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PSA Finally Under 1

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2010

Well, 2 years and 9 months following CyberKnife treatment i n Sep 2010 (and widely varying PSA readings since then), my PSA score has finally dropped under 1 at 0.995!!!  That's only 5 1000th's under 1 but it's under 1 just the same.

Here's a(nother) recap of the history of my PSA readings since I received treatment:

12/15/10 -- 9.48

03/23/11 -- 3.03

06/14/11 -- 5.07

06/20/11 -- 3.72

09/12/11 -- 3.56

12/23/11 -- 1.81

03/26/12 -- 1.55

06/23/12 -- 1.69

09/14/12 -- 2.12

12/13/12 -- 1.26

03/25/13 -- 1.41

06/25/13 -- 0.995

 

My RO thinks we can switch to 6 month testing now.  I'm still a little worried about the lack of consistency in the test results but I'm tired of worrying about it.   Depsite the spikes, the trend is generally downward and, after receiving a clean MRI/MRSI scan in Oct 2012 (after the 3 increasing PSA scores), I'm confident that the cancer is gone and that I can switch to semi-annual testing.  So, next test will be due around Xmas this year.

BTW, I had double hernia surgery in May and I've pretty much recovered from that already.  After a week of some significant discomfort, most of the pain is gone. Still have to lay off strenuous exercise for another month or so but I can already do 90-95% of the things I did before.   I also got 3 cortisone shots in my spine & right scroliliac joint to alleviate some back/hip pain.  That pain is pretty much all gone too.

PS: The urinary bleeding that I was experiencing a couple of months ago resolved itself and went away on it's own after had a cytoscopy in March.  The urinary frequency/urgency was reduced after I started Flomax around the same time but I still have to resort to a pee bottle from time to time and, as expected, the Flomax eliminated most of my ejaculate flow but I'm learning to live with that.  At least, I can get still get an erection and "come" (even if it almost entirely dry).

Hopefully, this will be the end of my medical problems for awhile.  Keeping my fingers crossed on that!

 

 

 

 

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1727
Joined: Nov 2010

 

Good news indeed.

The fact is to be celebrated. How about a trip to Europe to keep the moment unforgetful ?

SmileEmbarassedKissSealedLaughingTongue OutMoney Mouth  

 

CONGRATULATIONS.

Note: Regarding your trouble with the Scroliliac joint, I have been reading about the influence that the spine could have in our health if affected by the cancer. In other words, what symptoms could we have that would related to the affected bone. So far I have identified two parts that could be due to spread in my case. The L2 and the L5.
Here is an interesting graphical of the symptoms; http://www.chiroone.net/why_chiropractic/index.html

 

VG  Wink

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2010

Thanks, Vasco!

Funny you mention Europe.  I "met" a woman on Match who lives in Bedar, Spain not far from where you live in Portugal.  Was thinking of visiting her there this fall until I actually met her and found her to be quite a pill but I am still interested in visiting that part of the world and perhaps we'll cross paths one of these days.

BTW, my S/I joint and back problems were caused by excessive weight that I attempted to "squat" while weight lifting.  However, when they CAT scanned the region, the spine specialist also found deformities in my L4/L5 which she may have also contributed to the pain.  So, when the S/I shot didn't do the job, she hit the L4/L5 vertebrae in my spine too and that actually seemed to do the job.  Fortunately, no indication of cancer there.

waldipup
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2013

Had C/K June 2012 , PSA 16 .

Jan. 2013 / 4.25 , Oct. 2013 / 4.61 . Concerned about both the rise and the still hi numbers . R/O said no problem , to just wait . Hoping he's right . 

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2010

Waldipup:

Like you, I was concerned about the slow rate of decline in my PSA numbers and it took "forever" for my PSA level to drop below 1.   My PSA has sinced dropped even lower and you can find a further discussion about that in this thread: http://csn.cancer.org/node/265310.

