PSA testing to check for hidden prostate cancer in other wise healthy men identifies a potential risk but is not a diagnosis. Diagnosing cancer requires a prostate needle biopsy, which is painful for some men and may lead to bleeding and infection. In men with moderately elevated PSA levels, three-quarters of biopsies do not confirm the presence of cancer. The PCA3 test can help some men avoid unnecessary repeat biopsies after a biopsy does not find cancer and PSA levels remain high.
To continue reading this article, you must login
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.