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Cancer may or may not emit PSA

mrshisname's picture
mrshisname
Posts: 186
Joined: Feb 2010

At our visit with the urologist today, I asked if all prostate cancers emitted PSA. The answer surprised me: he said that no, not all of them did and sometimes the more deadly cancers did not emit near as much PSA. Scary thoughts!
He also said that in development is a urine test for prostate cancer.

randy_in_indy's picture
randy_in_indy
Posts: 495
Joined: Oct 2009

That is very interesting...that might be why a male died every 19 minutes in 2009 of prostate cancer.

jminnj's picture
jminnj
Posts: 129
Joined: Nov 2009

That is interesting. In my own situation I was rather surprised that although my PSA was only 2.9 and one core was positive, the full biopsy showed that 35% of the gland was affected. I would thought based on that the PSA would have been higher.

Joe

Trew
Posts: 896
Joined: Jan 2010

Sitting around the waiting room at Loma Linda medical Center waiting for treatment us men would compare PSA and gleason scores. I was amazed that there seemed to be no coorelation between the two. My PSA was under 10 yet I ended up with a 9 gleason at surgery time.

Some men with 2 or 3 times my PSA only had a gleason of 6.

mrshisname's picture
mrshisname
Posts: 186
Joined: Feb 2010

This disease is so confusing, the more I read, the more I realize that. It seems right now that the best technology to figure out how much cancer you've actually got is by looking at the actual tissue, and that means taking it out. Makes it feel like we are still in the dark, dark ages. Medicine is a very young science.

erisian's picture
erisian
Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2008

From what I've learned, I think that all prostate cancers emit PSA, but some more than others. Some time ago, I found a survival nomogram that I wanted to plug some numbers into, but I didn't have all of what it needed. So I asked my oncologist about them, and we got talking about the nomogram. It was for patients who were metastatic at diagnosis.

PSA was, of course, one of the numbers that they looked at for the nomogram. Surprisingly, the correlation between PSA at Dx and survival was very low. Other factors such as hemoglobin and LDH had much higher correlations with survival. In other words, whether a patient had an initial PSA of 8 or 3000 made little difference in their survival prospects. My oncologist said that was in line with his experience. There are people with PSA's in the thousands who aren't even noticeably sick, while others are incapacitated with PSA's under 100. What matters, he said, is not the absolute number, but which way it is moving and how fast.

Also, every cancer is different because it is made from different genetic material, namely yours.

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