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Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA): Background

The prostate gland is a frequent source of urinary and urogenital maladies in adult males, including infections (prostatitis), hypertrophy (increased size), and malignant tumors. The symptoms of each of these conditions are somewhat similar, which include pain, difficulty urinating, and/or emptying the bladder. A clinical laboratory assessment to help differentiate the diagnosis is often sought.
Prostate cancer, as previously indicated, is the most prevalent form of cancer in adult males.1 When prostate cancer is organ-confined and detected early, it is highly curable. Thus, a reliable and well-characterized tumor marker would seem ideally suited to assist physicians in identifying those with an undetected malignancy, even prior to the onset of symptoms.