How often are PSA scores 'wrong'

My husband had some bloodwork done to get an insurance policy. His PSA came back as 73.76. He is 57 years old and in bascially good health. He had Rocky Mt. Spotted Feaver about 10 years ago and lost about 70% of his hearing and has trouble maintaining his body temp sometimes (he feels cold alot). He has not been to a doctor in years and has never had this test before. I did get him in to see my doctor, and they have repeated the test. However, it will be a few days before we get the results I suspect. Are PSAs 'wrong' sometimes? What are the odds that this is just some sort of abnormal test result- not a real problem? If it is correct, what are the chances it is due to a non-cancer cause? I'm a bit of an info geek and have done alot of reading the past 24 hours. I am the primary caregiver for my mother-in-law who has had strokes and heart problems and broke her hip last year. I also help my mom who has knee, back and other issues. I want to be prepared to help my husband, but and feeling rather overwhelmed right now. It's th NOT KNOWING that drives me crazy. I can cope with just about anything- I just find out everything I can and plow into taking care of people and being their advocate. But I can't stand not knowing.
Thanks for any help.
«1

Comments

  • laserlight
    laserlight Member Posts: 165
    Welcome
    PSA numbers are misleading, my numbers were 2.25 and I was in stage T2C PC. I had a doctor visit yesterday and had a long conversation about this. The doctor informed that these numbers can be misleading. The real indicator of cancer is the biopsy, also the DRE. This needs to be looked into and followed up on. There are other medical problems that can cause psa numbers to go up. For now I would take it easy, but do not let this go
  • Kongo
    Kongo Member Posts: 1,166 Member
    Very High PSA Score
    Worried,

    As laserlight indicated, PSA scores can be both misleading and confusing and your husband is pursuing an appropriate course to have his test redone to ensure that there is not a laboratory or human error in his reading.

    Most healthy men have PSA levels below 4 but prostate cancer can be present even with low PSA readings such as the example laserlight gave in his own case. Several things can cause an elevated PSA reading such as sex before the blood test, manipulation of the prostate, BPH, some OTC medications, and some types of exercise like bicycle riding. PSA scores above 10 are highly suspicious indicators of prostate cancer.

    The American Cancer Society indicates that PSA scores above 10 have at least a 50% chance of prostate cancer being present. A PSA score in the 70s is very, very high. While there may be other potential causes for such a high reading, prostate cancer is probably the most likely.

    When your husband went to your doctor I hope they gave him a digital rectal exam (DRE) after they did the blood draw. In this simple exam, the doctor is feeling for unusual bumps or hardness on the prostate which they can feel through the wall of the rectum. If the DRE is abnormal they will want to do a biopsy. Even if the DRE is normal, such a high PSA reading will certainly be justification for a biopsy. The only sure way to diagnose prostate cancer is with a biopsy.

    If the second PSA test comes back anywhere near what the first test showed, your husband needs to see a urologist to undergo the biopsy to determine exactly what is going on.

    I hope everything comes out fine for you both. It sounds like you already have your hands full.

    Here's an information link you may find useful:

    http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ProstateCancer/DetailedGuide/prostate-cancer-detection

    Best
  • Beau2
    Beau2 Member Posts: 261
    Kongo said:

    Very High PSA Score
    Worried,

    As laserlight indicated, PSA scores can be both misleading and confusing and your husband is pursuing an appropriate course to have his test redone to ensure that there is not a laboratory or human error in his reading.

    Most healthy men have PSA levels below 4 but prostate cancer can be present even with low PSA readings such as the example laserlight gave in his own case. Several things can cause an elevated PSA reading such as sex before the blood test, manipulation of the prostate, BPH, some OTC medications, and some types of exercise like bicycle riding. PSA scores above 10 are highly suspicious indicators of prostate cancer.

    The American Cancer Society indicates that PSA scores above 10 have at least a 50% chance of prostate cancer being present. A PSA score in the 70s is very, very high. While there may be other potential causes for such a high reading, prostate cancer is probably the most likely.

