It’s not always cancer

taken from Small Gland, Big Problem 4th Edition
by Professor Roger Kirby, Health Press 2011

It is worth re-emphasizing that a PSA level that is higher than normal does not necessarily mean that you actually have prostate cancer. Conversely, a normal PSA value does not conclusively exclude the presence of the disease. Both BPH and prostatitis can result in elevated PSA levels in the blood, and your doctor will cross-check your PSA result with your symptoms, the result of a digital rectal examination (see page 20) and probably the results from a biopsy to make the diagnosis. If you have a raised PSA, but a negative result on biopsy, your doctor will probably monitor your PSA level over time. Depending on further results, he may suggest that you have another biopsy at a later date. The value of sequential PSA testing lies in its ability to provide a baseline. A sudden or progressive rise above this level may act as an early warning of either prostate cancer development or another disease process within the gland. Urinary infection, for example, or sudden retention of urine requiring a catheter, can both cause the PSA level in the blood to rise sharply.