Associated Urologists of North Carolina
Urologists located in Apex, Cary, Clayton, Clinton, Dunn, Raleigh & Wake Forest, NC
If you have a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test and your results are elevated, it could be a sign of prostate cancer or a benign prostate condition. At Associated Urologists of North Carolina, the team of board-certified urologists uses advanced diagnostics to find the cause of elevated PSA at their seven locations in Apex, Cary, Clayton, Clinton, Dunn, Raleigh, and Wake Forest, North Carolina. Whatever the reason for your elevated PSA, the specialists can help. Call the practice today.
Elevated PSA Q & A
What is Elevated PSA?
Elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a test result that could indicate problems with your prostate, such as:
- Enlarged prostate gland
- Prostate cancer
PSA is a substance made in your prostate gland. The levels can vary between different men and in the same man at different stages of his life. In general, however, there are four levels of increasing risk:
- Safe: 0-2.5 ng/mL
- Safe for most: 2.6-4 ng/mL
- Suspicious: 4-10 ng/mL
- Dangerous: 10 ng/mL and above
When you have a PSA screening test at Associated Urologists of North Carolina, your urologist discusses the results and how you should proceed. Your urologist only recommends you take a PSA screening test after you’ve discussed the advantages and potential disadvantages of the test with them.
What Happens Next if I Have an Elevated PSA?
If you have an elevated PSA, your urologist at Associated Urologists of North Carolina might recommend a prostate biopsy. This is a test for prostate cancer, which is one of several tests that may be recommended. Other tests include:
- Digital rectal examination (DRE)
- Transrectal ultrasound
- Scans and X-rays
- Multiparametric MRI (mpMRI)
Having an elevated PSA doesn’t mean you definitely have prostate cancer. Your PSA rate can rise because of other factors. For example, as you age, your PSA rises even when you have a perfectly healthy prostate.
On the other hand, medications such as finasteride (PropeciaⓇ or ProscarⓇ) or dutasteride (AvodartⓇ) can cause a false reading on your PSA test that makes it look 50% lower than it really is.
What is a Prostate Biopsy?
A prostate biopsy is a method of testing that involves taking a small sample of prostate tissue for laboratory examination. The process takes about 10 minutes and can be done in the office at Associated Urologists of North Carolina.
Your urologist puts a probe into your rectum and administers a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. They put a biopsy needle through your rectum into your prostate gland and extract a sample of tissue. They take multiple samples from different areas of the prostate for analysis.
A prostate biopsy is the standard for diagnosing cancer, but it does have some risks. The possibility of infection means you need to take antibiotics before and after your biopsy. You may also experience some bleeding and tenderness.
An alternative diagnostic technique is mp-MRI. This uses magnetic energy and radio waves to create detailed images of your prostate gland. An mp-MRI is safe, noninvasive, and can show details like the movement of water molecules in the prostate and blood flow in a tumor. An mp-MRI doesn’t present the same risk of infection and bleeding as a biopsy.
If suspicious lesion is identified on MRI, the area can be targeted by performing an MRI fusion prostate biopsy.
If you have any concerns about your prostate health or want to discuss having a PSA screening, call Associated Urologists of North Carolina today.