    When your husband went to your doctor I hope they gave him a digital rectal exam (DRE) after they did the blood draw. In this simple exam, the doctor is feeling for unusual bumps or hardness on the prostate which they can feel through the wall of the rectum. If the DRE is abnormal they will want to do a biopsy. Even if the DRE is normal, such a high PSA reading will certainly be justification for a biopsy. The only sure way to diagnose prostate cancer is with a biopsy.

    If the second PSA test comes back anywhere near what the first test showed, your husband needs to see a urologist to undergo the biopsy to determine exactly what is going on.

    I hope everything comes out fine for you both. It sounds like you already have your hands full.

    Here's an information link you may find useful:

    http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ProstateCancer/DetailedGuide/prostate-cancer-detection

    Best

    Oops

    Oops
  • Kongo
    Kongo Member Posts: 1,166 Member
    Beau2 said:

    Oops

    Oops

    My bad
    Beau (Eagle Eye)

    My initial post mistakenly wrote DRE BEFORE the blood draw, which of course is wrong as the DRE massages the prostate and can elevate the PSA score. I corrected it to read AFTER the blood draw and I think our posts hit almost simultaneously. Sharp eye.
  • hopeful and optimistic
    hopeful and optimistic Member Posts: 2,333 Member
    Kongo said:

    Very High PSA Score
    Worried,

    As laserlight indicated, PSA scores can be both misleading and confusing and your husband is pursuing an appropriate course to have his test redone to ensure that there is not a laboratory or human error in his reading.

    Most healthy men have PSA levels below 4 but prostate cancer can be present even with low PSA readings such as the example laserlight gave in his own case. Several things can cause an elevated PSA reading such as sex before the blood test, manipulation of the prostate, BPH, some OTC medications, and some types of exercise like bicycle riding. PSA scores above 10 are highly suspicious indicators of prostate cancer.

    The American Cancer Society indicates that PSA scores above 10 have at least a 50% chance of prostate cancer being present. A PSA score in the 70s is very, very high. While there may be other potential causes for such a high reading, prostate cancer is probably the most likely.

    When your husband went to your doctor I hope they gave him a digital rectal exam (DRE) after they did the blood draw. In this simple exam, the doctor is feeling for unusual bumps or hardness on the prostate which they can feel through the wall of the rectum. If the DRE is abnormal they will want to do a biopsy. Even if the DRE is normal, such a high PSA reading will certainly be justification for a biopsy. The only sure way to diagnose prostate cancer is with a biopsy.

    If the second PSA test comes back anywhere near what the first test showed, your husband needs to see a urologist to undergo the biopsy to determine exactly what is going on.

    I hope everything comes out fine for you both. It sounds like you already have your hands full.

    Here's an information link you may find useful:

    http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ProstateCancer/DetailedGuide/prostate-cancer-detection

    Best

    I am sorry that you have a need to post here.
    You are wise to research and seek knowledge.

    I hope that your husband will take an active roll as you are.

    We are here for you and will help as much as we can.

    As usual Kongo gave good advice.

    He mentioned, "When your husband went to your doctor I hope they gave him a digital rectal exam (DRE) after they did the blood draw" Basically when the prostate is massaged, the psa rises , so if the digital rectal was first this will account for the very high psa number.

    If your husband did get a digital rectal examine (which means that the doctor uses a finger to feel the prostate for abnormalities) what were the results?

    There is a new test called a PCA3 which is a urine assay test, and is an indicator of prostate cancer. When you see a urologist you might want to discuss this test with him before getting a biopsy. Basically, it is an indicator of prostate cancer, and a useful test in deciding or not deciding to have a biopsy. Please click my name for details of this test.

    Keep on posting here, research; read books, internet, find out about prostate cancer support groups in your area, which are great for contacts and information.
  • Beau2
    Beau2 Member Posts: 261
    Kongo said:

    My bad
    Beau (Eagle Eye)

    My initial post mistakenly wrote DRE BEFORE the blood draw, which of course is wrong as the DRE massages the prostate and can elevate the PSA score. I corrected it to read AFTER the blood draw and I think our posts hit almost simultaneously. Sharp eye.

