Objectives: Limited data are available concerning the extent to which the initial prostate-specific antigen (PSA) measurement in men younger than age 60 predicts for the risk of prostate cancer (CaP) and how this compares to other known risk factors.
Methods: From 1991 to 2001, 13,943 men younger than 60 years old participated in a CaP screening study. Men aged 40 to 49 years were eligible for the study if they had a positive family history or African-American heritage, and men older than 50 years were screened without respect to risk factors. The CaP detection rate, PSA velocity, pathologic features, and treatment outcomes were evaluated as a function of the baseline PSA level.
Results: The median PSA level was 0.7 ng/mL for men aged 40 to 49 years and 0.9 ng/mL for men aged 50 to 59. A baseline PSA level between the median and 2.5 ng/mL was associated with a 14.6-fold and 7.6-fold increased risk of CaP in men aged 40 to 49 and 50 to 59 years, respectively. A greater baseline PSA value was also associated with a significantly greater PSA velocity, more aggressive tumor features, a greater biochemical progression rate, and a trend toward a greater cancer-specific mortality rate.
Conclusions: In men younger than 60, a baseline PSA value between the age-specific median and 2.5 ng/mL was a significant predictor of later CaP and was associated with a significantly greater PSA velocity. A young man's baseline PSA value was a stronger predictor of CaP than family history, race, or suspicious digital rectal examination findings. A greater baseline PSA level was associated with significantly more adverse pathologic features and biochemical progression.