Free PSA Test

free psa test

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is free PSA?


PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen. It is a protein that is produced by the prostate gland cells. It circulates through the body in two ways:

– Bound with any other protein
– Without binding with any other protein.
The PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) which circulates in the body without binding to any protein is called Free PSA.

What is the Free PSA Test?

The Free PSA Test is used to monitor or measure the amount of free PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) in the body. It helps in detecting the signs of prostate cancer by measuring the level of unbound Prostate-specific Antigens in the blood.

Why did my doctor recommend me to undergo Free PSA Test?

Your doctor might have suggested a PSA test previously. If the results are abnormal,i.e. If the levels of PSA are abnormally high, your doctor might suggest you undergo the Free PSA Test to confirm Prostate gland Cancer. The Free PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) test also diagnoses prostate inflammation or enlargement. A Free PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) Test is also suggested instead of a biopsy. Your doctor might also suggest the Free PSA Test to monitor how bad is the condition of your cancer is if it has come back after treatment.

When do I need a Free PSA Test?

If you notice symptoms related to prostate gland abnormalities, it is recommended to take a free PSA test after a PSA test. If the PSA results are abnormal, it is always suggested to go for a free PSA test to monitor and confirm if it is prostate gland cancer or any other disorder like prostate gland inflammation or enlargement. The most common symptoms of prostate gland enlargement are:

– A weak or slow urinary stream.
– A feeling of incomplete bladder emptying.
– Difficulty starting urination.
– Frequent urination.
– The urgency to urinate.
– Getting up frequently at night to urinate.
– A urinary stream that starts and stops intermittently
– Straining to urinate.
– Continued dribbling of urine.
– Returning to urinate again minutes after finishing.

If you have prostate cancer, you might also notice these following symptoms:
– Painful or burning urination.
– Blood in your urine.
– Trouble getting an erection.
– Painful ejaculation.
– Less fluid when you ejaculate.
– Blood in your semen.

How do I prepare myself for the Free PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) test?

Inform your doctor if you have undergone Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) or Rectal Prostatic Ultrasonography within the past 7 days. Avoid having sex or masturbating for 24 hours before the test.

What is the procedure of the Free PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) test?

For Free PSA Test to be conducted the blood sample is collected by the following procedure:
 
– A tourniquet is wrapped around the upper arm to make the veins more prominent.

– A syringe or needle is used to draw blood by puncturing the vein.

– The blood is drawn into the tube of the syringe.

– The tourniquet is unwrapped.

– An antiseptic is applied to the spot of venipuncture to avoid any infection.

– The spot of injection of the syringe is dabbed by a cotton swab or a bandage is put to stop any further bleeding.

– The blood sample is then sent to the laboratory for the Free PSA test.

Is the Free PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) Test procedure painful?

There’s no pain associated with the collection of the blood sample. A person might feel a pin pricking sensation for a very brief moment after the test. The pain goes away within a few hours.

What are the risks of the Free PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) Test?

There are no risks related to this test. The procedure of blood collection might have some risks associated with it. Some people feel light-headed and dizzy after the blood is drawn. It might cause Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin causing a lump or bruise). There might be pain associated with too many punctures for finding a vein.

What is the price of the Free PSA(Prostrate Specific Hormone) Test in India?

The price of the Free PSA test in India ranges from Rs 800- 2000. It can vary with various locations around the country.

When will I get my results?

You will get your Free PSA Test results within 1 week to 10 days. 


How to interpret my Free PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) test results?


Free PSA levels are measured as a proportion with the total PSA level. This proportion indicates the chances of prostate cancer. The higher ratio of the Free PSA to the total PSA is rendered healthier. The table given below elaborates on the percentages of the Free PSA in the body and the chances of prostate cancer.

PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) percentage Probability of Prostate Cancer
0%-10% 56%
10%-15% 28%
15%-20% 20%
15%-20% 16%
Greater than 25% 8%

What is the prevalence of prostate gland cancer in India?

More than 25,000 cases of prostate gland cancer are reported every year in India. Prostate gland cancer is the reason for more than 17,000 deaths in India every year.

Is it safe for kids to undergo Free PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) Test?

Since the test procedure includes the collection of blood by venipuncture, kids can easily undergo the Free PSA Test. There are no risks associated with the procedure except for the common risks related to venipuncture.

Is there any other test associated with the Free PSA(prostate Specific Antigen) test?

The Free PSA Test is always recommended along with a total PSA test. It can also be recommended after taking a total PSA Test depending on the results of the PSA Test. 

What are the benefits and limitations of Free PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) Test?

Benefits Limitations
Free PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) test helps in diagnosing prostate gland abnormalities like prostate enlargement or prostate inflammation.Free PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) test has a high chance of false positives. 
Free PSA test helps in confirming Prostate cancer after the PSA level shows abnormalities.
A person with a higher level of Free PSA with a lower level of PSA can also have prostate cancer. It can’t be understood with Free PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen) Test.
Free PSA Test is also recommended instead of biopsy which is comparatively expensive.The Free PSA Test results can vary with laboratories depending on the different lab methods being used for the test.

 

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