PSA Test Flunks Out

Published: May 27, 2004

In a study that further questions the validity of the current PSA test, researchers found that up to 15 percent of men with what were considered "normal" PSA levels actually had prostate cancer. PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels are routinely used to screen men for the presence of prostate cancer. Typically, levels above 4 ng per milliliter indicate the need for a biopsy to check for any malignancies. A debate has been circulating as to whether the current threshold is inadequate. For some, the latest findings, appearing in the May 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, may emphasize the need to lower the upper limit for normal.

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