Based on my experience, the main thing to be concerned about is any consecutive increase in your PSA numbers.  An increase twice in a row (in any amount) is an indication of treatment failure and addtional testing should be done to determine if there's still cancer in your prostate or not.

In my case, I had 2 increases in March & June 2012 and had a combined MRI/MRSI (magnetic imaging AND magnetic spectroscopy), which is a very sophisticated test which uses a Tesla magnet inserted in the rectum in conjuction w/the regular MRI scan, to determine if there was still any cancer in my prostate.  The MRSI is able to measure the amount and location of choline, which is a marker for cancer, in the prostate.  No cancer specific amounts of choline were found in mine. And, after my PSA dropped following the test, the conclusion was that the rise was due to a classic 1-2 year post radiation treatment "bounce" and not an indicator of treatment failure.

Assuming there is no concern about treatment failure, it can take as long as 3-4 years for your PSA to drop to "acceptable" levels following radition treatment.  What's "acceptable" varies but it's generally agreed that a PSA below 1 is a good measure of success and that a PSA level below .5 greatly enhances your probablility of 5-10 year post treatment survival.

Best wishes and good luck!

 

 

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1007
Joined: May 2009

Congrats on reaching less then 1!

lewvino

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2010

Thanks, Lewvino:

If you missed it, here's the link to my 3rd Year status report, which reported an even lower PSA reading: http://csn.cancer.org/node/265310

ralph.townsend1's picture
ralph.townsend1
Posts: 359
Joined: Feb 2012

Mike, That's great news, keep going down. Sorry I have not been around for while, been alittle under the weather.

best of luck, Ralph

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2010

One year following my 1st below 1 PSA reading, the trend is progressing nicely downward.  Here are the <1 results so far:

06/25/13: 0.995

12/17/13: 0.624

06/19/14: 0.416

I don't think I've reached my post-treatment "nadir" yet but the current result is very reassuring, since at least one study concludes that that a PSA nadir <.50 is indicative of a PSA disease-free survival rate of 75% and a distant metasisis-free survival rate of 97%. 

See: http://www.psa-rising.com/med/ebr/nadir_survivalpostrad06.htm

As mentioned in the article:

"While there is no magic number for the PSA that guarantees that prostate cancer has been cured in an individual patient, in general, the lower the PSA number, the better chances that the cancer will not return or spread," said Michael E. Ray, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

"In addition," Dr. Ray said, "the study showed that the longer time that the PSA continues to decline after radiation, the less likely the cancer will recur or spread."

So, it looks like the prospects for my continued post-CK treatment survival from PCa are very promising.  Smile

 

 

 

 

 

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1727
Joined: Nov 2010

It is nice to read about your good results. Probably you could change now the title of the thread to PCa Finally Under control.

Unfortunately there are no other marker yet today that we could use to certify cure. Though, the continuous drops in PSA make your prospects for post-CK treatment survival very promising of a cure.

I wonder if you need still more results to certify your rates. Probably now you could be looking for a comprehensive “cautious programme” to follow up your health as a non cancer patient. My advice is to get a gene profile and the levels of DHT under vigilance.
Kongo stopped being around since his last update, indicating a PSA level under the zero two decimal places (PSA=0.0X ng/ml) but his starting level at CK-treatment was lower than yours.

Best wishes for continued success. Enjoy.

VG

 

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2010

Thanks for the suggestions, Vasco.

Not sure what a genetic profile and DHT measurement will do for me at this point but I'll consider it.  I've actually noticed that Kongo has been pretty silent about his progress and missed his report of a single digit PSA reading.  He had a much better post treatment PSA history than I did and I've posted the specific results just to let others (with a similar history) know that there's hope even if your PSA results are erradict and slow to decline.

I'll continue to post in this thread over time until it looks like I've reached my nadir.  Doing this to also give others who have received radiation treatment a longer term outlook on what needs to be done to monitor treatment outcomes.  Currently doing semi-annual testing and will probably go to annual testing in the next year or so. 

 

 

 

 

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2010

Took another PSA test yesterday which came back at 0.319; about another 1/10th point drop from the test in June.  So, all's good!

