Prostate Specific Antigen, or PSA is a protein which is produced by the prostate gland (a part of the male reproductive system) and released into the blood in small amounts. When there is a serious prostate problem, like prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement), or prostatitis (inflammation), more PSA is released, until it reaches a level where it can be detected in the blood.
During a PSA test, a blood sample is taken from the arm, and the level is then measured. A normal PSA level is less than 4 ng/ml., levels between 4 and 10 ng/ml. are usually considered moderate, or in-between, and levels above 10 ng/ml. are usually considered high. However, since the PSA level can be high in men who do not have cancer, it’s important that a digital rectal examination be done in addition to a PSA test.