The purpose of the PSA test is to screen for Prostate Cancer. Men may be asymptomatic or symptomatic for prostate cancer as this tests helps in the necessity for a biopsy of the prostate and also in order to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.
A high total PSA level may mean there is an enlarged prostate gland. Although a rise in PSA is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, a number of benign (that is, not cancerous) conditions can also cause the PSA level to rise. The most common benign prostate conditions that cause an elevation in PSA level are prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate, more likely in a young man) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH or enlargement of the prostate, more likely after the age of 50 years).