    After I posted I reread your
    After I posted I reread your post and it said "after" and not "before" ... thought maybe the scotch was a bit strong and I'd miss read, so I "opposed" my reply. Then I saw your reply ... I'm sure this will make little sense to any one reading the thread. Think I'll have another.
  • hopeful and optimistic
    hopeful and optimistic Member Posts: 2,333 Member
    Kongo said:

    Very High PSA Score
    Worried,

    As laserlight indicated, PSA scores can be both misleading and confusing and your husband is pursuing an appropriate course to have his test redone to ensure that there is not a laboratory or human error in his reading.

    Most healthy men have PSA levels below 4 but prostate cancer can be present even with low PSA readings such as the example laserlight gave in his own case. Several things can cause an elevated PSA reading such as sex before the blood test, manipulation of the prostate, BPH, some OTC medications, and some types of exercise like bicycle riding. PSA scores above 10 are highly suspicious indicators of prostate cancer.

    The American Cancer Society indicates that PSA scores above 10 have at least a 50% chance of prostate cancer being present. A PSA score in the 70s is very, very high. While there may be other potential causes for such a high reading, prostate cancer is probably the most likely.

    When your husband went to your doctor I hope they gave him a digital rectal exam (DRE) after they did the blood draw. In this simple exam, the doctor is feeling for unusual bumps or hardness on the prostate which they can feel through the wall of the rectum. If the DRE is abnormal they will want to do a biopsy. Even if the DRE is normal, such a high PSA reading will certainly be justification for a biopsy. The only sure way to diagnose prostate cancer is with a biopsy.

    If the second PSA test comes back anywhere near what the first test showed, your husband needs to see a urologist to undergo the biopsy to determine exactly what is going on.

    I hope everything comes out fine for you both. It sounds like you already have your hands full.

    Here's an information link you may find useful:

    http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ProstateCancer/DetailedGuide/prostate-cancer-detection

    Best

    .
    .
  • mrspjd
    mrspjd Member Posts: 694 Member

    Welcome
    PSA numbers are misleading, my numbers were 2.25 and I was in stage T2C PC. I had a doctor visit yesterday and had a long conversation about this. The doctor informed that these numbers can be misleading. The real indicator of cancer is the biopsy, also the DRE. This needs to be looked into and followed up on. There are other medical problems that can cause psa numbers to go up. For now I would take it easy, but do not let this go

    Gleason Score
    “The real indicator of cancer is the biopsy and DRE?”

    Not the Gleason Score? Or perhaps that's what laser meant by "biopsy."
  • hopeful and optimistic
    hopeful and optimistic Member Posts: 2,333 Member
    Kongo said:

    Very High PSA Score
    Worried,

    As laserlight indicated, PSA scores can be both misleading and confusing and your husband is pursuing an appropriate course to have his test redone to ensure that there is not a laboratory or human error in his reading.

    Most healthy men have PSA levels below 4 but prostate cancer can be present even with low PSA readings such as the example laserlight gave in his own case. Several things can cause an elevated PSA reading such as sex before the blood test, manipulation of the prostate, BPH, some OTC medications, and some types of exercise like bicycle riding. PSA scores above 10 are highly suspicious indicators of prostate cancer.

    The American Cancer Society indicates that PSA scores above 10 have at least a 50% chance of prostate cancer being present. A PSA score in the 70s is very, very high. While there may be other potential causes for such a high reading, prostate cancer is probably the most likely.

    When your husband went to your doctor I hope they gave him a digital rectal exam (DRE) after they did the blood draw. In this simple exam, the doctor is feeling for unusual bumps or hardness on the prostate which they can feel through the wall of the rectum. If the DRE is abnormal they will want to do a biopsy. Even if the DRE is normal, such a high PSA reading will certainly be justification for a biopsy. The only sure way to diagnose prostate cancer is with a biopsy.

    If the second PSA test comes back anywhere near what the first test showed, your husband needs to see a urologist to undergo the biopsy to determine exactly what is going on.

    I hope everything comes out fine for you both. It sounds like you already have your hands full.

    Here's an information link you may find useful:

    http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ProstateCancer/DetailedGuide/prostate-cancer-detection

    Best

    .
    .
  • worriedabouthubby
    worriedabouthubby Member Posts: 37

    I am sorry that you have a need to post here.
    You are wise to research and seek knowledge.

    I hope that your husband will take an active roll as you are.

    We are here for you and will help as much as we can.

    As usual Kongo gave good advice.

