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Early Detection of Prostate Cancer

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test

One in seven men in Canada will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. The third leading cause of cancer death, when prostate cancer is detected early, the more likely it can be successfully treated.

How is the test performed?

Blood sample

When will I get my results?

Results are available to your healthcare provider within two weeks.

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced within the prostate gland. PSA is mostly found in semen, but small amounts can also be found in the blood of healthy men. PSA levels depend on age and naturally go up as you age. There are many reasons why PSA levels fluctuate, and higher levels may indicate the presence of prostate cancer or other prostate conditions.

Prostate cancer is typically a slow growing cancer that can be present for many years before causing symptoms. Prostate cancer is highly treatable if diagnosed in the early stages and a PSA Ratio test can be valuable in aiding early detection.

A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) ratio screening test is a simple blood test that measures the amount of PSA protein in your blood. Measuring PSA levels can be a useful tool in diagnosing prostate cancer as well as monitoring the progress of the disease in someone who has already been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Additional information can be found in our PSA test brochure here.

If you are a man over the age of 50, it’s recommended that you speak with your doctor about your risk of developing prostate cancer and whether you should have a PSA test.

Your healthcare provider may recommend a PSA test if you:
  • are almost 50 years old
  • have a family history of prostate cancer
  • are of African ancestry
  • have symptoms of prostate cancer
  • have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer and are being monitored


A PSA Ratio test may be ordered by your healthcare provider to:

  • help detect prostate cancer early even if you don’t have any signs or symptoms
  • check for cancer if you are experiencing signs or symptoms of prostate cancer
  • confirm a diagnosis when other tests suggest prostate cancer
  • predict a prognosis (outcome) for prostate cancer
  • predict if cancer has spread outside the prostate
  • plan treatment for prostate cancer
  • monitor you if you are already being treated for prostate cancer
  • determine if cancer treatments are working
  • determine if cancer has come back after treatment

Testing is completed by LifeLabs at a Patient Service Center or via our mobile lab service (available in select cities) through a simple blood sample. You will require a completed test requisition from your healthcare provider.

Test results will be provided directly to your healthcare provider for discussion with you. The report will indicate:

  • Total PSA level in the blood
  • Free PSA level
  • Ranges for PSA levels

PSA levels depend on your age. As you get older, your PSA level will naturally go up. If you have a high PSA level, your doctor will talk to you about your options. A higher than normal PSA level doesn’t always mean you have prostate cancer.

High PSA levels can also indicate:

  • an enlarged prostate due to benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • an inflamed or infected prostate (called prostatitis)
  • a urinary tract infection

It’s important for you to discuss your PSA level results with your doctor. Your doctor will help you determine your risk of prostate cancer in relation to your age, family history and other personal information.

A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) ratio screening test measures the total PSA level and free PSA levels in the blood. The percentage of measured free PSA is useful in assessing the risk of prostate cancer in patients with borderline or moderately increased total PSA. When combined with your complete clinical assessment, it can help determine whether a follow-up prostate biopsy is required.

In addition to early prostate cancer detection, PSA ratio tests can be used to:
  • predict a prognosis (outcome) for prostate cancer
  • predict if cancer has spread outside the prostate
  • plan treatment for prostate cancer
  • monitor the efficacy of prostate cancer treatments
  • if cancer has reoccurred

Additional information can be found in our PSA test brochure here.


Samples for PSA Ratio testing may be taken at any of our Patient Service Centres. Patients must have the requisition form below completed by a physician or healthcare provider. Note add-on of a PSA Ratio is NOT allowed due to the integrity of the specimen. A new collection is required. 

Learn more

PSA Ratio test is currently an uninsured test. The cost is:$50

Payment may be made by the patient when the blood sample is taken at one of our Patient Service Centres. For convenience, Visa, Mastercard and Debit Cards are excepted.

Patient are encouraged to check with their private health care provider to see if coverage is provided.

Results will be available to you within two weeks.

We have a wealth of medical experts available to support you in interpreting test results.
Consults with our experts are available upon request. Request medical consultation.

Request more information

A PSA Ratio test may be scheduled directly by the patient at any of our Patient Service Centres offering this service. They must have a requisition form completed by a physician or healthcare provider.

Find a Location   Schedule an Appointment

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