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Advice to patients undergoing follow-up prostate-specific antigen (PSA) measurement by their GP - FAQ

Patient information A-Z

What is the PSA blood test?

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a substance produced in the prostate gland. All men have some in their blood. If the amount in the blood is abnormally high, it might indicate that you have a disease in the prostate, which could be cancer or other conditions such as inflammation. PSA is not specific for cancer. In patients already diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer and in patients following normal tests to exclude prostate cancer, it is very valuable to monitor the changes of the PSA value over time.

Why do I need regular PSA tests?

You have either been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer or have had normal tests to exclude prostate cancer. You may also be on active surveillance where the PSA is used as part of your monitoring process. Having already made several PSA measurements we will be able to use changes in your PSA as an indicator of how things are progressing or if there is a need to reassess and change your management. Please note that PSA can also be affected by many other factor including infections, natural growth of the prostate over time or sexual activity.

What does follow-up PSA measurement involve?

PSA is measured by taking a simple blood test. With the results of PSA test and assessment the doctor or nurse will be able to advise you on wether there is a need to change your management.

Where can follow-up PSA measurement take place?

This can happen in the hospital or at your GP. It is very important though that you are aware of your PSA reading yourself after every test. You can get this from your nurse or GP or GP practice. This is especially important if you are on active surveillance and/or have been told you have a PSA threshold or level you should not go over.

Other information

Please see your GP if you experience any new or worsening urinary symptoms or side effects from medication.

Who can I contact for more help or information?

Oncology nurses

Uro-oncology nurse specialist
01223 586748

Prostate cancer nurse practitioner
01223 216897

Non-oncology nurses

Urology nurse practitioner (incontinence, urodynamics, catheter patients)
01223 274608 or 01223 586748

Patient Advice and Liaison Centre (PALS)
01223 216756
PatientLine: *801 (from patient bedside telephones only)
E-mail PALS
PALS, Box No 53, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QQ

Chaplaincy and multi faith community
01223 217769
Email the Chaplaincy
The Chaplaincy, Box No 105, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QQ

MINICOM System ('type' system for the hard of hearing)
01223 217589

Access office (travel, parking and security information)
01223 596060

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151