PSA Total Blood Test
The PSA (prostate-specific antigen) total blood test measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a protein made by the prostate gland, and elevated levels of PSA can be an indication of prostate cancer or other prostate-related conditions.
During the test, a small sample of blood is taken from a vein in the arm and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The normal range for PSA levels varies by age and other factors, but generally ranges from 0 to 4 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
Elevated levels of PSA can indicate the presence of prostate cancer or other prostate-related conditions, such as prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland) or benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate gland). However, elevated PSA levels do not necessarily indicate the presence of cancer, and further testing, such as a biopsy, may be necessary to confirm a diagnosis.
The PSA total blood test is often used as part of routine prostate cancer screening for men over the age of 50, or earlier for men with a family history of prostate cancer or other risk factors. It can also be used to monitor the progression of prostate cancer and the effectiveness of treatment.
It is important to note that the PSA total blood test is not specific to prostate cancer, and elevated PSA levels can also be caused by other factors, such as age, race, certain medications, and certain medical procedures. A healthcare provider can interpret the results of the test in the context of the individual’s medical history and other test results, and develop an appropriate treatment plan if necessary.
The test allows healthcare providers to examine the size, shape, and structure of the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This information can help diagnose and monitor a variety of medical conditions, including anemia, infections, and bleeding disorders.
For example, a peripheral smear can help diagnose certain types of anemia, such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, which affect the shape and structure of red blood cells. The test can also help diagnose infections, such as malaria, which can be identified by the presence of certain parasites in the blood.
In addition, a peripheral smear can help diagnose and monitor bleeding disorders, such as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), which is characterized by low levels of platelets in the blood. Platelets can be seen on the peripheral smear as small, round, dark structures.
Overall, the peripheral smear test is a valuable tool for healthcare providers in diagnosing and monitoring a wide range of medical conditions affecting the blood cells.
This page is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute the provision of medical advice or professional services. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice regarding any of the tests and conditions referenced above are advised to consult with a licensed clinician. Always seek the advice of your qualified health provider regarding a medical condition and do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information on this page. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or go to the nearest urgent care center or hospital.
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