Don't know where to start


I had my annual physical in May and my bloodwork showed a PSA of 2700.  I had what they thought was shingles in October and when they repeated the same bloodwork it showed my PSA at 4400.  I had more bloodwork in January and since it was still 4400 they did a prostate biopsy.  I get the results for that in 5 more days.

Anyway, when they thought I had shingles I mentioned a lump under my right arm but they thought it was related to that.  Turns out I didn't have shingles and after months have gone by the lump has gotten even larger, think kiwi.

I had an ultrasound two days ago and the report says that it is a "solid mass noted measuring 3.2 x 1.2 x 2.7cm with the appearance of a lymph node" and that they reccommend a CT with contrast.

So, I'm waiting on the results from my 12 biopsies (yeah, they take 12 samples of your prostate) and to be scheduled for the CT (because it has be be approved by insurance first).

I'm not even sure what I'm asking.  I"m more processing at this point.  Thanks, for listening and if I have relevant details next week I'll be sure to share.



  • catwink22
    catwink22 Member Posts: 281
    Wish u the best

    Hi bbarton,

    I'm glad to hear that you are seriously being looked at and not brushed off with shingles. Sometimes the waiting and NOT knowing are the hardest. When you get a diagnosis at least you can have a plan of action and don't feel as out of control. I hope it's something with an easy treatment, there are so many immuno-therapies now that don't require harsh chemo. Please let us know how you make out.

  • lindary
    lindary Member Posts: 711 Member
    good luck

    I hope all of the tests come back that it is not cancer. If it is, we are all here for you. 

  • Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3
    Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3 Member Posts: 3,767 Member


    As you know, PSA (Prostate specific antigen)is an indicator of prostate cancer.  PSA has only two sources (only two things can generate PSA in the blood): 

    1. Normal prostate activity, which ordinarily will not produce a PSA of above around a 5, in a healthy man of around 65 years of age (normal PSA levels increase as a man ages). 

    2. The other generator of PSA is Prostate Cancer (PCa).  Prostatitis and other urinary tract infections (UTIs) can sometimes cause the prostate to generate more PSA, but seldom above a 10 or thereabout, but this is not an exact range..

    I have myself had PCa, and am a regular at the PCa Board.  The "12 Core" matrix biopsy is the usual version used in the US and Europe; it was a good and routine test for evaluating you.

    A PSA of 2,700 is astonishingly high, and would virtually always indicate aggressive, late-stage PCa.

    A PSa of 4,400 is higher than I have ever heard of, after years of reading.  I once read of a PSA of 3,000 in a journal, but it was the highest prior to you that I have ever seen listed.  I WOULD QUESTION THE ACCURACY OF THE TESTS, actually.  Also, be sure the test was not for what is called "free PSA," which is a newer test, with differing normal ranges.

    I recommend you start at the Prostate Board immediately, if you have not already done so.

    The node you described is largish.... But be aware: PCa (if you have it) seldom spreads into the lymphatic system, almost always going into the bone marrow first, via what are called the "sentintal nodes" (nodes closest to the prostate gland).   And, IF you had PCa inside a lymph node (which IS possible), then that is NOT lymphoma, but rather "PCa in the lymphatic system."  But it is a long way for PCa in lymph nodes to travel from the pelvic region to the arm pit (axilial region), and the CT did not see other enlarged nodes, apparantly.

    Two unrelated cancers are also always a possibility.

    So what you are doing now is awaiting the biopsy, which usually does take 5 days or more to come back.

    What is your AGE ?  PCa is RARE under 50 years of age, but when it hits a guy in his 40s, it tends to be a more aggressive strain. Not always, but statistically it tends in that direction.

    BOTH lymphoma and PCa are usually very treatable, more so than most other cancers.  I am not meaning to be frightening, but as I said, your PSA numbers are nearly unbelievable.  I assume your biopsy was done by a urologist, who can begin to advise you, but only a biopsy result confirms anything.

    IF your biopsy comes back positive for PCa, the doctors will begin to talk "Gleason Score" which is a measure of the aggressiveness of the cancer cells. A Gleason of 6 or 7 is mild to intermediate in aggresivity, an 8 is moderately aggressive, and a 9 or 10 are very, very aggressive.

    NO PSA level of any number "confirms" prostate cancer, even a 4,400.

    There is little in your particulars that you have presented thus far that indicates large node could be lymphoma, or might have some other cause.  The doctors are doing all of the right things at this point.