Do men with a higher prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level have a worse prostate cancer prognosis?
Answers from Erik P. Castle, M.D.
Yes. In most cases, a higher PSA level indicates a poorer prostate cancer prognosis.
PSA is a protein made by prostate tissue. Men with prostate cancer often have elevated PSA levels because the cancer cells make excessive amounts of this protein.
At the time of initial diagnosis of prostate cancer, the PSA level helps determine how likely it is that the cancer has spread (metastasized). It also helps determine how likely the cancer will be cured with treatment such as radiation or surgery. Your doctor also considers other factors, such as your prostate cancer stage, the grade of your cancer and your Gleason score in figuring your prognosis.
If you've been diagnosed with prostate cancer and are concerned about your prognosis, discuss your situation with your doctor.
Aug. 13, 2014
- Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 21, 2013.
- Prostate cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed July 21, 2014.