Worried abut Low PSA

I was diagnosed with PC in May of 2011. After much research I decided that the best treatment option for me was Proton Beam Radiation. My wife and I moved to Boston in early 2012 and received the recommended dose of 39 treatments at Mass General Hospital.

When I was initially diagnosed, my latest PSA test result was 1.3. Just prior to treatment in Boston I had my PSA done again and this time it actually went down to .8.

Post treatment follow-ups involve monitoring my PSA over time. My concern is that my PSA is not a good indicator for me as obviously my cancer didn't generate much in the way of PSA.

Does anyone have a similar situation? What advice can you give me?

Report post

5 replies. Join the discussion

PSA isn't always the main indicator for PC. I am however curious how you were diagnosed with such a low PSA level.

BTW, cancer doesn't generate PSA, prostate cells do. High PSA can indicate PC, since it can mean a rapid increase in prostate cells which could be cancerous. Then other diagnostic methods are used to confirm or deny the cancer.

Post treatment monitoring is normally not based on total PSA level (although it is supposed to be .01 or less), it is based on change in PSA level. If it is doubling regularly, that's bad.

Report post

Thanks Spiderman.

My family doctor did a digital rectal exam. He thought that he "felt something" and referred me to a urologist who did a biopsy. The biopsy report came back with 2 samples, out of 12 total, showing malignancy. One core had 5% and the other had 6%. Gleason was 6 (3+3).

Thanks for your input.

PapaJim

Report post

I'm not sure why such a low psa. But with stats you presented, I would think you needed no treatment. With similar stats, I have been AS or WW for over eight years. But of course I don't know all your history or stats.

Report post

about 3-5% of men diagnosed with PrCa exhibit low PSA despite aggressive disease; a friend who had robotic RP with a post op pathology of 4+4 has the very same issue - his pre-op PSA was around 1.0. he is post-op around three years and his PSA is creeping up from <0.01 - 0.04 (ultra-sensitive test) ...... he has the same concerns as you.

we are both advocates at UCSF and recently attended a research day where we discussed this with dr. phil febbo, a med onc, who specializes in gene research. he provided my friend with suggestions; evidently there are expensive genetic tests available to assist in determining the success of treatment.

there is also a new super sensitive PSA test, Prosvue, that measures in picograms and has been suggested as helpful for men like yourself. it requires a series of two or three tests then measures the rate of increase in PSA.

i did not take notes but am happy to put the two of you in touch if you provide me with contact details - he is very thorough and has become quite well informed on this particular quirk of our disease.

rick.

Report post

Rick,

Thanks so much for the info. Very helpful. Would appreciate a contact with your friend. My e-mail address is jsanda@optonline.net.

Thanks for offering the contact.

PapaJim

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support Us TOO International

Help Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to  Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network

Discussion topics

Us TOO Education Tools & Resources

Get Involved with Us TOO

Community leaders