    He mentioned, "When your husband went to your doctor I hope they gave him a digital rectal exam (DRE) after they did the blood draw" Basically when the prostate is massaged, the psa rises , so if the digital rectal was first this will account for the very high psa number.

    If your husband did get a digital rectal examine (which means that the doctor uses a finger to feel the prostate for abnormalities) what were the results?

    There is a new test called a PCA3 which is a urine assay test, and is an indicator of prostate cancer. When you see a urologist you might want to discuss this test with him before getting a biopsy. Basically, it is an indicator of prostate cancer, and a useful test in deciding or not deciding to have a biopsy. Please click my name for details of this test.

    Keep on posting here, research; read books, internet, find out about prostate cancer support groups in your area, which are great for contacts and information.

    More info
    Yes- he did have a DRE and then a blood draw (2 vials). the doctor said that his prostrate did not seem significantly enlarged and that it was 'firm but not rigid'. It's the waiting for the second results that is driving me crazy. I want to go ahead and get to 'part 2'- and have him be seen by a urologist. We both feel in our gut that it is probably cancer. We are unaware of any family history of this problem. I will ask for the PCA3 test- thanks for that heads up. Hubby has been doing some internet research, but he has lots to do at work (he mamages the family business, along with my brother-in-law for my mom). I retired about 5 years ago, after 30 years as a teacher and assistant principal in middle schools, to help my mom care for my dad and to care for my mother-in-law. Seems like that is what I do best- take care of others. Thanks for the encouragement. We are optomistic that even if it is cancer, things will be well and very well. He has no symptoms, and I'm going to think of that as a good sign. One thing that may have contributed to the high score that I forgot to mention- he passed a kidney stone in June. Doctor did say that could have elevated the PSA score- but it probably not to 74.
  • laserlight
    laserlight Member Posts: 165

    More info
    Yes- he did have a DRE and then a blood draw (2 vials). the doctor said that his prostrate did not seem significantly enlarged and that it was 'firm but not rigid'. It's the waiting for the second results that is driving me crazy. I want to go ahead and get to 'part 2'- and have him be seen by a urologist. We both feel in our gut that it is probably cancer. We are unaware of any family history of this problem. I will ask for the PCA3 test- thanks for that heads up. Hubby has been doing some internet research, but he has lots to do at work (he mamages the family business, along with my brother-in-law for my mom). I retired about 5 years ago, after 30 years as a teacher and assistant principal in middle schools, to help my mom care for my dad and to care for my mother-in-law. Seems like that is what I do best- take care of others. Thanks for the encouragement. We are optomistic that even if it is cancer, things will be well and very well. He has no symptoms, and I'm going to think of that as a good sign. One thing that may have contributed to the high score that I forgot to mention- he passed a kidney stone in June. Doctor did say that could have elevated the PSA score- but it probably not to 74.

    Another note
    If the doctor is going to do a psa test, ask them to Have a FREE or TOTAL psa test ran, my doctor runs this on me all of the time. This test tends to be a more accurate indicator of Prostate cancer from the way I understand. You can do research on this test and it will explain the test and results. Hope this helps. By the way my Wife is a retired teacher, glad you are on this site
  • hopeful and optimistic
    hopeful and optimistic Member Posts: 2,333 Member

    More info
    Yes- he did have a DRE and then a blood draw (2 vials). the doctor said that his prostrate did not seem significantly enlarged and that it was 'firm but not rigid'. It's the waiting for the second results that is driving me crazy. I want to go ahead and get to 'part 2'- and have him be seen by a urologist. We both feel in our gut that it is probably cancer. We are unaware of any family history of this problem. I will ask for the PCA3 test- thanks for that heads up. Hubby has been doing some internet research, but he has lots to do at work (he mamages the family business, along with my brother-in-law for my mom). I retired about 5 years ago, after 30 years as a teacher and assistant principal in middle schools, to help my mom care for my dad and to care for my mother-in-law. Seems like that is what I do best- take care of others. Thanks for the encouragement. We are optomistic that even if it is cancer, things will be well and very well. He has no symptoms, and I'm going to think of that as a good sign. One thing that may have contributed to the high score that I forgot to mention- he passed a kidney stone in June. Doctor did say that could have elevated the PSA score- but it probably not to 74.

