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PSA Specialist

Mark J. Kelly, MD

Urology located in Santa Monica, CA

A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is an important tool in screening for prostate cancer. An elevated level of PSA in your blood points to the possibility of prostate cancer, which is why board-certified urologist Mark J. Kelly, MD, provides PSA tests to see if further prostate cancer tests may be necessary. Dr. Kelly performs PSA tests, as well as biopsies, at his practice in Santa Monica, California. To schedule a prostate cancer screening at the Medical Office of Mark J. Kelly, MD, Inc. call or use the online booking tool today.


What is a PSA test?

A PSA test measures the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. Your prostate produces PSA when it’s healthy, but malignant prostate cells produce PSA too. If you have an elevated level of PSA in your blood, you may be at increased risk of prostate cancer.

Though a high PSA level may be the first sign of prostate cancer, it’s important to know that a PSA test doesn’t confirm a diagnosis.

Many men have elevated PSA as a result of normal, age-related prostate growth. Though an enlarged prostate can result in complications, including urinary difficulties, it’s not the same thing as cancer. Further, it’s possible to have prostate cancer even if your PSA level is normal.  

Dr. Kelly uses PSA tests to determine if you need additional tests for prostate cancer, along with digital rectal examinations (DREs), which involve feeling for abnormalities. These screening tools are especially necessary because prostate cancer often doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages.


What happens if I have high PSA levels?

If your test reveals an elevated PSA level, or if Dr. Kelly detects a suspicious growth during a DRE, he first rules out other conditions. For example, your PSA level may have been elevated because of an infection or benign prostate growth, and the level may then return to normal after addressing these issues. This approach is important to avoid undergoing unnecessary treatments.

Depending on your PSA level and additional risk factors, Dr. Kelly may recommend you undergo a prostate biopsy. To sample your prostate tissue, Dr. Kelly uses fusion-guided technology, combining magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound, to precisely target areas that appear to contain cancerous growths. Dr. Kelly uses the results of the biopsy to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer.


How does PSA testing fit into prostate cancer treatment?

Though its primary purpose is as a screening tool, Dr. Kelly may also use PSA testing as part of your prostate cancer treatment. For example, if your prostate cancer is in remission, he may recommend undergoing a PSA test.

The role of PSA testing in prostate cancer treatment is similar to its role in screening. That is to say, PSA testing can’t confirm whether prostate cancer has recurred. However, an increase in your PSA levels may be the first sign you need additional treatment.

To schedule a PSA test, call the Medical Office of Mark J. Kelly, MD, Inc. or use the online booking tool today.