DRE effect on PSA: Has anyone any... - Prostate Cancer N...

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DRE effect on PSA

Worried2016 profile image

Has anyone any experience on having a psa test done directly after a Dre? My dads psa went from 8.7 to 9.3 but he had a Dre just before the psa test so I’m wondering if it could be linked? He’s been referred to urology so I’ll know for sure then but I’m just curious to see if anyone has experienced this?

10 Replies
AlanMeyer profile image

Hello Worried,

I have read that having a DRE not long before a blood draw can cause an elevated PSA. I have also heard men say that their urologists denied this.

In my own case, my PSA was 6.3, then a few months later 6.0. Then I had a DRE (a rather painful one) and my PSA shortly after was above 8. I can't be sure that the DRE was responsible for the rise. It could have been a growth of the cancer or some other unknown factor. However it is well known that prostatitis (an inflammation of the prostate) elevates PSA, and that irritations of many kinds can cause inflammation. So I believe that, yes, a DRE is one of a number of factors that can elevate PSA.

If a doctor is recommending a biopsy to check for cancer, that's not a bad idea. Prostate cancer is usually curable if caught early before there is any spread outside the prostate. Biopsies are very low risk and I found mine to be more irritating than painful. I didn't like it and wouldn't do it if I didn't need it, but getting a biopsy is waaay better than having cancer grow and not knowing about it. Another option is an MRI. MRI technology keeps getting better and it is being used more and more in place of, or in conjunction with, a biopsy.

Best of luck.


Thank you for your reply. How are you now? I hope you’re well and they got the cancer early?

I can’t function with this worry, I’m so scared

AlanMeyer profile image
AlanMeyerModerator in reply to Worried2016

My last PSA before treatment was 10+ (I don't remember the exact value) My treatment, Lupron+radiation, seems to have been completely successful and now, almost 15 years later, I'm doing great.

If your Dad has cancer, it's very possible that he can be completely cured or, if not, that he can hold it in check with drugs that will enable him to live a very normal life and die of something other than prostate cancer.

Be calm. Life isn't perfect but it's still good.


Wow that’s amazing! So glad to hear that! I know there’s no type of cancer that’s good but from some of what I’ve read, while of course there’s devastating outcomes for some people, it appears as though this cancer maybe isn’t the very worst.

That’s by no means to take away from the fact that it does cause deaths and devastation, more so for people like me who need some hope to get through the waiting etc and the courage to go through it.

I hope you remain well and I’ll keep you in my thoughts

aksns61 profile image
aksns61 in reply to AlanMeyer

My doctor has always said it was best to not do anything to provoke the prostate (sex, bike riding, eating spicy foods, and intense physical activity. I seem to be sensitive to these and they will always cause my PSA to become elevated. After my sonogram/DRE, we waited 2 weeks to get my PSA. After my radiation was concluded, we waited 8 weeks.

Worried2016 profile image
Worried2016 in reply to aksns61

Really hoping that this is the case with my dad since that when he gets checked out it’s just bph or something. How are you feeling? Everything ok now since radiation?

aksns61 profile image
aksns61 in reply to Worried2016

My PSA crept up to 8, had biopsy, identified intermediate cancer. After ADT +Brachy + radiation everything is fine. I never had any issues, symptoms, never lost a day of work, mainatin healthy diet and exercise. I get PSA and testosterone checked every 6 months and results are excellent. Docs have been excellent.

Worried2016 profile image
Worried2016 in reply to aksns61

That’s amazing! I’m so glad you have a positive story


I have read that the PSA can be elevated by both DRE and sexual activity for several days. I have had this happen after sex the night before. Retest went from abnormal to normal. FYI

Oh wow so it really does affect the PSA! Hopefully that’s what’s happened with my dad.

He’s getting it done again in 6-8 weeks while waiting on urology

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