What Is Normal PSA By Age?

Reviewed on 1/12/2021

What Is a PSA Test?

In general, the higher a man's PSA level, the more likely it is that he has prostate cancer, and a constant rise in a man's PSA level over time may also be a sign of prostate cancer. There is no standard healthy range by age, however. PSA levels fluctuate over time for many reasons.
In general, the higher a man’s PSA level, the more likely it is that he has prostate cancer, and a constant rise in a man’s PSA level over time may also be a sign of prostate cancer. There is no standard healthy range by age, however. PSA levels fluctuate over time for many reasons.

Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced cells of the prostate gland and a PSA test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood. 

What Is the PSA Test Used For?

The PSA test is a standard screening test for prostate cancer because PSA levels are often elevated in men with prostate cancer.

Who Needs a PSA Test?

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends PSA screening for men:

  • Age 50 who have an average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years
    • Age 45 who are at high risk of developing prostate cancer
    • This includes African Americans, who have a higher risk of developing more aggressive cancers 
    • Men who have a first-degree relative (father or brother) who was diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65)
  • Age 40 who are at even higher risk 
    • Men who have more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age

What Is Normal PSA By Age?

There is no specific normal level of PSA in the blood by age, and levels may vary over time in the same man. 

In general, the higher a man’s PSA level, the more likely it is that he has prostate cancer, and a constant rise in a man’s PSA level over time may also be a sign of prostate cancer.

In general:

For men in their 40s and 50sThe median PSA for this age range is 0.6 to 0.7 ng/mlA PSA greater than 2.5 ng/ml is considered abnormal
For men in their 60sThe normal range is between 1.0 and 1.5 ng/mlA PSA greater than 4.0 ng/ml is considered abnormal
An abnormal riseA PSA may also be considered abnormal if it rises a certain amount in one year

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Reviewed on 1/12/2021
References
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/prostate-cancer/prostate-cancer-age-specific-screening-guidelines

https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/psa-fact-sheet

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/acs-recommendations.html