Understanding PSA – I

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

Understanding PSA

Most doctors recommend waiting until age 50 to start PSA testing. That’s because prostate cancer is uncommon before this age. However, PSA levels are sometimes checked in men younger than age 50 because they have a risk factor for prostate cancer, such as having a close family member with the disease or being African-American (African American men are more likely than other men to develop prostate cancer and can develop an aggressive form of the disease at a young age).

Next, we need to know your most recent PSA test result. Usually this is a number between 1.0 and 10.0 (PSA is measured in nanograms per milliliter, or ng/ml).


What was your PSA level?

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