PSA Level Patterns are Foretelling

Prostate cancer develops when PSA levels increase over time

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) There's been a lot of controversy about what rising PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels actually mean. A new study answers some of these concerns. Men whose PSA levels continue to be elevated over a period of years are more likely to develop prostate cancer.

New research from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine showed that nearly 70 percent of men who had rising PSA levels, followed by normal biopsies, were eventually diagnosed with prostate cancer.

"Rising PSA levels need to be monitored closely."

"Our findings show an elevated and rising PSA level or velocity should lead a clinician to follow a patient more closely, even if he has a negative biopsy," said lead investigator William Catalona, M.D., director of the clinical prostate cancer program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

Researchers studied the records of 97 patients with a rising PSA trend (or velocity) who had a subsequent negative biopsy.

They found 66 percent of these patients were later diagnosed with prostate cancer, 20 percent had a benign prostate, 8 percent had protatitis and 6 percent had premalignant tumors.

Lurie cautions, "One negative biopsy isn't the end of the road."

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Review Date: 
May 26, 2011
Last Updated:
October 18, 2012