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PSA and Hormone Therapy (confusion)

Posts: 80
Joined: May 2012

I am going for my 2nd PSA test in two weeks time. I was hoping that its results would indicate how I'm faring after my IMRT. However I now understand that the results may not give me any indication since I had hormone therapy during and after IMRT treatment and that I will have to wait until the effects of the hormone wear off. Then if this is correct. What exactly will the PSA results mean? What is the point of the tests if they do not give an indication of how I am faring. I was supposed to have the hormones for two years. I have stopped them because of the side effects. But if I did take them for two years then I would not have any indication for more than two years as to whether my cancer had been cured or whether it is spreading.
It is now six months since I had my last 3 month Hormone injection. My PSA was <0.1. three months ago.
Any explanation will be much appreciated

VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 2503
Joined: Nov 2010


You should look into your treatment as one unit. It would be impossible to judge the success of IMRT exclusively from an influenced PSA mark.
The good in your case is that the treatment worked as confirmed in your Zero PSA. In other words, the next PSA test may confirm continuous success and that is for celebration.

A “purified” PSA exclusive of IMRT will never happen even if you get a zero-PSA after HT wares off (in six month) because the results were due to the action of both treatments. Both may have killed the bandit.

Recurrence therefore would also be due to treatment failure. If such happens in future though, your cancer may still be hormone responsive and you could continue control with a HT protocol.
Hopefully you will never require taking those drugs again.


Kongo's picture
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010


When you have your blood drawn for the PSA test, have them also run a check on your testosterone levels. The T-Level will be a good indication about any remaining effect of the hormone treatment as the HT acts to suppress production of testosterone. If your T-levels are in the normal range then the PSA will be a fair indication of how it is progressing. More than likely the PSA will be above what your previous levels are since the HT effects are diminishing. Tracking PSA at this point will let your doctor determine how you are progressing toward nadir.



Posts: 80
Joined: May 2012

Thanks Kongo
A serum testosterone test costs 3 times the
Psa test and 9 times the oncologist fee! A
testosterone saliva test would entail sending
samples to the US! I really can't afford the former
and the latter is a big hassle However with the advice
I received in another reply, I think that I will wait and
see what my Psa is

Posts: 225
Joined: Apr 2010

Tony: If one were to reflect on good medicine within a pragmatic context, so much would be missed from "good medicine". It is understandable that not all medicine is affordable to all, but that does not mean it is not the best of medicine. You can only receive the recommendations and decide within the scope of your total picture. Kongo's advice is consistent with my understanding of a preferred approach, cost aside.

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