3 ng/ml33.4 ng/ml33.5 ng/ml33.6 ng/ml
33.7 ng/ml33.8 ng/ml33.9 ng/ml34 ng/ml34.1 ng/ml34.2 ng/ml34.3 ng/ml34.4 ng/ml
34.5 ng/ml34.6 ng/ml34.7 ng/ml34.8 ng/ml34.9 ng/ml35 ng/ml35.1 ng/ml35.2 ng/ml
35.3 ng/ml35.4 ng/ml35.5 ng/ml35.6 ng/ml35.7 ng/ml35.8 ng/ml35.9 ng/ml36 ng/ml
36.1 ng/ml36.2 ng/ml36.3 ng/ml36.4 ng/ml36.5 ng/ml36.6 ng/ml36.7 ng/ml36.8 ng/ml
36.9 ng/ml37 ng/ml37.1 ng/ml37.2 ng/ml37.3 ng/ml37.4 ng/ml37.5 ng/ml37.6 ng/ml
37.7 ng/ml37.8 ng/ml37.9 ng/ml38 ng/ml38.1 ng/ml38.2 ng/ml38.3 ng/ml38.4 ng/ml
38.5 ng/ml38.6 ng/ml38.7 ng/ml38.8 ng/ml38.9 ng/ml39 ng/ml39.1 ng/ml39.2 ng/ml
39.3 ng/ml39.4 ng/ml39.5 ng/ml39.6 ng/ml39.7 ng/ml39.8 ng/ml39.9 ng/ml40 ng/ml
40.1 ng/ml40.2 ng/ml40.3 ng/ml40.4 ng/ml40.5 ng/ml40.6 ng/ml40.7 ng/ml40.8 ng/ml
40.9 ng/ml41 ng/ml41.1 ng/ml41.2 ng/ml41.3 ng/ml41.4 ng/ml41.5 ng/ml41.6 ng/ml
41.7 ng/ml41.8 ng/ml41.9 ng/ml42 ng/ml42.1 ng/ml42.2 ng/ml42.3 ng/ml42.4 ng/ml
42.5 ng/ml42.6 ng/ml42.7 ng/ml42.8 ng/ml42.9 ng/ml43 ng/ml43.1 ng/ml43.2 ng/ml
43.3 ng/ml43.4 ng/ml43.5 ng/ml43.6 ng/ml43.7 ng/ml43.8 ng/ml43.9 ng/ml44 ng/ml
44.1 ng/ml44.2 ng/ml44.3 ng/ml44.4 ng/ml44.5 ng/ml44.6 ng/ml44.7 ng/ml44.8 ng/ml
44.9 ng/ml45 ng/ml45.1 ng/ml45.2 ng/ml45.3 ng/ml45.4 ng/ml45.5 ng/ml45.6 ng/ml
45.7 ng/ml45.8 ng/ml45.9 ng/ml46 ng/ml46.1 ng/ml46.2 ng/ml46.3 ng/ml46.4 ng/ml
46.5 ng/ml46.6 ng/ml46.7 ng/ml46.8 ng/ml46.9 ng/ml47 ng/ml47.1 ng/ml47.2 ng/ml
47.3 ng/ml47.4 ng/ml47.5 ng/ml47.6 ng/ml47.7 ng/ml47.8 ng/ml47.9 ng/ml48 ng/ml
48.1 ng/ml48.2 ng/ml48.3 ng/ml48.4 ng/ml48.5 ng/ml48.6 ng/ml48.7 ng/ml48.8 ng/ml
48.9 ng/ml49 ng/ml49.1 ng/ml49.2 ng/ml49.3 ng/ml49.4 ng/ml49.5 ng/ml49.6 ng/ml
49.7 ng/ml49.8 ng/ml49.9 ng/ml50 ng/ml50.1 ng/ml50.2 ng/ml50.3 ng/ml50.4 ng/ml
50.5 ng/ml50.6 ng/ml50.7 ng/ml50.8 ng/ml50.9 ng/ml51 ng/ml51.1 ng/ml51.2 ng/ml
51.3 ng/ml51.4 ng/ml51.5 ng/ml51.6 ng/ml51.7 ng/ml51.8 ng/ml51.9 ng/ml52 ng/ml
52.1 ng/ml52.2 ng/ml52.3 ng/ml52.4 ng/ml52.5 ng/ml52.6 ng/ml52.7 ng/ml52.8 ng/ml
52.9 ng/ml53 ng/ml53.1 ng/ml53.2 ng/ml53.3 ng/ml53.4 ng/ml53.5 ng/ml53.6 ng/ml
53.7 ng/ml53.8 ng/ml53.9 ng/ml54 ng/ml54.1 ng/ml54.2 ng/ml54.3 ng/ml54.4 ng/ml
54.5 ng/ml54.6 ng/ml54.7 ng/ml54.8 ng/ml54.9 ng/ml55 ng/ml55.1 ng/ml55.2 ng/ml
55.3 ng/ml55.4 ng/ml55.5 ng/ml55.6 ng/ml55.7 ng/ml55.8 ng/ml55.9 ng/ml56 ng/ml
56.1 ng/ml56.2 ng/ml56.3 ng/ml56.4 ng/ml56.5 ng/ml56.6 ng/ml56.7 ng/ml56.8 ng/ml
Medically reviewed by our Medical staff on 16/12/2021


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