Sep 18, 2011 - 12:54 am
My father, at the age of 66, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the first week of June 2011 with a psa of 29. After a biopsy, the cancer was graded a 6 (3+3) on the Gleason scale, however the report did not mention how many samples tested positive for cancer. An ultrasound report mentioned the tumor being about 60 gms (what is the significance of this?) and no apparent seminal vesicle involvement (I guess this is good). Bone, CT, MRI and PET scans were all clean and no signs of metastasis was detected. (Bone scan had detected a minor hot spot at the top of the spine, however further investigation through MRI and PET scans came back negative, big relief!).
After a lot of discussion, we went in for surgical castration on the 9th of June and started 40 sessions of radiotherapy (IMRT) in the middle of August, 9 sessions remaining. His psa 2-3 weeks after castration was 1. Thankfully his radio therapy sessions have been uneventful with no major irritation while passing stool or urine.
Now, the radiation oncologist told my father yesterday that future course of action will be a six monthly psa test, however ( to a question posed by my father) he went on to state that the psa might never be zero and we should expect it to be a low single digit number, which is absolutely fine. This has completely confused me, based on what I have read here and on yananow, a first indicator of cancer in remission is a psa at or heading towards zero. Btw he is on casodex currently, and the radio onc also told him he can go off casodex in a short time.
Is there a different psa measure which can be above zero for people who have been through HT & RT? Any thoughts/ comments would be much appreciated!
Also, the posts on this forum have been of immense help to us in understanding how to tackle this disease and what to expect going forward. I think together with yananow this forum is the best resource for people dealing with PCa.