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In men aged 50 to 69, a PSA of 3 nanograms/ml or above is usually considered to be high. But this cut-off point will vary depending on your age and ethnicity. Remember that having a raised PSA does not necessarily mean that you have prostate cancer. You can ask your doctor to explain your PSA test result to you.
There isn’t an ideal test for prostate cancer. The PSA blood test can help your GP suspect prostate cancer, but it can give both false positives and false negatives. A false positive is when the test is raised, but you don’t have prostate cancer. A false negative is when the test is normal even though you do have cancer. Your GP may also do a rectal examination to check for prostate cancer. If your GP suspects prostate cancer, they will refer you to a specialist who may recommend further tests including an MRI scan and a biopsy.
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This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals and deemed accurate on the date of review. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition.
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- Prostate information. Prostate Cancer UK. prostatecanceruk.org, updated July 2019
- Advising well men about the PSA test for prostate cancer: information for GPs. Public Health England. www.gov.uk, updated January 2020
- Personal communication, Professor Andrew Protheroe, Consultant Oncologist, November 2021