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Cancer: Prostate Message Board

Cancer: Prostate Board Index

[QUOTE=sween76;3461547]I had surgery one year ago and my PSA has been:

2 Months 0.02; 5 Months 0.01; 11 Months 0.03

I am a worrier and anal analytical.

Question: Is there really any difference between these results and should I worry? Thanks in advance or any help.


Those are good scores, but of course the second and third could indicate a rising trend. While even .03 is a fairly good score, research has shown that the lower the better, though there is a huge break toward recurrence with scores of .04 and higher. Use the search feature on this board to search for "Shen" to see comments on some of the key research.

Once when my results were down in that area near the end of a period on triple blockade before going off therapy (intermittent approach), my lab changed its method of reporting and rounded a score, which made it look like the scores were increasing. I relaxed when I realized what had happened, and it turned out well. I've also had my doctor's staff switch labs and even tests, contrary to what we both intended. That too can distort the information. Also, very occasionally labs can make mistakes in processing the sample; that happened to me once, resulting in a report of about 20 instead of about 8, which was the correct value based on a retest of the remainder of the same sample and a fresh PSA test the day after we got the result. Have you checked whether the same test (Immulite, Tosoh, etc.) was used, whether the same lab ran the test, and whether they are using the same reporting procedure?

I'm a fellow survivor with no enrolled medical education, though I have been paying attention to ultrasensitve testing since 2000 and regularly have those tests when my PSA is below the range of conventional tests. It seems somewhat odd to me that your PSA actually decreased from .02 to .01. Perhaps that indicates that there is some variability just from test processing at the lab running your tests. Have you asked your doctor if he has seen that kind of pattern before, or asked about variability? I had a friend whose lab was reporting to the thousandth place back in 2000, and that third digit was bouncing around, driving him nuts. It turned out that the lab's procedure was fine for reliable two digit results but not for the third digit. (My own lab used to report to the third digit but stopped that after deciding it was not providing worthwhile information beyond the second digit.) After a half year or so my friend relaxed and is fine today, apparently cured with PSAs always below <0.01. These days reliable two digit results should be routinely obtainable, but it's clear that errors, even small ones, can occur.

I hope someone else having ultrasensitive tests after an RP can help you on this board.

Good luck to you.

Take care,


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