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After radiation

Posts: 43
Joined: Dec 2016

Having hard time understanding. After proton and brachytherapy, 3 month follow psa is 74ng/ml. The prostate was nearly 100% covered in cancer, so even with micrometasis you'd think a lot of cancer was killed, therefore psa would drop quite a bit, just like surgery would debulk most of it. Guess I need help understanding this. Psa was 67 approximately 2 months prior to treatment.. All cases I've seen no matter what the psa dropped dramatically at least initially. 

Old Salt
Posts: 821
Joined: Aug 2014

for the apparent lack of success with the 'double' therapy you received.  I also don't understand what happened. Maybe someone else can formulate an hypothesis? However, the really important point is to not give up and study, with the help of medical specialists, what to do now. In that context, can you go to one of the National Centers for Excellence, like MDAnderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering etc?


Earlier thread: https://csn.cancer.org/node/316736

Posts: 43
Joined: Dec 2016

Thank you for your response. Another psa in September, and we'll see what happens. My wife and I both agree that I'm not going to waste the time I got left trying to prolong the inevitable. Gonna exercise eat healthy and move on. I knew treatment would be a failure and did it anyways, no more. I'm wore smooth out.

Posts: 474
Joined: Mar 2017

Old Salt is right... you need a really expert opinion and shpuld not lose faith in highly reputable organizations... can't you just have them review your case? Disregard all the"evil pharmaceutical companies" articles. Yes, many of them are in it for profit... but many professionals are sincere in their quest to better the lives of cancer victims.

I am guessing, and I am the least expert opinion here... is that the cancerous volume was severely decreased, but the cancerous cell volume left behind has increased in activity. releasing much more antigen than before. In other words, including prostate tissue, and surrounding tissue in the prostate bed that has invasion, and even possible metastases, let's say there are 200cc of prostate cells in your body. They put out only 67 ng per ml of prostate antigen because they were relatively quiet that day. Then let's say 150cc of prostate cells were destroyed through treatment. The remaining 50cc of prostate cells are agitated and active, and possibly receptive to increased levels of androgen, so they put out 74 ng of antigen. Smaller clumpings of prostate cells are putting out the same or slightly higher levels of antigen than the original larger clumping of cells in the prostate that was treated.

I just dont know if this is the time to give up without at least consulting with one of the institutions mentioned by OS and maybe some others members could mention as expert in PC diagnosis and treatment. 

And, again just my opinion... keep doing the holistic, but dont expect it to exterminate your Prostate Cancer cells that remain behind, no matter what anyone told you. (dont shoot the messenger, just my opinion).

Posts: 43
Joined: Dec 2016

Not giving up. Gonna look into getting psma pet scan that vascodagama recommend. I don't expect holistic to get rid of cancer, but at least it doesn't cause more damage. In my opinion sometimes treatment does more damage than good, not to mention secondary cancers. Chemo is not curative, thats just desperately trying to hang on. You can read 10 different cancer articles and get 10 different theory's. They are all over the place when it comes to high risk disease. Just wanna get on with living. Sorry to be such a bummer, it really takes it's toll on us.

VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 3392
Joined: Nov 2010


You are not a bummer but a respected survivor. I am sorry for you because you were caught with the disease so young. You need to treat but as you comment “ …. sometimes treatment does more damage than good …”. Try balancing things.

I have no satisfying opinion to offer you on the increase of your PSA, at the three months post RT. One could think on the bounce phenomenon typical in RT guys that can increase the PSA to high levels and vary along a period of two to four years before it settles to a nadir. However, this occurrence has no fixed pattern and differs from patient to patient. In some guys it never happens and in some it takes time before it starts to decline.

One aspect I think that should be considered is the genetics of prostatic cells, in particular the cancerous ones, with genes that have been identified to be behind the cause of the cancer. Not everyone got them but, for instance the famous BRCA1 and BRCA2 are now much used in genetic tests for the screening of prostate cancerbecause they are commonly found in guys with cancer. These genes are thought to be associated with aggressive disease too. Moreover, cells with a series of mismatch repair genes are also known to be more resistant to DNA damage because they manage to get repaired while on its life cycle. In other words, if the timing of the radiation blow doesn’t fit such optimal period in the cell’s life cycle, the sudden killing is not assured. The damaged cell can still duplicate and produce PSA, dying much later due to its imperfect DNA. The process can take time before the body shovels the buggers to the garbage bin.

Best wishes and luck in your journey.



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