    Mu opnion
    No matter what the results of the next psa, I think that it is a good idea for you to find and see an experienced urologist, hopefully with prostate cancer.

    My opinion is that urologist will be more experienced on doing a dre , is a specialist and will be ore informed about this than a GP.

    There are different degrees of prostate cancer depending on the gleason score.....many cases can be indolent, meaning not likely to spread.......it is good that you are proactive.

    Caregiving is hard, you are under a lot of pressure, so try to relax a little...hopefully others can help you with this....
  • Kongo
    Kongo Member Posts: 1,166 Member

    More info
    Yes- he did have a DRE and then a blood draw (2 vials). the doctor said that his prostrate did not seem significantly enlarged and that it was 'firm but not rigid'. It's the waiting for the second results that is driving me crazy. I want to go ahead and get to 'part 2'- and have him be seen by a urologist. We both feel in our gut that it is probably cancer. We are unaware of any family history of this problem. I will ask for the PCA3 test- thanks for that heads up. Hubby has been doing some internet research, but he has lots to do at work (he mamages the family business, along with my brother-in-law for my mom). I retired about 5 years ago, after 30 years as a teacher and assistant principal in middle schools, to help my mom care for my dad and to care for my mother-in-law. Seems like that is what I do best- take care of others. Thanks for the encouragement. We are optomistic that even if it is cancer, things will be well and very well. He has no symptoms, and I'm going to think of that as a good sign. One thing that may have contributed to the high score that I forgot to mention- he passed a kidney stone in June. Doctor did say that could have elevated the PSA score- but it probably not to 74.

    Gifts
    Worried,

    We all have gifts. Yours seems to be the gift of service and that's a very good thing although I can only imagine the stress it must put on you personally. You've been given some good advice and I hope the numbers come out good for you. In any case it would be smart for your husband to see a urologist I get the impression that is is not a frequent visitor to the doctor and he's at the age where he needs to be tuned in to what is going on inside.

    No symptoms is a good sign but frankly, most men with prostate cancer don't have symptoms. The kidney stone certainly could have increased the PSA but as your doctor suggested, it would be unusual for it to spike up to 74 although in your situation I do hope that is the case.

    Please keep us informed of what you find out and I would encourage your husband to join the forum so he has the opportunity to interact with other men who have gone through similar situations.

    K
  • worriedabouthubby
    worriedabouthubby Member Posts: 37
    Kongo said:

    Gifts
    Worried,

    We all have gifts. Yours seems to be the gift of service and that's a very good thing although I can only imagine the stress it must put on you personally. You've been given some good advice and I hope the numbers come out good for you. In any case it would be smart for your husband to see a urologist I get the impression that is is not a frequent visitor to the doctor and he's at the age where he needs to be tuned in to what is going on inside.

    No symptoms is a good sign but frankly, most men with prostate cancer don't have symptoms. The kidney stone certainly could have increased the PSA but as your doctor suggested, it would be unusual for it to spike up to 74 although in your situation I do hope that is the case.

    Please keep us informed of what you find out and I would encourage your husband to join the forum so he has the opportunity to interact with other men who have gone through similar situations.

    K

    Thanks
    Thank you all for the quick, positive responses. We are still waiting for the second PSA results. I am hopeful that they will include the free/attached ratio results also. As soon as we have those results, the GP will be doing a referral to a urologist. Unless, of course, we are very lucky and this was just some sort of fluke reading. But somehow, I doubt that. I will ask the urologist about the PCA3 urine test. Hubby has a good attitude right now. I hope he can hold on to it. I don't think he'll consider joining this board. He is very private and probably wouldn't even understand about me sharing here. but I need a place like this. I can't talk with my mom, or his or our kids until we know more. And besides, I'm the one that everyone always looks to to be calm, strong, knowledgable, etc. He jsut booked another (overnight) trip for us. Since we had to stop our twice yearly international travel when his mom had her stroke 5 years ago, we've been trying to recapture his youth by going to classic rock concerts around the country 8-10 times a year. We have trip in Sept. to San Diego to see Olvia Newton John, one in Oct. to see Madonna, one in Nov. to see Styx, and he just booked one for Dec to see Moody Blues. And he got special seats and passes- we will get to go backstage and meet them! Maybe these will give him some continutity and comfort to hold onto during this time. He LOVES his music. If he has to have some 'difficult' treatments, I know the concerts would help him 'bear up'- if he can travel. Fingers Crossed!!!!!