I've been taking semi-annual tests for the past 2 years and just asked my doc when we can switch to annual testing instead.  The way I look at it, as soon as he says we can go "back" to annual testing, that'll mean he that he thinks that I'm essentially "cured."

Of course, we all know that no one can be confident of the cancer NEVER coming back but it will be reassuring to know (when the time comes) that my doc thinks that I'm over the hump.

UPDATE:  My doc just told me to do 2 more semi-annual tests next year and, if everything still looks good, go to annual testing after that.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1397
Joined: May 2012

SSW,

I do not come to this Board that often now, since I am not starting anything until late January, but happend by today. Let me be the first to congratulate you and give a high-five to your CK success.  The classic RT issue is PSA bouncing around (you know this better than I do). 

I would be comfortable with the doctor's proposed six month testing cycle, since a blood draw is pretty easy fare for folks who have been through any form of treatment, and about the cheapest thing an oncologist can do also.

max

Beau2
Posts: 249
Joined: Sep 2010

Wonderful news ont he PSA and moving to once a year testing!

Best wishes and good luck as you move forward!

CC52
Posts: 55
Joined: Nov 2013

SSW, that is awesome news, and I wanted to add my voice to the chorus of well wishers.

I raise a glass to you in celebration!! 

CC

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2010

Thanks everyone for the congrats & good wishes.  I'm continuing to report my PSA results in order to give a long term perspective to post-radiation recovery as a guide to those who have yet to experience this disease. 

After 4 years, I'm in cruise mode right now and I hope it stays that way.  A couple more tests and I'll hit the 5 year mark, which is considered statistically significant, when I hope to return to annual PSA testing, just like I was doing before I was forced to become a reluctant "expert" on PCa in order to guide/plan my treatment, which has turned out as well as I could have expected.

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1480
Joined: Apr 2009

Thank you for thinking of others, by letting us know about the success of your experience with cyberknife.

h

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1727
Joined: Nov 2010

I believe that your doctor is enjoying reading our posts when congratulating your outcomes.

I do not care as far as we get a chance to celebrate with a glass of red.

Congratulations

VG 

 

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2010

Just got my June 2015 PSA test result back -- 0.232 -- a drop of 0.087 from December 2014.  So, the declining trend is still in force.  Smile

The next test will be in December 2015 which will mark my 5th year as a PCa "survivor" following my CK treatment in Sept 2010 based on the biopsy diagnosis in Jan 2010.  If the PSA result comes in lower again then, I my RO says I can go back to annual (instead of bi-annual) PSA testing.

The 5th year of PCa survival is touted as a significant benchmark and some would say that I'm "cured" but, as we all know, there is always the possibility of the recurrence of any cancer.  But my lower stage at time of diagnosis makes that less likely in my case, as it does for others like me.  Here's hoping that that's true.

As before, no noticeable side effects from the CK treatment -- no ED or incontience issues.  Still have some frequency and urgency urinary issues which were the original symptoms which prompted the biopsy that led to the PSA diagnosis over 5 years ago, which is being treated w/Flomax and oxybutynin.  So not changes in that regard.  But, otherwise, I'm living a normal and active life for a man who is about to turn 65 in October.   Wink

Good luck and best wishes to all of you who are also still struggling to defeat this disease!!!

 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1397
Joined: May 2012

SSW,

In the spectrum of stories at the Board that range from wonderful to tragic, this one of yours is about as wonderful as they get !

max

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1727
Joined: Nov 2010

Bring the good news. We love them. Let's CELEBRATE.

XXX

stoniphi's picture
stoniphi
Posts: 34
Joined: Mar 2015

...good news for sure. I also will turn 65 in October...perhaps we will  have an 'Octoberfest' here on the board!

CC52
Posts: 55
Joined: Nov 2013

Absolutely GREAT news. Congrats to you, and thank you for the wonderful presence you are to all on this board. Continued good healthCool

CC

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