Making Better Sense of the PSA test for the Prostate
By the time you read this, I may be in a plane heading back to New York from Las Vegas, where I attended the A4M conference (anti-aging).
I am taking a red-eye back (brutal. but had no choice).
I can only do Vegas for three days max, and then it’s just overwhelming after that.
At the A4M conference, there were medical colleagues asking PSA and prostate-related questions, of course – this is common these days for me. And I am glad to help.
One of the docs asked me, “When is PSA dangerous?”
Well, “that’s a loaded question,” I told him I could take a 3-day course alone on PSA testing.
But I was able to give three easy Takeaways that I thought were helpful.
And here are the three easy things you should know about the PSA test:
- The “normal” range on your labs between 0.0 to 4.0ng/ml is BS. A guy with a PSA of, say 2.5 who is 51 years old can have prostate cancer.
- PSA is indeed age-specific, meaning, what’s abnormal for 52year old, say a PSA of 2.5 may be normal for a 72-year-old.
- PSA velocity does matter, meaning how PSA changes with time is important too. Say a 56-year-old guy has a PSA of 1.7ng/ml, and on the next visit, three or six months later his PSA jump to 3.2ng/ml. That’s a big jump, especially for his relatively young age.
The last guy (#3) may not require a biopsy right away but this guy needs to be carefully screened moving forward.
And there you have it. Obviously, it can get more complicated than that, but this is a very nice overview of how PSA works, I think.
” Don’t get too happy when PSA is down, and don’t get worried when PSA is up.” – Dr. Geo
Much love![Feel free to ask questions below but I cannot answer personalized type questions as I am actually a real, licensed doctor but can’t play one on the internet]