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Question: My husband has a high PSA reading. They did the test and the Dr called to say it does not show cancer but it could be some long three word phrase that shortens to PIN. We have no idea what this is and of course are very concerned from lack of knowledge. He will have the test again in 4 - 6 weeks. Can you help to explain what this could mean. The Dr. said it is something that could turn to cancer. Thank you so much for any information you can provide. Joan

Answer: Dear Joan,

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein created by cells of the prostate gland. The test measures the levels of PSA in the blood. Prostate cancer or benign conditions can increase the levels of PSA. Benign conditions of the prostate include inflammation of the prostate and enlargement of the prostate.

Conditions such as inflammation and enlargement of the prostate can develop into cancer but it does not mean it will lead to it. PSA levels cannot diagnose by themselves prostate cancer but may indicate to a doctor to check for other signs.

PIN stands for Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia and is considered a premalignant proliferation arising within the prostate. It is divided into two grades, low and high. There is no clear relationship between PSA levels and the occurrence of PIN. However, if a physician is told by a pathologist that there is high grade PIN in the prostate, it is generally agreed that the patient is at risk for prostate cancer.

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