PSA measured in men 44-50 years of age is a strong predictor of future prostate cancer. In general, a PSA over 4 is considered abnormal and suspicious for the presence of prostate cancer. However, PSA levels are age related, and older men on average have higher PSA levels than younger men. In a study involving Swedish men 44-50 years of age who were followed for nearly two decades, most of the men who developed advanced prostate cancer had higher than average PSA levels at baseline.
For the men who developed cancer, average PSA at baseline was 1.22 ng/ml, compared with 0.54 ng/ml in men who did not develop cancer. The risk of prostate cancer rose further as the PSA increased, so that men with initial PSA above 3 had a 120-fold higher incidence of prostate cancer compared to men in the average range.
Based on this study, early determination of a low PSA should be reassuring, and allow for less frequent determination of PSA. Men with higher levels, and therefore at greater risk, should take early precautions with effective lifestyle changes: low animal protein diet, avoidance of herbicides, pesticides and other organic pollutants that may be carcinogenic. A high intake of vitamin D and lycopene has also been shown to be helpful in studies. These nutrients are available in pharmaceutical grade preparations in our supplement store.