Does having a higher prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level mean a worse prostate cancer prognosis?
Answer From Patricio C. Gargollo, M.D.
Yes. In general, a higher PSA level means a poorer prostate cancer prognosis.
PSA is a protein made by cells in the prostate. When cancer cells form in the prostate, they tend to make a lot of PSA. Having prostate cancer often causes high levels of PSA in the blood.
When you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, your PSA level gives your health care provider important information. Your PSA level helps your provider decide how likely it is that the cancer has spread beyond the prostate. It also helps your provider decide how likely it is that your cancer will be cured with treatment. Other clues about your prognosis come from your cancer’s stage, grade and Gleason score.
If you have prostate cancer and you’re worried about your prognosis, talk with your provider.
Patricio C. Gargollo, M.D.
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Aug. 16, 2022
- Partin AW, et al., eds. Prostate cancer biomarkers. In: Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Elsevier; 2021. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 23, 2022.
- Prostate cancer. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. https://www.nccn.org/guidelines/guidelines-detail?category=1&id=1459. Accessed June 23, 2022.
- Freedland S. Measurement of prostate-specific antigen. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed June 23, 2022.