T. Ming Chu, Ph.D., DSc, Chair Emeritus of Diagnostic Immunology Research and Professor Emeritus of Urologic Oncology, led research in the 1970s that resulted in the discovery of PSA and the development of the PSA test. In 1986, the PSA test was approved by the FDA to monitor the progression of prostate cancer in men who had already been diagnosed with the disease. By 1994, the FDA approved the use of the PSA test in conjunction with a Digital Rectal Exam, DRE, to test men who showed symptoms of prostate cancer. Keep reading to learn more about the PSA test.
PSA stands for Prostate-Specific Antigen. PSA is a protein produced by normal as well as malignant prostate cells. Although most PSA is carried out of the body in semen, a very small amount escapes into the bloodstream as well. There are multiple reasons someone might have elevated PSA levels. It might be a noncancerous condition such as prostatitis, the sign of an enlarged prostate, or indicator of prostate cancer.
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