PSA testing


Adapted from the prostate cancer risk management programme

Before having a PSA test men should not have:

  1. an active urinary infection (PSA may remain raised for many months);

  2. ejaculated in the previous 48 hours;

  3. exercised vigorously in the previous 48 hours;

  4. had a prostate biopsy in the previous 6 weeks; or

  5. had a digital rectal examination (DRE) in the previous week.

Each of these may produce an abnormally raised PSA result.

When taking blood you should ensure that the specimen will reach the laboratory in time for the serum to be separated within 16 hours.

Key PCRMP recommendations:

  1. Bullet Any  man over the age of 50 who asks for a PSA test after careful consideration of the implications should be given one

  2. Bullet The PSA test should not be added to a list of investigations without a careful explanation of why the test is being performed and its implications