Thursday, December 26, 2013

Zero point five: a number to remember

Earlier is better when it comes to salvage radiation therapy (SRT) another study reports. This had been clearly identified by Stephenson et al., in the past. This time the study comes from Italy and is reported in European Urology: nearly 3/4 of men who had SRT at PSA levels of 0.5 or lower were alive and  free of biochemical progression nearly 5 years later.  (Being free of biochemical progression basically means undetectable PSA).
So if your PSA has risen after prostatectomy, and you're considering radiation as a second attempt at a cure, time is of the essence. If your doctor says it's okay to wait until you hit 1.0, or, God forbid, 2.0; run, don't walk, to get a second opinion from a radiation oncologist who is more up-to-date on the literature. 
A lot of the time with prostate cancer, time isn't that critical. But with salvage radiation, the clock is ticking.