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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18458
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My husband has just been told that his PSA level has gone from

Customer Question

My husband has just been told that his PSA level has gone from 8.5 to 10 in one week. The Doctor is sending him for a biospy (sorry if spelt wrongly!) and a scan. My husband is not handling this news very badly and is convinced he has cancer. How long does it take for the results to be known after the scan? If 10 is high, is there a real worry level and what is it 10 out of? Thanks for your help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.

There are several pertinent comments in this situation.

The PSA is a measured value, just like blood sugar levels. It is not 10 out of something, it is a level of 10. The units are in μg/L in most countries, or also sometimes expressed as ng/ml.

An elevated PSA is a sign that there is an increased risk that prostate cancer is present, but it is NOT a definite sign that prostate cancer is present. If there are no other risk factors for prostate cancer or an abnormal exam, then a PSA level of 10 in a 76 year old man would mean that there is about a 42% chance that cancer will be detected on a biopsy, about half of which are high-grade cancers. That also means that there is a 58% chance that no cancer will be detected.

As for the speed at which the results are available, the scan results are typically available within a day or two when done as a sole test, but the biopsy takes longer, usually 3-5 days. If the scan and the biopsy are scheduled at the same time, then the doctor will be using the results of the scan to guide the biopsy, so the results will be available immediately.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for that - can you say what causes the PSA level to go up?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
The PSA can become elevated from any condition that increases the amount of prostate tissue, so the most common cause of an elevated PSA is from benign prostate enlargement, also called benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH.