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Not diagnosed but a PSA blood level of 5.02

fathersson's picture
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello All,

Not having a good day. I just joined this discussion board.I am 56. My PSA went from a 4.78 to a 5.02 in about 2 weeks time. I have no problems with urinaton or pain ( maybe get up once a night if that) but had blood detected in my urine three blood tests ago. It has since cleared and none detected via last urine tests.. (I was being treated with doxycylene for Lyme and and asked for the pSA tests.) Also, quit smoking ( Chantix) and treated with Lipidor all within the last month.

I lost my Dad at 74 ten years ago to a terribly agressive form of prostate cancer that I believe was a gleason 9.. so I am worried big time. I have an appointment with a reputable urologist in a week. In the meantime, alot of worry and seeking input..and even advice to contemplate .. And I gotta tell you, the biopsies scare me even more.. Also wondering if lyme or the new meds could have impacted the PSA ? Anyone with a similar story?
Thanks in advance.

Posts: 52
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi, fathersson. The only thing my internist mentioned about an elevated PSA indicating anything other than prostate trouble was ejaculation on the previous day or two, a few days after which the PSA level would return to normal. The biopsy, while not particularly pleasant, what with all those people poking around your once-private parts, is not painful, since you get well numbed. The snipping of samples feels something like an electric jab, but the truly unpleasant SNAP that accompanies it bothered me more. However, nothing at all to dread. Good luck! John

fathersson's picture
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks John.. appreciate the feedback.

lshick's picture
Posts: 62
Joined: Apr 2009


Sorry you're here, but welcome to the family. All the guys here have been through some flavor of what you're going through. My situation was about the same as yours (age 60, PSA 4+ and rising, on Lipitor, no getting up at night). I can't comment on the doxycycline, and I'm for sure no medico.

The good news is that someone raised a flag for you early. If your first signal had been a frank symptom, you'd be in a much worse situation than you are. I'm sorry about your dad (I lost mine in 10 days from "I don't feel so hot" to in the box), but that, too, is fair warning. And you probably have plenty of time to get this sorted out the way you want. It's good that you got rid of the weed. So take a deep breath, and let it ALLLL out. Then do it again. OK, now...

A biopsy is an uncomfortable, nasty inconvenience, but nothing more. Depending on who you go to, you'll have laxatives and they'll shove a big thing up your butt, but within 36 hours, you'll wonder what the big deal was. It takes maybe 1/500th of your prostate. Some guys go through several in a year. The thing to understand about a biopsy is that it's statistical. It can overestimate, overestimate, or miss entirely your cancer. But it's the best we've got just now, in combination with PSA.

So the first thing is to get your biopsy results. They'll tell you whether you've got an aggressive cancer that's all over the place, or a middle of the road thing (what I had), or (maybe, for now) a false alarm. In most cases, you'll have lots of time to sit back and decide the right treatment (if any at all) for you.

Good luck.

fathersson's picture
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks Ishick I appreciate the help. I guess it all comes back to that every day we and are familiy and healthy and safe means we are having a wonderful day.


Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2009

My situation is not really the same but I felt like commenting anyway. From what I understand,it would not be that unusual for your psa to go up that amount in a couple of weeks. My Dr. has told me that it can fluctuate that much anyway but then you add to it when you had sex in relation to when the test was taken and that rise doesn't seem alarming.

Mine was running in the same area as yours before I had my biopsy, and I think that most Dr.s would at this point be urging you to go to the next step and have the biopsy. I had my biopsy on July 20, 09 and 9 days later they told me that I had cancer. The most important factor of the biopsy seems to be the Gleason score (or rate). Interesting thing here is that even though the slides are very real and very scientific the "scoring" of them seems at least a little bit subjective. Someone (probably several Dr.s) look at the slides and "scores" them - I think of the Olympic judges but lets hope that it's better than that, and in each area they give it a number. The scores are then added up and they arrive at a final number somehow. Mine (the same slides) were read 3 times and came up with 2 @ 7, and 1 @ 9. That discrepancy between the 7 and 9 is big, but either way it showed that my cancer was pretty much throughout my prostate. Since my prostate was removed on Nov. 3, the prostate is given even more scrutinization in the lab and in my case proved the Gleason score to be spot on.

I too would urge you to have the biopsy at this point. I would make my decision on how high the Gleason rate is. My wife simply devours books and has read most of what has been written now. Much of what I have learned is what she passes on to me. The most interesting of which is in the area of diet. If my Gleason had been low enough I would have probably done nothing except watch it very closely over the next few months. Actually I just lied. The one other thing that I would have done was change my diet drastically. Cut your fat intake down to almost nothing. 15% at most. Most experts do agree that the cancer is fed by fat.

