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PSA error

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2010

Never lose hope... Spent the last two weeks fretting an unexpected and large jump in PSA. I had been 2 yrs post RP with undetectable PSA. I thought I was out of the woods. Opted for robotic surgery in 2010 to avoid the fate of my father and grandfather, and the prognosis was very positive. Gleason 6, PSA 6.5, extremely low volume of PCA found in the post op prostate, margins all aok. First year after surgery, ultrasensitive PSA was still at 0, but now all of a sudden at year two I'm at 1.3. Thought I was going to have to skip the radiation stage and proceed straight to HT.

Well..... I repeated the test this week at a different lab, and lo and behold, PSA was undetectable.

So, yes, mistakes can happen.

I notified the various parties so they can look into what happened. Could have been a measurement error, could have mixed up two patients, who knows.... I'm concerned there's another post-op person out there who thinks he has undetectable PSA when in fact it's 1.3. Hopefully the lab will check on that and take appropriate steps....

VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 3367
Joined: Nov 2010

I am pleased to know about the laboratory error. You should inform the laboratory responsible on the matter so that many of our comrades will not fall in the trap.

Wishing you a continuous life of Zeros in PSA.


Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2010

a few footnotes:

I found out later that the lab could have reanalyzed the sample, but the request would have had to happen within 7 days of the sample collection. Something to keep in mind if you have reason to believe your PSA report is false.

The lab indicated to my doctor's office that they checked that their procedures were followed and could not identify any error on their end.

I asked my doctor's office to also review whether a tetanus shot administered to me just before the PSA blood sample was collected could have interfered with an accurate PSA measurement. The answer was "no," that would not impact PSA measurement, in part because the shot was administered to muscle, while the blood was drawn from my vein.

The lab offered to provide me with a retest at no charge. I plan to take them up on that next month.

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