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Trying to talk my son off the ledge

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2827
Joined: Jun 2010

Hello again.   I'm from the breast and uterine cancer boards.  Husband had PC in 2013 and has undergone radiation and injections.  He's doing fine.

Now, I'm on to my son.  Good grief!  I don't know about boy things!    I hope you can provide me with some information.  My son is 45.  He recently found that his testosterone level was low at 222, so off he went to have an injection of Testosterone.  The clinic would not give him an injection because his PSA was 3.1 - elevated for a man his age.  So he's off to see the urologist Thursday for the dreaded DRE and whatever else.  He is convinced he has prostate cancer and is going to die.  He's not particularly concerned about his PSA, but is very concerned about some other test that I can find no information about.  It was a blood test for some sort of antibodies (not PSA).  He said average score is 59.  His was 79 which he feels is an indicator that he's doomed. 

Can anyone tell me what this test is?  I can find no information about it and I'm sorry I don't know what it's called.  Something that sounded like eppi-c.

Thank you.

Suzanne

Rakendra's picture
Rakendra
Posts: 198
Joined: Apr 2013

A PSA of 3.1 is under the normal range of 4.0 and would only call for close surveilance.  With your info, there seems to be no cause for alarm.  Best of luck to you and your son, but I would let the story unfold before giving it any thought or worry.  Your eppi c test may hae been a hepatitus c test.  HEP C can be serious or can be OK in time.  Love, Swami Rakendra

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2827
Joined: Jun 2010

Is considered  elevated in a 45 year old and the testosterone folks would not give him an injection of testosterone until he is cleared by a urologist (which is probably going to happen).  Anything over 2.5 requires further investigation in a man that young "they say".  I'm not particularly worried about him, but he is and it's that "other" test he keeps citing and he claims its value means he is at very high risk for prostate cancer.   I have no idea what it is and will leave that to the peeps with the MD to explain it to him and hopefull talk him off the ledge.   His paternal grandfather had prostate cancer.  I don't think he was young when diagnosed, tho.  Granddad had bone mets, but he also had colon cancer I think.  "That" side of the family doesn't seem to know much.  I can sit back and wait for his visit to the urologist Thursday.  He lives 600 miles away and is a big boy, but he's very anxious and angry about all of this and, of course, moms worry.   Thank you, Swami Rakendra, for your feedback. 

Suzanne

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3327
Joined: May 2012

Suzanne,

My understanding agrees with Swami: his PSA number does not by any stretch of the imagination shout "Prostate Cancer!"  His doctor is being very cautious, but that is not a bad thing.

Find out what the "other" test is, and someone here perhaps can comment on its significance.

Regardless, a diagnosis of prostate cancer is not a death sentence. Let him know that if he does have the disease, he is far from "doomed." Most new cases are curable straightaway; more difficult cases are managable, often for decades.

Very likely, he is well,

max

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

As noted above, a PSA of 3.1 does not "scream" prostate cancer but 45 is not too early to test for it, especially if there is a history of it in the family.

It  also may justify a DRE (digital rectal exam) and a biopsy IF there is evidene of a worrying increase in PSA leveling (especially a doubling) over the past year or so.  I discovered my PCa at age 60 when my PSA rose from 2.9 to 4.5 over several years and a biospy was ordered which "found" the cancer.

A DRE just involves the doctor sticking his finger in a man's anus to feel the prostate to see if it's hardened or enlarged.  Neither of these findings necessarily indicate cancer either but would justify ordering a biospy to see if any samples taken are cancerous or not.  However, even if a biospy is taken and is found negative, that doesn't necessarily mean that there is no cancer; it just means that the cancer (if any) isn't pervasive enough to show up in any samples.

There is no other blood test that I know of for the detection of prostate cancer than the PSA test.  If you tell us what the "other" test is called, we can telll you what it's for (or you can just Google it yourself to find the answer).

BTW, a low testosterone level would be contraindicative of PCa because PCa is supposedly fed by testosterone and one of the treatments for PCa is the prescription of drugs to suppress testosterone production (ie., chemical castration).

 

 

 

 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3327
Joined: May 2012

Suzanne,

I "Googled Around" a little bit for "New Prostate Cancer Test," and got too many differing possibilties to read.  Labs are constantly looking for new tests, and when they get some good initial results, they get the findings published in some uriological Journal, and claim to have revolutionized the world.  Most of these advancements end up being tiny little steps forward.  What the researchers seem to mostly want is to become the world's first trillionaire, from the patent rights they are hoping for.  I read one article from England that claimed to have absolutely changed the future of prostate diagnois; lots of pictures of the similing genuises behind this advance.  I looked a little further, and the artice was dated----2007 !  Never heard of the test before; am unaware of its use in America.

As Swing Shift mentioned, low testosterone is no indication of prostate cancer (mine was never even checked during the month or so I was being biopsied and diagnosed).  In reading books by leading urologists regarding prostate cancer, none mentioned T-levels as an issue.  "Low T" is currently something of a fad disorder in the US.  Boosting it is a drug technique to boost energy and sexual ability..."youth in a shot." A phamacutical Fountain of Youth.    I do not mean that there are no cases of pathologically low T levels; there are.  But growing up (I am 59), I had never even heard of "Low T" until a few years ago, when commercials about it started filling commercials on TV and the radio.

As you most likely know from your husband's disease: A DRE is relatively painless, and takes about a minute.  A prostate biopsy does hurt (during the test, and for a short while thereafter), but it too is relatively quick (in the doctor's office an hour or perhaps a bit more), and (as medical tests go) relatively cheap.   ONLY a biopsy can confirm prostate cancer, at least in the US, per FDA and other medical conventions at the present tiime.  Even PSA levels and the DRE cannot do this.

max

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2827
Joined: Jun 2010

This is the test my son had.  http://armune.com/apifiny-prostate-cancer-test/about-apifiny/.    I googled around a bit, too and could not find anything about this test from googling "blood tests for prostate cancer.  Only PSAs come up.  My son saw the urologist today who had not heard of this test so WTF?  The urologist does want to do a biopsy and I don't know whether he is going to schedule one or not.  He is an out of network urologist and I am suggested taht my son get a pcp and get a referral to someone in network.  I have no idea whether he'll do that or not either. 

Thank you all for your input.

Suzanne

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