has the cancer spread?

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/13/2008 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm new here and have a question. My uncle was diagnosed with prostate cancer over 10 years ago. He chose not to treat it. It appears that the cancer has spread, but I'm not 100% sure. He is very elderly. about a month ago he began having severe pain in his pelvic/lower back area. The pain was so intense that we had to take him to the ER. They did a CAT scan and it showed "multiple fractures to the sacrum." The doctors said that that is what typically happens when prostate cancer spreads to the bone. He is now in hospice care and very weak. However, I would like to know conclusively if that is what has happened. Two years ago his PSA level was at 9. They are going to run another PSA test and they said if it is elevated from the 9 where it was 2 years ago then we will know for sure that the cancer has spread to the bone. My question is (1) is that statement correct, and (2) what "magic number" tells us that the cancer has spread? Thank you for your help.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 1/13/2008 8:45 PM (GMT -6)   


I am no expert on advanced prostate cancer which is cancer that has gotten out of the prostate gland but I can share with you general knowledge that I have gained and others on the forum will do the same.  First, prostate cancer that has been diagnosed 10 years ago and no treatment chosen most likely has moved into other areas.  The pelvis bone area is the most common site for this to occur.  The PSA number is not an absolute indicator.  There have been men with PSA's of less then 1.0 that have had prostate cancer and those with PSA's of 20 to 30 that do not.  A PSA of 9 is considered high but in it self would not indicate advanced prostate cancer.  Since the prostate cancer was already diagnosed then the 9 is associated with the cancer.  If the new PSA test comes back elevated then it would indicate that the cancer has spread as the PSA is generated by prostate cells no matter whether they are normal or malignant.  The more prostate cancer cells there are the higher the PSA no matter where these cells may be in the body.  Sounds like the medical personnel you are conversing are knowledgable and giving you the best answers that they can.  I am sorry for your uncle.  Hope this helps.


Diagnosed 7/6/06, 1 of 10 core samples, 40%,Stage T1c, Gleason 3+3
Da Vinci on 11/01/06, Catheter out on 11/13/06
56 Years Old
Post Op Path, Gleason 3+3, Approx. 5% of prostate involved
Prostate Confined, margins clear
Undetectable PSA on 12/18/06, 6/25/07, 1/8/08
No more pads as of 1/13/07
Began injections in April '07

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 1/13/2008 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   

tongue  Hi ~ Cathy & Loved Ones ,


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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 1/13/2008 8:55 PM (GMT -6)   
:-)  Hi ~ Cathy,
Good questions and and an excellent response from Tamu!!  Other members will be on board to share with you... it is the weekend and it's usually a little slower at this time.  Make sure you check periodically and please ~ keep us close. 
Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family.
In Friendship, Lee & Buddy

mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina


v          We invite you to visit our personal thread:  Click Here:  “Our Journey” ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

3rd PSA 08-07-2007 Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)

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