The first sign of prostate cancer can certainly be a high PSA level, but it can also be a sign of a less-serious condition.
Here are some reasons you may have an abnormal PSA reading:
1. PSA Levels Are Affected By Age
Your PSA level can increase gradually as you age even without any prostate problems. At age 40, a PSA of 2.5 is the normal limit but by age 70, a PSA of 6.5 could be considered normal.
2. Many Men Under 50 Suffer From Prostatitis
Prostatitis is the most common prostate problem for men younger than 50. Common causes of inflammation in the prostate gland, called prostatitis, can cause high PSA levels.
3. PSA Can Be Elevated Due To Medical Procedures
Anything that traumatically interferes with the architecture around the prostate gland can make PSA go up such as placing a catheter into the bladder. A bladder exam that involves passing a scope or taking a biopsy can also affect PSA levels.
4. BPH May Be the Cause of High PSA In Men Over 50
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlargement of the prostate gland. BPH means more cells, so that means more cells making PSA. BPH is the most common prostate problem in men over age 50. It may not need to be treated unless it’s causing frequent or difficult urination.
5. Urinary Tract Infections Can Create High PSA Levels
Any infection near the prostate gland such as a urinary tract infection, can irritate and inflame prostate cells and cause PSA to rise. If you’ve been diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, be sure to wait until after the infection has cleared up before you get a PSA test.
6. Ejaculation Can Be a Potential Cause of Mildly Elevated PSA
Ejaculation can cause a mild elevation of your PSA level. This type of PSA elevation is usually not enough to make a significant difference unless your PSA is borderline.