Understanding PSA – I_C

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

Understanding PSA

Your PSA level is below 4.0 ng/ml. This is generally a reassuring result, and your risk of having prostate cancer is low.

However, your PSA level is slightly higher than expected for someone less than age 50. Speak with your doctor about the following options

  • referral to a urologist (prostate specialist)
  • repeat testing in 3-6 months to make sure that your PSA level is not rising
  • measuring your “free” PSA level. This special way of testing your PSA level may help to decide if a biopsy is needed. High levels of free PSA are reassuring, while low levels are worrisome for cancer.

If you have had previous PSA testing and the level is about the same as before, your doctor may simply recommend repeat testing in one to two years.


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