Originally Posted by Lazy Albert
What makes the psa level in men go up or down ?
Welcome to the board!
Several things are well-known for making the PSA level go up or down, and most of the time the PSA level changes it is not
due to prostate cancer!
Let's start there - with prostate cancer. Prostate cells make PSA, and that does not stop when the cells become cancerous. The reason PSA is a clue to possible prostate cancer is that a lot more PSA gets into the blood, where a blood test can detect it, when there is cancer.
However, for many of us the prostate enlarges somewhat due to non-cancerous expansion as we get older. That is known as BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia). Since the prostate is larger, it produces more PSA. BPH can cause problems, such as squeezing the urethra - the tube the urine passes through, which can cause problems when urinating. There are several medications that often help a lot with BPH, and some of them also affect PSA. Both finasteride (now generic, formerly Proscar) and Avodart are good for BPH, and both will cut PSA by about half. Finasteride has been proven to have anti-prostate cancer activity as well, and it is virtually certain that Avodart does too, though the trial results have not yet been reported. Finasteride enhances clues to detect prostate cancer, such as the PSA trend and DRE exams, once appropriate adjustments have been made, and Avodart will probably prove to be as good.
Saw palmetto, if you can find a quality source (not easy), acts somewhat like finasteride and Avodart on BPH, but apparently it does not have anti-prostate cancer value. Some reports (not all) state that it can affect PSA values. My hunch is that some research that shows no effect used poor quality saw palmetto.
Another major cause of a rising PSA is infection or inflammation. Unfortunately, while often the cause can be determined by a doctor and cured, often it cannot. Sometimes the PSA will rise for a while and then fall for a while when there is an infection. PSA can rise to as high as 50 due to infection, and I heard of one case where it rose to around 200 before the infection was cured and it fell to normal!
Sex shortly before the PSA blood test can affect the level, and there is some basis for thinking that other physical influences on the prostate, such as motorcycle or horseback riding shortly before a PSA blood test, can also affect the level somewhat.
There are some other factors that influence PSA, but these are the main ones that come to mind.
I hope this helps.