Lots of things can cause a raised PSA level, including the following prostate problems:
So a PSA test alone can’t usually tell you whether you have prostate cancer. Many men with a raised PSA level don't have prostate cancer. And some men with a normal PSA level do have prostate cancer.
To decide whether you need to see a specialist at the hospital, your GP will look at:
What happens next?
If your GP thinks your PSA level is higher than it should be for your own situation, they may arrange for you to see a specialist at the hospital. For example, they might make an appointment for you to see a specialist if your PSA level is 3 ng/ml or higher. But this is just a guide and slightly higher levels may be normal in older men.
They might refer you to a specialist if your PSA level is lower than 3 ng/ml but you have an increased risk of prostate cancer for other reasons, such as your family history.
If your GP thinks you could have prostate cancer, you will usually see a specialist within two weeks. You may hear this called a 'two-week wait' or 'fast-track' referral.
If your GP thinks something else has caused your PSA level to be raised, they might suggest having another PSA test in the future to see if your PSA level changes, rather than seeing a specialist straight away.
Your GP should discuss all of this with you, to help you decide what to do next.
My PSA was a little high, so my GP referred
me to a specialist for more tests.
Regular PSA tests
After some men have had their first PSA test they might want to have regular tests every few years, particularly if they have an increased risk of prostate cancer. This might be a good way to spot any changes in your PSA level that might suggest prostate cancer. But we need more research to show how often you might need a test. You could discuss this with your GP or practice nurse, or call our Specialist Nurses.
You can order a PSA card to keep a record of your PSA level.