    EDIT-
    Posted this about 20 min. too soon. Hubby just called. 2nd test is back. PSA is now 81. I did the math and that is more than a 10% increase in about 2 weeks. That means it would double in just over a month I think. Hubby didn't know to ask about the free vs. attached ratio. He has an appointment with a Dr. Watson, urologist on Tuesday. Hope my heart holds out to then.
    Thanks again for all the support.
  • laserlight
    laserlight Member Posts: 165

    Thanks
    Thank you all for the quick, positive responses. We are still waiting for the second PSA results. I am hopeful that they will include the free/attached ratio results also. As soon as we have those results, the GP will be doing a referral to a urologist. Unless, of course, we are very lucky and this was just some sort of fluke reading. But somehow, I doubt that. I will ask the urologist about the PCA3 urine test. Hubby has a good attitude right now. I hope he can hold on to it. I don't think he'll consider joining this board. He is very private and probably wouldn't even understand about me sharing here. but I need a place like this. I can't talk with my mom, or his or our kids until we know more. And besides, I'm the one that everyone always looks to to be calm, strong, knowledgable, etc. He jsut booked another (overnight) trip for us. Since we had to stop our twice yearly international travel when his mom had her stroke 5 years ago, we've been trying to recapture his youth by going to classic rock concerts around the country 8-10 times a year. We have trip in Sept. to San Diego to see Olvia Newton John, one in Oct. to see Madonna, one in Nov. to see Styx, and he just booked one for Dec to see Moody Blues. And he got special seats and passes- we will get to go backstage and meet them! Maybe these will give him some continutity and comfort to hold onto during this time. He LOVES his music. If he has to have some 'difficult' treatments, I know the concerts would help him 'bear up'- if he can travel. Fingers Crossed!!!!!

    EDIT-
    Posted this about 20 min. too soon. Hubby just called. 2nd test is back. PSA is now 81. I did the math and that is more than a 10% increase in about 2 weeks. That means it would double in just over a month I think. Hubby didn't know to ask about the free vs. attached ratio. He has an appointment with a Dr. Watson, urologist on Tuesday. Hope my heart holds out to then.
    Thanks again for all the support.

    Sorry to hear about this
    When you visit the urologist, make sure that they run the Free or Total psa test. I would think they would do that anyway. Hang in there. When you visit the urologist start asking questions, have them explain everything. The urologist will most likely perform the DRE. The next step will be another psa test and the DRE. That is the way the doctor did mine. Take it easy, I know waiting is hard. Try and keep a clear head on this. If you donot understand something talk to the doctor donot let them off the hook. Again sorry to hear about this. I forgot another item start requesting a copy of all medical records and lab tests. This will aid you and help to keep all of the information correct, the doctors have to supply it to you, all that has to be done is sign a release with the doctor office
  • hopeful and optimistic
    hopeful and optimistic Member Posts: 2,333 Member

    Sorry to hear about this
    When you visit the urologist, make sure that they run the Free or Total psa test. I would think they would do that anyway. Hang in there. When you visit the urologist start asking questions, have them explain everything. The urologist will most likely perform the DRE. The next step will be another psa test and the DRE. That is the way the doctor did mine. Take it easy, I know waiting is hard. Try and keep a clear head on this. If you donot understand something talk to the doctor donot let them off the hook. Again sorry to hear about this. I forgot another item start requesting a copy of all medical records and lab tests. This will aid you and help to keep all of the information correct, the doctors have to supply it to you, all that has to be done is sign a release with the doctor office

    Dear Worried
    This news is problematic, and is a challenge.

    Research that you can do now is find out what a Gleason score is, and the meaning of different
    scores that range from 2 to 5. I think that you husband will have to have a biopsy of the prostate. You might mention the PCA3, which is an indicator, which would be appropriate if your husbands other medical conditions affected the PSA, however I as a layman think that that is unlikely. The PCA3 will still be a good piece of information to define your husbands case, but my opinion is that he will still need to have a biopsy to find out what is happening.

