Tuesday, December 6, 2011

an early look at my PSA

I'm not scheduled to see my radiation oncologist for a PSA check and DRE until late next month.  It is, however, time for my 6 month CBC & lipid panel with my primary care doc.  This is mainly to check my cholesterol in order to get a refill of Pravachol.  I noticed he had also scribbled "PSA" on the lab request, probably out of an abundance of caution in looking at my file.  So I figured why not get a sneak peek?  After all, if PSA tests were free, I'd get one every month!
I'll report back next week on the results.

To recap my situation, I was diagnosed in 2006 at the age of 43 with prostate cancer.  I had surgery early that year and the pathology showed Gleason 3+4, penetration into but not through the capsule, and I had a positive surgical margin.  My PSA, after adjusting for medication, was about 10.0 at the time of surgery.
At first my PSA was fine after surgery--less than 0.1, but that didn't last.  By 9 months, it was detectable and rising fast.  I consulted a medical oncologist and radiation oncologist, and started salvage radiation in the form of IMRT at my local hospital.  The day before radiation, my PSA was 0.7.    Within 6 months of the end of radiation, it fell to less than 0.1, and it has remained there since.  It's now been close to 5 years since my radiation treatments.
I continue to get 6 month PSA checks and exams from my radiation oncologist.

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