Dec 19, 2013 - 3:14 pm
Just got back from a visit with my oncologist for my PSA results. A little background:
I was diagnosed in July 2010 at age 59 with a PSA of 19 and a Gleason of 4+3 with cancer in 7 of the 12 cores. There was also a detectible lump on the DRE. An MRI also showed a suspicious lymph node (it had appeared normal in an MRI I had for another reason 4 years before) in an area well away from the “normal” drain field for the prostate. All of my treatment was at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, part of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I took part in a 6 month Phase II clinical trial of pre-adjuvant Abiraterone, Lupron and prednisone. On March 1, 2011 I had an open radical prostatectomy which included an extensive lymph node excision (7 hour surgery). Since I had the pre-adjuvant HT therapy, a Gleason grade could not be determined (treatment effect makes that impossible) but it did show clear margins, no seminal vesicle invasion, no extracapsular invasion and no lymph node involvement. The suspicious lymph node did show “treatment effect” so something had been going on there but no cancer was present. PSA results for the next 2 years were less than .03, which is the lowest that the ultra-sensitive test at the SCCA lab reports, so it was considered undetectable. In March 2013 it showed up as .03—no “less than,“ so the oncologist had me do another test in June. It was .04. I started to get a little concerned although all these values are well below the .1 standard. I was put back on a 3 month schedule. My Sept test was .03 again—good news! That brings us to today. Today’s test was also .03 so it is not increasing. Again—good news!. No worries as long as it stays low or just bounces around at this low level. If it starts trending up, then all bets are off. It’s good to be able to celebrate with a nice red wine. J
On another topic, I was asked today to take part in another study. This just required a blood draw and is for pure research. They are investigating the free-floating DNA that is in the blood and is shed by tumors. I was asked because I took part in the earlier study and the treatment I got there made me interesting to the researcher. This is one of those situations that won’t do me any immediate good (or harm except for the needle) but may help in the future.
Happy Holidays to All!