PSA undetectable?

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mr bill
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 476
   Posted 3/5/2012 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Where is the cutoff point for undetectable PSA?  One test shows <.03 for 15 months the most recent this past December 12, 2011.  New test on February 29, 2012 comes up at <0.10. Same lab, but not 100% sure same testing method.  I have been told that some tests will only show one digit. Such as 0.1 while others will show three, such as 0.03. 
Age 67
BPH since 1996. at least three negative biopsies Erie. Uro did not Rx finasteride
2007 acute urine retention photovaporize Clev. Clinic Rx finasteride
8-9-10 PSA rose -10 with finasteride. biopsy gleason 9, bone scan negative
9-8-10 RP at Cleveland 9 nodes 2 positive seminal & vas deferens +
PSA 12 wk <.03, Jan 20,2011 <.03
RT 2-17 to 4-12-2011
8-20-11 <.03 12-15-11 <.03

142
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 5865
   Posted 3/5/2012 3:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Undetectable means less than the lower limit of detection for the test/equipment involved.
 
My uro's lab can do regular (0.x) or ultra-sensitive (0.xx). He will only order regular, so undetectable for one test (<0.1) with him may be detectable for the other (let's say 0.09), if he requested it.
 
Depends on the test, the equipment, and the lab used.
Moderator - Prostate Cancer
(Not a medical professional)

DaVinci 10/2009
My adjuvant IGRT journey (2010) -
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=1756808

Casey59
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 3/5/2012 3:18 PM (GMT -6)   
"Undetectable" simply means that the PSA reading was below the lower limit of the test's capability to detect a result. Different test methodologies have different lower limits of detection. There is no one answer.

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 24146
   Posted 3/5/2012 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Regardless, either way, you are still in the zero club
Age: 59, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, original catheters 63 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81, 6/11 5.8, 12/11 14.0
Other: Spent total of 1 ½ years on 21 catheters, had Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10
Member of Prostate Cancer & Chronic Pain HW Communities

mr bill
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 476
   Posted 3/5/2012 5:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Went to the lab today. They saw me coming anf hid behind the doors (just kidding).  This test was the Beckman Coulter Immunoassay method and it came out <.1.  Previous tests all were Siemens Bayer and came out <.03.  The big difference I noted on the report was the fact this test was sent from Erie to the Pittsburgh lab as Erie could not do it, and was for free PSA. 
 
Maybe, like the commercial, I should do my job and let the Dr. do his.  I guess it pays to be hands on, you may find a few folks who don't like...but we all have our crosses.
 
Must be the difference in the type of tests.

tatt2man
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2816
   Posted 3/5/2012 6:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Mr. Bill: - labs can change equipment without notifying clients/doctors which can cause a lot of stress

- your membership in Zero Club is valid ( PSA <0.10 - there is no such thing as an absolute zero)

- here's to a lifetime of zero's.
hugs,
Bronson

smithmeek.com/zeroclub.jpg
Age:56 -gay with spouse of 15 years, Steve -Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
PSA:10/06/09 3.86
Biopsy:10/16/09- 2 of 12 cancerous, 5% involvement -Gleason 7 (3+4)
Radical Prostatectomy:11/18/09
Pathology:pT3a -Gleason 7 -extraprostatic extension -perineural invasion -prostate weight -34.1 gm
PSA:
04/08/10-0.05 ..09/23/10-0.05 ..03/24/11-0.02 ..11/09/11-0.02 - ZERO CLUB
03/24/12 - TBA

daveshan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 3/5/2012 6:27 PM (GMT -6)   
You're still in the club, I'll have a Fresca thank you ;-)

Labs have a way of messing with you. My lab which has always been <0.04 just decided to start using <0.1 as the cutoff much to the annoyance of myself and my Uro'. The lab a friend uses close by also changed from <0.04 to <0.62 without telling him or his Dr, caused a bit of anxiety before he discovered what was going on.

I did some calling and found one within 50 miles (nothing at all up here) that does <0.02 so I'll be switching probably. You have some choice, if you want to go with an ultra-sensitive test call around.

Congratulations and keep 'em coming.
Dave in Durango CO

07-06 PSA 2.5
01-08 PSA 5.5 (Dr never told me)
09-09 PSA 6.5 (age 55)
12-09 Biopsy, initial Gleason 9 (4+5) later reduced to 8 with tertiary 5
03-01-10 Age 55 RRP in Durango CO by Dr Sejal Quale and Dr Shandra Wilson
03-16-10 Path' G-8 (4+4+5) Bilateral involving 21% of left lobe, 3% of right lobe, SVI, Focal positive margin, pT3b NO MX

All PSA as of 10-28-11 <0.04

mr bill
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 476
   Posted 3/5/2012 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I think I will just have them done at Cleveland from now on. Takes a little longer, but less confusion.
Age 67
BPH since 1996. at least three negative biopsies Erie. Uro did not Rx finasteride
2007 acute urine retention photovaporize Clev. Clinic Rx finasteride
8-9-10 PSA rose -10 with finasteride. biopsy gleason 9, bone scan negative
9-8-10 RP at Cleveland 9 nodes 2 positive seminal & vas deferens +
PSA 12 wk <.03, Jan 20,2011 <.03
RT 2-17 to 4-12-2011
8-20-11 <.03 12-15-11 <.03

goodlife
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2612
   Posted 3/5/2012 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Mr. Bill,

Glad to hear your PSA is staying down.

Goodlife

gams
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 3/6/2012 12:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Bill,
 Undetectable sounds  good,but 00000's sound better!
KEEP IT UP!
gams
57 PSA 5.2 2/12/11
3+4=7 gleason
larp,bone & ct neg,seminal ,neg
12 Samples 3 pos,1 suspect high grade
57 GRAMS PT2C ,TUMOR 5%OF each half
Larp 5/31/11
PSA 5.2 2/12/11
Eguinel Hernia surgery 6/25/11 Possible complications from
8 wk PSA .01
16 wk PSA .00
24 WK PSA .01,2/09/12
ED VIAGRA,VTS,ENCORE
TOTAL ANKLE REPLACEMENT 11/16/11
8 months still ED
QUAD MIX INJECTIONS 2/7

Turner 2
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 3/6/2012 1:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry for the long reply. My day job ia as an analytical chemist. One of the biggest issues we have with newbies is they want to report zero as a result. As a chemist the results are only as good as the test. When a test is qualified to give quantitative results, the limit of how sensitive the test is is determined. This is called the lower limit of quantittation. In other words,how good is the test at giving a number.
The test results are only as good as the equipment used to make the results. Some equipment an be more sensitive than other equipment. Non the less though, a <0.03 result is not three times better than <0.1. It's just that the test used is better at quantifying the result. Either way you are still a member of the zero club!
Turner 2 = George
Age 56
PSA 9/2011: 8.5
DRE: nodule on left side of prostate
Biopsy: 5 of 12 cores positive
Gleason score: 4+5
Pre Op CT Scan & Bone Scan clean
RRP: 1/27/2012
Post Op Pathology: all margins clean, Gleason Score-4+5, Seminal Vesicles Involved
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