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Testosterone Level When Fighting PCa

GeneRose1's picture
GeneRose1
Posts: 64
Joined: Aug 2016

I'm looking at my previous blood test results from the Oncology Center and I don't see anything on the report that jumps out at me regarding my testosterone level. What should I be looking for? Do I specifically have to ask to have this value listed? What is a normal value and a low value?

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 3013
Joined: Nov 2010

Rose,

Yes you should request for periodical T tests when the treatment includes hormonal manipulations. Urologists never request T tests and, with the exception of medical oncologists, physicians never look for health indicative makers not related to the disease. For instance the cholesterol or blood pressure, liver metabolism, etc, are important in PCa therapies but never consulted.

T test is the only way you can tell that Lupron is well administrated, manages to maintain you at castration levels (the main intent for taking it) and that will certify that your body has recuperated to normal levels at the end of the treatment. It also helps in identifying refractory, which is an important status in the treatment of the patient. The PSA only regulates the activity of the cancer. indolent tumors will produce less serum but the increases of the PSA, when the patient is still at castration levels, diagnosis refractory of the therapy. Such condition obliges withdrawal of the Casodex (antiandrogen) the soonest. Casodex (bicalutamide) has a similar bio structure of a natural androgen (like testosterone) which in fact may have begun to be absorbed by the cancer. It is known as mutation of androgen receptors (the mouth of the cancer).  

Normal levels of T are above 250 ng/dL. Chemical castration used in clinical trials is less than 50 ng/dL. Castration in HT treatments is a level below 30 ng/dL. Some medical oncologist prefer to keep the patient at a T level of lower than 20 ng/dL, for at least one year before ending the therapy.

In your Xofigo + HT treatment (indicated by you in another thread), you should care for any case of anemia. You need to get periodical blood tests for precaution. The initial T level would have been important to judge your treatment but even without it you should request the test now for comparing future developments. Care with heart health.

Good luck,

VG

GeneRose1's picture
GeneRose1
Posts: 64
Joined: Aug 2016

Thanks VG. That is precisely what I was looking for. Do you think that by ensuring testosterone levels are low, it will increase the duration that Lupron is effective? I apply for a lot of clinical trials, and so far have been turned down for every one. If I never get accepted, the only option I have left is my Medical Oncologist's by-the-book strategy of administering Lupron until it's no longer effective, and then switching to something else, and then on and on until he is out of drugs to control the disease. Some folks have been on Lupron for 10 years and are doing great & but I know that it's usually only three to five years.

Old Salt
Posts: 720
Joined: Aug 2014

Do you think that by ensuring testosterone levels are low, it will increase the duration that Lupron is effective?

The answer is 'no' (no relationship). 

As an aside, prostate cancer cells can change and turn on the ability to proliferate in the absence of exogenous testosterone . This is referred to as becoming castrate resistant. As you probably already know, there are drugs that are effective, at least for some time, for when this happens.

GeneRose1's picture
GeneRose1
Posts: 64
Joined: Aug 2016

During today's blood draw, I asked the young Vampire Lady if a T Test would be included in the Lab work. She said no but her supervisor piped up & said that it could be added at no cost. All I had to do was get the Oncologist to request the test. During my meeting with the Oncologist, I brought it up & he said, "Sure, great idea. We'll add that to all future lab work.". So there it is & nothing to it. It appears to an instance in which you have to know to ask for it in order to get it. Thanks VG & Old Salt!

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