    As has been mentioned to you the definitive test is the biopsy which will show the Gleason Score, and the amount of involvement in each core. Make sure that the urologist does at least 12 cores in the biopsy.

    I strongly recommend that you and your husband seek out local support groups, this is one way of finding experts in the field that do different treatments. Start looking for a medical oncologist, surgeon and radiation oncologist that you can interview. You want an expert. A good idea is to connect with a major medical center of excellence where there is generally better technology and better doctors
  • Kongo
    Kongo Member Posts: 1,166 Member

    Thanks
    Thank you all for the quick, positive responses. We are still waiting for the second PSA results. I am hopeful that they will include the free/attached ratio results also. As soon as we have those results, the GP will be doing a referral to a urologist. Unless, of course, we are very lucky and this was just some sort of fluke reading. But somehow, I doubt that. I will ask the urologist about the PCA3 urine test. Hubby has a good attitude right now. I hope he can hold on to it. I don't think he'll consider joining this board. He is very private and probably wouldn't even understand about me sharing here. but I need a place like this. I can't talk with my mom, or his or our kids until we know more. And besides, I'm the one that everyone always looks to to be calm, strong, knowledgable, etc. He jsut booked another (overnight) trip for us. Since we had to stop our twice yearly international travel when his mom had her stroke 5 years ago, we've been trying to recapture his youth by going to classic rock concerts around the country 8-10 times a year. We have trip in Sept. to San Diego to see Olvia Newton John, one in Oct. to see Madonna, one in Nov. to see Styx, and he just booked one for Dec to see Moody Blues. And he got special seats and passes- we will get to go backstage and meet them! Maybe these will give him some continutity and comfort to hold onto during this time. He LOVES his music. If he has to have some 'difficult' treatments, I know the concerts would help him 'bear up'- if he can travel. Fingers Crossed!!!!!

    EDIT-
    Posted this about 20 min. too soon. Hubby just called. 2nd test is back. PSA is now 81. I did the math and that is more than a 10% increase in about 2 weeks. That means it would double in just over a month I think. Hubby didn't know to ask about the free vs. attached ratio. He has an appointment with a Dr. Watson, urologist on Tuesday. Hope my heart holds out to then.
    Thanks again for all the support.

    Not Surprising
    Worried,

    I'm sorry that your husband's PSA remains high but that really isn't too surprising given the overall situation you described. You also write earlier that they did the DRE before drawing blood. That is not the procedure your doctor should have followed since massaging the prostate during the DRE will cause the PSA to go up temporarily. That may be what has caused the 10% rise over the last reading.

    The absolute number of the PSA level is less important at this point. It is way too high for most common explanations for an elevated PSA.

    I am sure the urologist will want to do a biopsy so you're waiting is not over yet. He will first schedule a biopsy in the near future and your husband will need to follow the directions about taking antibiotics before and after the biopsy. The doctor will also have him take a Fleet enema to clear his bowel system prior to doing the biopsy.

    After the biopsy the samples will be sent off to be read by a pathologist who will determine if prostate cancer is present and if it is he will assign a Gleason score. I suggest you do some research on the Gleason grading system before the biopsy so that you can understand what the doctor is telling you when the results come back.

    It is a good idea to accompany your husband during the first visit after the biopsy comes back because if it is cancer, many men blank our after the C word and don't remember what else the doctor says. I know that happened with me. Having two sets of ears is smart.

    If there is cancer present they will also want to schedule your husband for some imaging and bone scans to see if they can detect whether or not the cancer has spread to other parts of his body.

    I hope everything turns out well for you both.

    K
  • worriedabouthubby
    worriedabouthubby Member Posts: 37
    Kongo said:

    Not Surprising
    Worried,

    I'm sorry that your husband's PSA remains high but that really isn't too surprising given the overall situation you described. You also write earlier that they did the DRE before drawing blood. That is not the procedure your doctor should have followed since massaging the prostate during the DRE will cause the PSA to go up temporarily. That may be what has caused the 10% rise over the last reading.

    The absolute number of the PSA level is less important at this point. It is way too high for most common explanations for an elevated PSA.

