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Prostate Cancer And Gay Men

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Prostate cancer & raised PSA how to inform men

Ben_T profile image
Ben_T

I am looking for examples or information about clinicians informing men that their PSA levels have risen and any advice they were given.

6 Replies

Hi Ben,

Your request is a little vague out without more context. I'm assuming you're talking about a PSA increase after initial treatment because we're in the advanced prostate cancer forum.

The way you worded your request also makes me wonder if you want responses based on the clinician's perspective instead of the patient's perspective.

I'm not a clinician but I did have a radical prostatectomy and my PSA became detectable 54 months after my surgery. I can check my PSA results online before going to the doctor, and that's both good and bad. In fact, that's how I learned the my PSA had become detectable again, and I went into full panic mode. I had to wait a couple of weeks before my appointment with my doctor where we discussed its significance and what to do about it (continue to monitor).

We've been checking my PSA every four months for the last two years, with it continuing to slowly climb (from 0.05 in September 2015 to 0.10 in December 2017). With each appointment, we discuss the trend and the possible treatment options. My next PSA test and appointment are in April, and I suspect that the conversation will get more serious about selecting a path forward if my PSA increases again.

I don't know if that addresses your concern or not.

All the best. —Dan

Hello, Ben--I was treated for my Prostate Cancer in 2004 (when dinosaurs roamed the earth) and I chose brachytherapy. For the next 11 or 12 years, my radiologist oncologist had me visit him every six months. After his nurse would interview me with a list of standard questions, blood would be drawn to get my current PSA and the doctor himself would visit me for about 5 minutes with questions of his own. The lab the bloodwork went to would provide results the next business day and it was my job to phone the doctor's office and ask to speak to a particular nurse who managed the information on bloodwork results. Relatively simple I thought. I know longer am doing that, once a year my primary care provider takes blood and consistenly since 2004 my PSA's remain virtually undetectable. Even though you didn't ask about this, I'd like to add that in 2003 when I was first diagnosed, the urologist doing my biopsy felt it was totally fine to call me on the phone and tell me I had prostate cancer. To this date, I think that was a cruel and unprofessional form of treatment.

My Prostate Cancer returned 5 years after my treatments of Radiation and Lugron.

My PSA stayed the same, 0.12, for over a year. 2017

Three months ago, it increased to 0.15.

I am taking another PSA Test next week.

Not sure if it continues to increase, how long it will be before, I have to start additional treatment.. I have a very good oncologist and he monitors my PSA closely.

Hopefully, it is fairly slow growing and I will not have to have any additional treatment for a while.

Does anyone else have a similar situation?

Tall_Allen profile image
Tall_Allen in reply to lavis

Biochemical recurrence after primary radiation therapy is nadir+2. You are nowhere close to that. In fact, you have a PSA most of us would be envious of. Why do you say, "My Prostate Cancer returned 5 years after my treatments of Radiation and Lugron." Nothing in your post shows that.

lavis profile image
lavis in reply to Tall_Allen

Thank You, Tall-_Allen, for your very informative response.

The reason I said that my Prostate Cancer returned is that, when my PSA kept rising, I asked my PREVIOUS Urologist, if that meant my cancer was returning.

She said, "Yes", but that was her job and not to worry about it.

I therefore, assumed, the worst.

Due, to a couple of other issues, with this female Dr., I decided to change Dr's.

I now, am going to a Oncologist, (Scripps - Green Hospital, La Jolla, CA) and he has not used the word "returning", just that we will watch my PSA scores closely.

He seems to be comfortable with all of my blood work, during the last 6 months.

I should have asked him, the same exact question, I asked my female Dr. , however, I still believed what she told me.

Your response, is certainly comforting to me.

This site and it's members are proving to be invaluable.

Thank You!

Tall_Allen profile image
Tall_Allen in reply to lavis

It is amazing how ignorant urologists and medical oncologists are about radiation. You should be talking to the radiation oncologist who did your radiation.

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