Seven Causes of Elevated PSA Levels

  1. Age. In general, a normal PSA range for men in their 40’s is 0-2.5 ng/mL; men in their 50’s, 0-4 ng/mL; 60’s, 0-4.5 ng/mL; and 70’s, 0-6.5 ng/mL. Ethnicity may shift these values slightly as well.
  2. Prostate size. A man with a larger-than-normal prostate gland may have a higher PSA level. A digital rectal exam by your physician will detect this.
  3. Prostate inflamation. Bacterial infections e.g. prostatitis produce inflamed, tender or swollen glands thereby elevating one’s PSA level.
  4. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is an enlarged prostate and differs from simply having a larger-than-usual gland. It is common in men over 50 and may make urination or ejaculation difficult. Additional tests can confirm BPH.
  5. Urinary tract infection or irritation. This infection as well as irritation caused by medical procedures involving the urethra or bladder may cause the gland to produce more PSA. If any such procedures have been performed, give the area some time to heal before running a PSA test.
  6. Prostate stimulation. Stimulation such as through sexual activity, ejaculation or even having a digital rectal exam by your physician may affect PSA results.
  7. Medications. Some medications can artificially lower the PSA, such as finasteride (Proscar or Propecia) or dutasteride (Avodart). Remind your doctor of any of these medications you may be taking so they can factor them in when assessing your PSA results.                                                                                                                                                  This information was obtained from the Prostate Cancer Foundation, www.pcf.org.

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