Chemo #4 Docetaxel, for prostate cancer

I just did my chemo round #4, doing this every three weeks, my PSA was at 5.0

a month ago now it is currently 6.0,

Oncologist says don't worry yet sometimes the PSA will bounce up and down, I was hoping to see it go to 1 , now I am waiting to see what the next test looks like in three weeks, chemo was three days ago, I don't feel too bad just tired dizzy, weak, red flush in the face, and a little knot in the stomach but not too bad, my PSA was at 45 when I started Chemo four months ago, I am hanging on and hanging in there. anyone else see there PSA bounce around on Chemo ?

thank you

15 Replies

  • I would say a drop from 45 to 6 is a great response, here is hoping it is even lower next time, what are you doing to combat side effects?


  • yes I had a great first response, what am I doing for side effects, Norco-Hydrocodone, Tylenol, prednisone , sleep aid ambien, and I just started to try medical marijuana and that helps (but I don't like being high so much), eat small light meals, and after about five days I feel good again and don't need any drugs.

  • Are you getting ultrasensitive psa , or just the ones that are rounded out to whole numbers, if whole numbers that could be the difference of 5.49 and 5.51.

  • I get the numbers to the tenth, I have rounded them out for this discussion, I have heard that you PSA can jump around a little, I just don't know how much,

  • Hi MrJack. You PSA in real terms will not move around much, mine didn't although it seemed to in % terms. And % is the wrong way to approach it. After all when I was at 1.7 and 'ballooned' to 2.2 I read it as a 30% jump - horrendous. My Onc nurse laughed with me. Reading back over my 10 cycles the first 2 brought the biggest drops. I then hovered just below or above 2.0 until chemo stopped for 5 months. It rose to 25.5 and I began Zytiga. In four weeks I hit 0.58. Now 12 weeks and 0.13 no checkups till mid Jan. Once happy so am I and I don't worry about numbers any more. There's a great psychological benefit in appreciating that my treatment planned one year earlier is on target. Now it will rise and fall for some time in smaller increments. Until I need the next stage. Don't worry MrJack. You seem to be on target. David

  • In my 10 plus years some months are up some down, I am rounding to whole numbers. It is important not to put to much weight on a single psa, though I know all to well the panic that can set in, only to rejoice when that number stays the same or drops the next month. see replies to chubby 10days ago

  • Mine bounces around like crazy. All summer I had 300 point swings every 3 weeks, in both directions. Of course, it was over 2000 throughout that period. Since then I have had even larger swings, but the most recent was a 60 point drop to 3660. When I was diagnosed in March 2013 it was 880. It never dropped below 73, but as my oncologist says, it is just a number and one of a number of things we watch. More important is how I feel (no pain, no fatigue through 22 cycles of various chemos), and the scans which most recently showed smaller lymph tumors, stable bone mets, but new and larger spots in the liver, so I had a liver biopsy this week. No results yet to know how we will change treatments. Went ahead with the 22nd chemo (docetaxel and carboplatin) today.

    Good luck!

  • thank you

  • So far you have had a great response and hopefully it will continue. Yes, your onc is correct, seeing a PSA bounce is common so don't worry. You are doing really well.


  • I have just completed my final treatment of Docetaxel and the effects have been cumulative and the effects hit me the evening of the second day after and last 1-2 days. I am in a different situation than it sounds like you are. I had a Gleason score of 9 and a robotic prostatectomy. The tumor had not broken the capsule but I had one lymph node out of fourteen test positive near the surgery site. I had a PSA of around 6 when I was diagnosed and had a PSA of .01 a couple of months afterward the surgery back in July.

    I have had a couple of less sensitive tests during chemo treatment that showed my PSA was 0 .1 I have also done a fair amount of reading about other people's PSA's and while I do believe that it's a marker for prostate cancer cells, I do not think it is necessarily as accurate in determining what's happening in one's body as everyone wants it to be. We are much more complex animals, so don't despair on account of the PSA alone.

    Try googling TED Talks Turkey Tail Mushrooms and watch the couple of videos there. There was an NIH study that was done about the efficacy of using them to treat cancer (not specially prostate cancer) and the results was pretty amazing. "Host Defense" is the most reputable grower and distributor online. They are not cheap but my primary care doc prescribes them for all her cancer patients and my oncologist had no objections to taking them and other supplements (see below). I take four Turkey Tail capsules every morning and four Community Defense mushroom capsules in the evening with dinner. I also take D3, selenium (shown to shrink tumors), gamma-e and zinc. Based on what I have researched, they seem to work together to help to bolster your immune system, fight the cancer and lessen the side effects of the chemo.

    Hang in there and maybe consider broadening your treatment plan (after doing your research and checking with your physicians). Remember that every medical specialty has their own somewhat skewed view of how to treat a patient based on their knowledge and practice. You know the old saying: " If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."......Good luck!

  • thank-you

  • I had the same thing happen to me. I started at 70. It eventually went down to 6, then went up to 7, then started going down again. I finished up at 1 at the end of the chemo. Hope you do the same!

  • yes, I guess that is about as good as we can expect, , I think it is about one in a million that actually get a cure from this, I read somewhere that it happened once,

    we will see how it goes,



  • Are you concurrently getting Lupron?

  • Yes I take Lupron every 3 months, along with the chemo,

    so I am on ADT/HT and chemo, I will take chemo cycle #7 this Tuesday Feb21, my psa was 15 last month, I will get a new test Monday and hope it is below 20, it seems to be rising faster than I would like to see, so I am scheduled for 12 cycles, on taxotere , then there is one more chemo drug to try after that, then it is on to experimental land. any way..

    good luck to you sir, may the force be with us.

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