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Elevated Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA)

Elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels detected during testing can indicate prostate cancer, but there are several other less serious conditions that could cause the higher levels. An abnormally high level of PSA is typically between 4 and 10.

Testing for PSA has issues of its own. For instance, the test is unable to distinguish between serious and minor causes of elevated PSA. Even ejaculating within 24 hours of taking the test can skew results.

Noncancerous Reasons for Elevated PSA


Inflammation of the prostate gland, or prostatitis, can cause high PSA levels and is the most common prostate problem for men under 50. The bacterial form of prostatitis can be treated with antibiotics. Nonbacterial prostatitis is more difficult to treat.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

A noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, BPH is a condition in which the gland is producing too many cells. This causes an increased level of PSA. Unless you’re experiencing frequent or difficult urination, BPH likely will not require treatment. But your doctor should do a digital rectal exam to make sure the elevated PSA is due to BPH and not prostate cancer.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Any infection near the prostate gland, such as a UTI, can inflame prostate cells and cause your PSA levels to elevate. For this reason, it’s recommended that you do not get a PSA test until your UTI has been treated with antibiotics.

The Urology specialists at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston can perform testing for PSA levels and will provide you with valuable guidance prior to your appointment to avoid a false-positive result.

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