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biopsy result

buckyd
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2012

all of the specimens were benign except for 1 area of atypia that is being stained for possible ASAP. I feel somewhat relieved but I do know that I am not totally out of the woods yet

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Bucky,

I am sure these results are a relief but as your urologist undoubtedly explained to you: a negative biopsy does not mean you don't have prostate cancer. A typical needle biopsy samples less than 1% of the volume in your prostate which means that the only real information you have is that in that very small percent of prostate volume examined there was no cancer. There could well be cancer lurking somewhere else and many men have undergone multiple biopsies before PCa was detected. In other woods, you're still walking in the woods. Another interesting statistic is that 25% of men over with "normal" PSA readings that undergo a standard needle biopsy will discover some degree of prostate cancer. It's a function of men and growing older. 50% of men in their 50s, 60% of men in their 60s, 70% of men in their 70s (and so on) have been shown to have prostate cancer when autopsied after death by some unrelated cause.

I'm not trying to put a damper on the good news you've received, just suggesting that you keep this in perspective going forward. At this point I suggest you pay very close attention to your future PSA scores so that you can build a meaningful history and enable you to determine some valuable information such as PSA doubling times, PSA density, and PSA velocity.

A single PSA reading (such as your recent PSA score of 5) only has about a 50-50 chance of detecting prostate cancer. Flipping a coin is just as effective and a single PSA score is therefore almost meaningless when taken out of context of a well documented history for an otherwise healthy patient with no other symptoms. There are may, many things that can cause PSA to temporarily elevate such as sex before having blood drawn for the test, exercise that puts pressure on the prostate (such as bike riding), BPA, age, the size of the prostate, some OTC and prescription drugs, an unrelated UTI or prostititis, and even the time of day. My personal opinion is that doctors should take pains to rule out other causes of PSA elevation before performing biopsies but you now have your results.

Since you indicated in an earlier post that your PSA has been going up and down it is quite possible that there is something else going on. Next time you're scheduled for a blood draw where they are going to do a PSA test that you avoid sex for 48 hours, be aware of which medications can elevate PSA, and be alert to other symptoms (such as BPA or UTI) that can come into play.

I hope you continue to have a history of benign test results.

best,

K

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