    I am sure the urologist will want to do a biopsy so you're waiting is not over yet. He will first schedule a biopsy in the near future and your husband will need to follow the directions about taking antibiotics before and after the biopsy. The doctor will also have him take a Fleet enema to clear his bowel system prior to doing the biopsy.

    After the biopsy the samples will be sent off to be read by a pathologist who will determine if prostate cancer is present and if it is he will assign a Gleason score. I suggest you do some research on the Gleason grading system before the biopsy so that you can understand what the doctor is telling you when the results come back.

    It is a good idea to accompany your husband during the first visit after the biopsy comes back because if it is cancer, many men blank our after the C word and don't remember what else the doctor says. I know that happened with me. Having two sets of ears is smart.

    If there is cancer present they will also want to schedule your husband for some imaging and bone scans to see if they can detect whether or not the cancer has spread to other parts of his body.

    I hope everything turns out well for you both.

    K

    correction
    Sorry if I implied or said they did the DRE prior to the blood draw- they did things in the right order. I am hopeful that the biopsy will be scheduled quickly. Maybe within a day or two of the first urologist appointment (next Tuesday). I had already been reading about Gleason scores. And possible treatments, side effects. etc. Thanks again!
  • laserlight
    laserlight Member Posts: 165

    correction
    Sorry if I implied or said they did the DRE prior to the blood draw- they did things in the right order. I am hopeful that the biopsy will be scheduled quickly. Maybe within a day or two of the first urologist appointment (next Tuesday). I had already been reading about Gleason scores. And possible treatments, side effects. etc. Thanks again!

    worried
    Follow the input, the biopsy is very important. Kongo is right. I had mine done on a tuesday and had results on friday, doctor visit on the following wednesday. You really need to be with your husband. My wife was with me and she was able to keep things straight. I went thru the blank out phase. I am glad that she was there. At this point in time try and keep a focused outlook. Please follow all of the instructions provided by the doctor. This needs to be done correctly. There are going to be after effects from the biopsy the doctor will explain these. Hang in there.
  • worriedabouthubby
    worriedabouthubby Member Posts: 37

    worried
    Follow the input, the biopsy is very important. Kongo is right. I had mine done on a tuesday and had results on friday, doctor visit on the following wednesday. You really need to be with your husband. My wife was with me and she was able to keep things straight. I went thru the blank out phase. I am glad that she was there. At this point in time try and keep a focused outlook. Please follow all of the instructions provided by the doctor. This needs to be done correctly. There are going to be after effects from the biopsy the doctor will explain these. Hang in there.

    I WILL be there- and a other question
    Oh- I most definitely plan on being with him for every appointment from this point on. I'm going with him Tuesday. When I told him that he said "Why? I can go by myself." I said "But I have questions- and I want to hear exactly what the doctor says". He has always relied on me to be the one with the answers, so I don't think he will object at all. The main problem will be dealing with his fear of needles. A doctor broke one off in his arm as a child. Just thinking about getting blood drawn shoots his blood pressure up WAY HIGH! Like 180 / 90 range. scares the doctors!!! I really hate the wait. I wish we could go tomorrow.

    He told his brother and my borhter-in-law today. We figure his brother might want to get tested soon- I don't think he's ever had the test before either and he is 55. He told my brother-in-law because they are running our family business and I felt that he deserved to know why hubby was having to leave work so often and so he could help him make plans about his 'duties' in the near future. Hubby is CFO- lots of banking, check writing, meetings, etc. Brother-in-law is COO. I may have to step in and help there too. We are going to hold of on telling our 2 kids (ages 25 and 33) and our moms until we know a bit more. Probably after the appointment Tuesday.

    Thanks for listening and letting me ramble on. No one else to talk to. Thanks for the suggesstion about the support groups- but hubby will nix that- he is SOOOOO private.

    Now- a question. If we see the doctor on Tuesday, is it possible to have the biopsy done before the end of the week? Is that done in a doctor's office or outpatient at a hospital? I know it done through the rectum so I see the need for the antibiotics and a fleet enema someone mentioned- I assume that means at least 1-2 days "prep" time? If I could, I'd have him start that stuff NOW!! Just so I wouldn't have to wait so long.