Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA)

  • Marc A. Kowalkouski
  • Heather Honoré Goltz
  • Stacey L. Hart
  • David Latini
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_211



Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. PSA functions in male fertility, and most of it gets expelled from the body in semen. However, low levels circulate in the blood. Elevated serum PSA levels often indicate the presence of prostate cancer and other prostate disorders.


Measuring PSA

The PSA screening test measures the total level of PSA circulating in the blood serum. PSA levels above 4 ng per milliliter are considered above normal. However, total PSA does not offer a definitive diagnosis for cancer or other prostate disease. Therefore, additional measures of PSA have been integrated to depict a more comprehensive profile of prostate disease characteristics. For example, PSA velocity measures the rate of increase in PSA over time. Generally, larger PSA velocity is associated with prostate cancer. Free PSA is the percentage of circulating PSA that is not...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc A. Kowalkouski
    • 1
  • Heather Honoré Goltz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stacey L. Hart
    • 3
  • David Latini
    • 4
  1. 1.HSR&D Center of ExcellenceMichael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC 152)HoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social SciencesUniversity of Houston-DowntownHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Scott Department of UrologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA