• Question: What is PSA?

    Asked by niishad to Dalya, Derek, Sarah, Tim, Tom on 18 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Dalya Soond

      Dalya Soond answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      Stands for Prostate Specific Antigen.
      It is made by the prostate gland, which is the gland that produces semen which sperm swim about in. It can also be detected in the blood.
      The level of PSA is regularly tested in the blood of men over 50 because when it is at a higher than normal level, it can indicate the start of prostate cancer.

    • Photo: Tim Millar

      Tim Millar answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      It might be many things, but it might be the Prostate Specific Antigen. This is a test carried out to see if a man has prostate cancer. The prostate is a gland that releases fluid to help sperm fertilise the egg. Sometimes it can become infected and many years later become cancerous. The prostate then releases “antigens” into the body and they float around in the blood. The antigens are proteins that are only produced by a cancerous prostate so they act as a good marker of prostate cancer. We can take blood from a man and test it to see if there are Prostate Specific Anigens, and if so start treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

    • Photo: Sarah Thomas

      Sarah Thomas answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      The PSA test is a blood test. PSA (prostate specific antigen) is a protein made by the prostate gland, which naturally leaks out into the blood. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in your blood.

      Sometimes a raised PSA level can be a sign of prostate cancer. More often though, it’s caused by something less serious like an inflamed prostate or an enlarged prostate, which is more common as men get older.

      A single PSA test can’t show whether a prostate cancer is present, or whether it’s slow or fast-growing.

      In the UK, there is currently no screening programme for prostate cancer using the PSA test because the results are not reliable enough.

    • Photo: Tom Crick

      Tom Crick answered on 18 Jun 2011:

      Already answered well by Team Chromium!

    • Photo: Derek McKay-Bukowski

      Derek McKay-Bukowski answered on 18 Jun 2011:

      I didn’t know this one.

      Having scientists with a diverse range of specialisation helps a lot!