PSA-Test - The Possibilities of Early Detection

In addition to palpation and ultrasound examinations, the PSA test has been available for the early detection of prostate carcinoma for more than 25 years. Fortunately, since the introduction of the PSA test, prostate cancer can be detected on average 5 years earlier than by examination or ultrasound. This has led to the fact that tumours can nowadays be detected much more frequently at an early stage and are therefore cured more frequently by appropriate measures.

The blood test detects the concentration of the prostate-specific antigen. This protein is produced only by prostate cells and serves to liquefy the sperm.

The value can be increased by various changes of the prostate gland. This includes in particular:

  • ejaculation
  • cycling
  • prostate inflammation
  • examination of the rectum
  • cystoscopies
  • and unfortunately also: prostate cancer

Therefore, before each examination of the PSA value in a health surveillance protocol, it should be ruled out that the first-mentioned "disruptive factors" have influenced the value. Ideally, you should abstain from these "activities" for at least 2-3 days before a PSA examination.

If the value has increased despite the exclusion of the above-mentioned possibilities (for older patients over 4 ng/ml - for younger men already below 4 ng/ml) or if it increases by more than 0.5 ng/ml in one year compared to the value of the previous year, further investigations for the exclusion or detection of prostate carcinoma must be carried out as a matter of urgency. Find out more in the live interview "Prevention of prostate cancer" by Dr. Neubauer in the studio of WDR.

Even after prostate cancer therapy, the PSA test is best suited for so-called follow-up. Tumor cells that have metastasized outside the prostate gland in the body produce PSA, so that the recurrence of the disease can often be detected much earlier through the test than through other examinations.

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