I am 64, 6', 185 lbs., so think that I'm in pretty good shape. That may be the only other outside factor. Hope that I've helped.

fathersson's picture
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

It sounds like you are in good shape and have a wonderful wife doing much research for you. I wish you luck with your PC. Please keep me updated. Interesting point about sex.. my physicals were all Mondays.. and Sunday is our day..so maybe? I will heed the advice regarding fat intake. Thanks! My wife says Lyme is skewering my PSA numbers ( and she has done much research too) I hope she is right.. Also, been taking saw palmetto for past decade and plan on continuing. Have my appt for the 30th and "ain't" looking forward to it, but keeping my fingers crossed.

William Parkinson
Posts: 60
Joined: Oct 2009

I am sorry to hear about your father. I must mention that your PSA is way too high for a man your age. The growing consenus is that for men in their fifties the level above which some concern should be raised is today at 2.5. Having said that, there can be other causes than cancer,; namely BPH, prostatitis and other prostate problems. I have two concerns here: Your sudden elevation in PSA suggests an infection leading to prostatitis. I would first go on antibiotics for a week or 10 days (maybe Levaquin) and then get your PSA checked again. Then let the inflammation subside (assuming it is an infection). In roughly two months after the end of your symptomolgy, I would seek a prostate biopsy. Make sure it has no less than 12 cores taken. Ask around and see who sends their results to Bostwick Lab. There are many great pathologists (e.g. True at the U.Washington and Epstein at John Hopkins, to name but two), but Bostwick is as good as it gets and he has his own lab now, so anyone can send their biopsy cores in to him. Then wait a week for the results. I hope the best for you and wish you all the luck in this problem.

Posts: 111
Joined: May 2009

I certainly understand your concerns, particularly with your family history but, slow down and take a deep breath.

PSA can be elevated by having sex within a few days prior to the blood test so think back to see if that "may" have been part of the mix. If so, ask for another test. Likewise, blood in your urine could be something as simple as a kidney stone that hasn't decided to move and cause you "horrible" pain.

The biopsy procedure isn't fun but it certainly isn't painful and it's over in just a couple of minutes.

We're here for you if need be.

fathersson's picture
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Thank you. Good points and thanks for the support and input.

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 2326
Joined: Apr 2009

same lab............good point made, you can have an infection...........have you had psa's in previous years?......


Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Nick here and you and I have similar numbers and my dad also died at 73 of prostate cancer. I would have a biopsy asap. Not trying to scare you but im 52 and was almost too late in my diagnosis.

If I waited a year or more I might not have caught my cancer in time. I had a 24 needle biopsy divided into 6 sections and all but 1 was cancerous.

I had davinci on Sept 3rd and no positive margins and first psa test was ok. I know im not out of the woods yet with this problem but am optimistic and praying each subsequent test shows similar results.

Again with your family history I wouldnt wait but would get a biopsy asap. I will be disagreed with here but hope you do get the biospy so at least you will have some concrete information to base a decision on.

Prayers to you.....Nick

fathersson's picture
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Nick, I wish you well with your prostate issues. Please keep me and the others posted as we are all on the same team here. As for me, I go Monday for my first exam and consult. Oddly enough, after no issue getting up at night to urinate, I now am getting up as many as three times! I don't know if its nerves or prostate... it is odd. Another thing, which I am not sure of ( and kinda of keeping my fingers crossed here) I was diagnosed with lyme a month ago and just got over a month of anti-biotics.. and I know lyme can do crazy things to the body..so maybe? Also, just started statins and chantix for cigarettes a month ago..so how this is playing into this.. I dont know.. Anyways, good luck Nick. I'll let you know how I do.



lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

Good luck on your upcoming consult and tests. Believe me I was a nervous wreck after I found out that I had prostate cancer. Now that I'm on the other side of Davinci surgery I can look back with a different viewpoint.

1. Biopsy - Wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I actually didn't think the doctor would find anything but they did find cancer. I am thankful they did find it.
2. Researching - So many choices to pick from so read, ask questions, decide what is best for you. Talk to us and others.
3. Treatment - I settled on Davinci surgery for my treatment after much deliberation. This surprised me but I had more pain with the surgery then I anticipated. Don't worry though since many men say they have little to no pain and My wife has told me that I had a very low threshold for pain. She knows since she is a labor and delivery nurse and deals with pain on a daily basis.
4. Post surgery - My fears were unfounded. I have done great with urinary continence and with getting erections back with the help of Levitra.
5. Path results - My Gleason came back as a slight downgrade from 4+3 (7) to 3+4 (7) gleason. With a postive margin noted. My first post surgery PSA was 0 and will be retested in Feb 2010.
Am I worried about the margin? I would be lying if I said no, but it is not consuming my thoughts like the cancer was pre-surgery. I've learned so much on this short journey and continue to learn on a daily basis.

Again,Good luck to you,

Larry (Age 55)

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