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Cancer: Prostate Message Board

Cancer: Prostate Board Index

PSA levels
May 11, 2009
my husband had a psa level of 2.9 last year , then had one this year and it was 6. at the time he had a severe sinus infection and was on and still on antibiotic very strong can that raise his levels
Re: PSA levels
May 11, 2009
[QUOTE=sammie 2;3981351]my husband had a psa level of 2.9 last year , then had one this year and it was 6. .... was on and still on antibiotic very strong can that raise his levels[/QUOTE]

Actually, from my non-medical understanding and from what I've read, if there had been an infection in the prostate, antibiotics might have reduced the infection and caused PSA to decline. I have not heard anything that would cause the antibiotics to have the opposite effect. If not due to an infection, that increase could be a cause for concern or at least further testing. I would have him consult with a urologist given these results, but that's probably already been recommended to you??
Re: PSA levels
May 11, 2009
[QUOTE=sammie 2;3981701]... i was just wondering if you have a infection anywhere in your body if that would have any affect with the PSA levels , also he is taking flomax for i think it is called BHP[/QUOTE]

Hi Sammie,

Welcome to the board. :wave:

You and your husband are certainly doing the right thing by his getting those PSA tests. :) While PSA results sometimes confuse us about what might be happening, they do usually mean that something is happening that needs attention, such as infection, BPH or prostate cancer.

I see it the way daff does regarding your first question, and here's my informed layman's cut at your question above. (I've had no enrolled medical education.)

I'm pretty sure it's just infections involving the prostate that influence PSA, not things like sinus infections. To try to verify that, I just reviewed a new guidance document published by the American Urological Association about infection and PSA after reading your question, and the text and references to infection all had to do with prostatic infection and none with infections elsewhere in the body. The information is in a section entitled: "4. A variety of factors can affect PSA levels and should be considered in the interpretation of results", which starts on page 16. I'm grateful that most of the document is in language that is easy for non-medical people to understand fairly well. :)(There is more about this new resource below.)

However, prostatic infections are often subtle, sometimes with no symptoms, and they can be hard and even impossible to detect with usual methods (not including biopsy, and that's not 100% either as I understand it). :confused: :( That means your husband's rising PSA could be substantially or totally caused by infection, though it could also be due to cancer or partly to BPH. :dizzy: I'll join daff's chorus by saying your husband needs to followup with a urologist.

By the way, I'm now studying that AUA guideline statement, which is entitled: "Prostate-Specific Antigen Best Practice Statement: 2009 Update". So far I'm finding it generally excellent :angel:, though with some shortcomings as is common for almost anything that is hammered out by a committee. While it is 82 pages long, it is double spaced and written clearly :). I expect that I and others of us will be posting about it on this board. I'm glad that the AUA has published this document (published last month) so we patients can be more up-to-speed when we talk to our doctors about matters that involve PSA. :cool:

You also mentioned BPH. My rough impression is that BPH by itself would not be likely to cause a doubling of PSA in a year, but that would be a good question for the urologist. Benign enlargement does boost PSA, since, using a research-based rule-of-thumb, each cubic centimeter of prostate tissue generates about 0.066 ng/ml of PSA. Normally a prostate is about 20 - 30 cc, but a prostate of 100 cc would generate about 6.6 units of PSA. I did look through the AUA document for BPH and its full wording - benign prostatic hypertrophy, but did not see any information on how rapidly it could occur, again a good question for the urologist, and something you might be able to find out with a phone call. You or your husband could also ask, if a DRE was done, what the estimated volume of the prostate was. If you got that, you could multiply by 0.066 to get an estimate of PSA from benign tissue. (That rule-of-thumb is described, with a research reference, on page F4 of the book "A Primer on Prostate Cancer - The Empowered Patient's Guide." By the way, the Primer too only mentions prostatitis as the kind of infection influencing PSA.)

Good luck to you both and take care,

Jim :wave:

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