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Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test

(continued)

Using the PSA Blood Test After Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Although the PSA test is used mainly to screen for prostate cancer, it is valuable in other situations:

  • To guide treatment. Along with a doctor's exam and tumor stage, the PSA test can help determine how advanced a prostate cancer is. This may affect treatment options.
  • To determine treatment success. After surgery or radiation, the PSA level can be monitored to help determine if treatment was successful. PSA levels normally fall to very low levels if the treatment removed or destroyed all of the cancer cells. A rising PSA level can mean that prostate cancer cells are present and your cancer has come back.

If you choose a "watchful waiting" approach to treatment, the PSA level can help determine if the disease is progressing and if active treatment should be considered.

During hormonal therapy, the PSA level can help indicate how well the treatment is working or when it may be time to try another treatment.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arnold Wax, MD on August 03, 2012
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