Elevated PSA Levels

More information about elevated PSA levels and the risk of prostate cancer associated with elevated PSA levels.

What Causes Elevated PSA Levels?

According to the National Cancer Institute and supporting publications, although PSA levels tend to increase with age, prostate gland size and inflammation they can be specifically increased by certain activities including a recent prostate biopsy, ejaculation, vigorous exercise (like cycling) in the 48 hours before a PSA test is performed. Knowing prostate gland size may impact a man's PSA level gave popularity to PSA density as it is a calculation of total PSA (ng/ml) divided by prostate volume (mL).

possible causes for elevated or high psa levels

What is the Risk of Prostate Cancer with Elevated PSA?

Assessing the risk of prostate cancer based solely upon PSA is difficult as there are additional reasons for PSA to be elevated. Men with a PSA level in the “Grey Zone” or in a range from 2.0ng/mL to 10 ng/ml have about a 1 in 4 chance of having prostate cancer according to the American Cancer Society.   However, if the PSA level is over 10 ng/ml, then the chance of having prostate cancer is over 50%.  Additional data points can help to identify high risk cancers (like the falcons and rabbits) in the analogy below while avoiding over treatment of slow growing cancers (like the snails and turtles). To find out more about this analogy you can download our ebook.

Download our ebook: Taking Charge of Your Prostate Health  

happy family eating dinner

What Does a High PSA Level mean?

There are many reasons that could lead to an elevated PSA level, and it is important to know the potential reasons why PSA levels are elevated as well as patient-specific risk factors for prostate cancer. Elevated levels of PSA can occur due to:

  • Enlarged prostate (benign prostate hyperplasia or BPH)
  • Prostatitis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Recent ejaculation
  • Prostate massage
  • Vigorous exercise
doctor with patient and family member in office

What do PSA numbers mean?

PSA levels generally increase with age. Generally speaking, PSA numbers may be interpreted as identified below. However, this is by no means intended to be a definitive guide and should be taken in conjunction with a patient’s medical history, risk profile, race and other clinical factors when attempting to assess risk. The EPI Test may be able to help provide additional information for men who want to better understand their risk for aggressive or clinically significant prostate cancer.

There is no widely acceptable limit for justifying a biopsy in PSA range of 2 to 10 ng/mL. This is where The ExoDx Prostate Test can provide additional helpful information that allows doctors and patients to understand the risk of having clinically significant prostate cancer on biopsy.

Is the ExoDx Prostate Test Right for Me? Download this guide and speak with your physician.