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Men's Health

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Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA)


A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood.

The normal values listed here-called a reference range-are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.


Because normal PSA levels seem to increase with age, age-specific ranges may be used. But the use of age-specific ranges is controversial, and some doctors prefer to use one range for all ages. For this reason, it is important to discuss your test results with your doctor.

Total prostate-specific antigen (PSA) 1

Men ages 40-49:

0-2.5 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL)

0-2.5 micrograms per liter (mcg/L)

Men ages 50-59:

0-3.5 ng/mL

0-3.5 mcg/L

Men ages 60-69:

0-5.5 ng/mL

0-5.5 mcg/L

Men ages 70 and older:

0-6.5 ng/mL

0-6.5 mcg/L

High values

High levels do not always mean prostate cancer is present. PSA levels may be high if the prostate gland is enlarged (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH) or inflamed (prostatitis).

A follow-up test that measures free prostate-specific antigen (free PSA) may be used to see if a prostate biopsy should be done to check for cancer. Free PSA is the percent of prostate-specific antigen that is not attached to proteins in the blood. The lower a man's free PSA percentage, the more likely he is to have prostate cancer.

A man with a total PSA between 4 and 10 ng/mL may have a test to find out his free PSA, to see if cancer is likely to be present. This test can be very useful if he had a negative prostate biopsy in the past but still has a high total PSA.

Free prostate-specific antigen (fPSA) 2

Percent of free PSA

Probability of cancer

More than 25%:










WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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