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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 2/21/2008 11:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I had my six month PSA test yesterday. The result were 0.04. This is higher than I had in my two earlier tests. Both earlier tests were 0.00 and all tests were taken at the same lab. Question! Is this something to be worried about? My Uro said Great, I was doing well, however he is not the one who had the cancer. Uncle Dan
Age 67
DRE negative, 10 - 06 PSA 5.44, 01 - 07 PSA 6.47
5 - 07 CT and Bone scans negative, 05 - 07 Biopsies, 2 of 6 positive
Gleason Score (3+4) 7 Stage T1c
08 - 14 Da Vinci RAP, five hours surgery
Some right nerve and all left nerve removed,
8 -16 Negative margins, Encapsulated, 50% left side
Lymph nodes 2 R & 1 L - Negative, R & L seminal vesicles - Negative
Gleason changed (4+3) 7 closer to 8 than 6
9 - 26 1st PSA 0.00 11 - 28 2nd PSA 0.00 Some stress drips

Mike A
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 2/21/2008 8:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Uncle Dan,
My PSA went from 0.02 to 0.04, and despite the assurances that all was well, I was worried about the upward trend. However they were right, at my next check it was back down to 0.02 and it has stayed there since. My Doc says until it gets to 0.1 it's still listed as undetectable. Relax and don't worry.....I know it's easier said than done.
June 2005 - Age 53 PSA 4.8 at regular physical October 2005 - After several rounds of anti-biotics, PSA 5.2 at Urlogist November 2005 - Biopsy negative July 2006 - PSA 5.9 at regular Physical October 2006 - After several more rounds of anti-biotics PSA 8.1 November 2006 - Second biopsy - Positive December 2006 - Gleason (3+4=7), Tumor T1c, CT Scan and Bone Scan Negative
January 2, 2007 Robotic Prostatectomy, University of Rochester Medical Center - Tumor confined but larger than thought, only one nerve able to be spared. Margins clear. February 2007 - Three to fo ur pads a day, no erection with viagara. April 2007 - First Post-Surgical PSA 0.02. Down to one pad a day.July, 2007 - Six Month Post-op: PSA 0.04 No change in ED. October, 2007 - Nine Month Post-op: PSA back down to 0.02!Almost totally dry! Only slight improvement in ED - Will try injections if not improved by next appointment. January 2008: One Year Post-OP PSA 0.02 still dripping, but improving. Tried 500 dose of MUSE for ED, no luck. Will try 1000.

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2331
   Posted 2/21/2008 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Most urologists consider a PSA below 0.1 ng/mL to be negative.  So the difference between 0.00 and 0.04 is insignificant, since both are below 0.1.
This testing is using the ultrasensitive PSA test.  My follow-up PSA's have all been done with the standard PSA test, which measures to the nearest 0.1 ng/mL. 
Age 59  PSA velocity quadrupled in 1 yr (0.6 to 2.6) 
1 of 12 biopsies positive (5%) 
Open surgery June 2006 
Cancer confined to one small area Gleason 5 
PSA's non-detectable

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 2/25/2008 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, I guess it is just easy to worry about it starting all over again somewhere else. Thanks Again, Uncle Dan
Age 67
DRE negative, 10 - 06 PSA 5.44, 01 - 07 PSA 6.47
5 - 07 CT and Bone scans negative, 05 - 07 Biopsies, 2 of 6 positive
Gleason Score (3+4) 7 Stage T1c
08 - 14 Da Vinci RAP, five hours surgery
Some right nerve and all left nerve removed,
8 -16 Negative margins, Encapsulated, 50% left side
Lymph nodes 2 R & 1 L - Negative, R & L seminal vesicles - Negative
Gleason changed (4+3) 7 closer to 8 than 6
9 - 26 1st PSA 0.00 11 - 28 2nd PSA 0.00 Some stress drips

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 2/26/2008 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   

How do you know or what question should you ask to determine if the test is "ultrasensitive"

If my results were 0.02 and 0.01 does it automatically mean it is an ultrasensitive test?

Thanks in advance for any answers.


Age: 63
PSA 2.62, Negative DRE
Biopsy: Gleason 3,3  Stage T1c
Prostate 71 grams 
Biopsy: Cancer 5% in one of twelve modules
DaVinci April 16, 2007, Cathter Removed Day 8
Tumor Confined To Prostate,  Gleason 3,3
Surgical Margins and Seminal Vesicles Are Negative for Tumor
Playing Golf: Week 5
Week 6: PSA .02

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 2/26/2008 9:39 PM (GMT -6)   
In general, any PSA result that can give a lower number than 0.1 is "ultra-sensitive", at least that's my understanding. I had originally requested the "standard" test from my local urologist because a) I had a good pathology report, and b) I thought I would fret over possibly more "noise" in the movements of PSA results over time. However, what I received the ultra-sensitive type.
The question is a bit more complicated as there have been several generations of lab equipment and assays. I don't have a link to post, but a quick search on "PSA ultra sensitive" should bring up a lot on the subject. There is more than one generation of equipment of the ultra-sensitive variety, and variations between equipment manufacturers as well. I found it useful to actually look up the specs of the equipment used on my PSA result, which was right there on the report. I also learned that there is a lot of variance in the results when the reported PSA level is near the lowest level of sensitivity for that particular equipment/assay, hence the importance of knowing which machine was used. There is a term "functional sensitivity" which is the level that test results are repeatable for a given test, and this level is higher than then the lowest sensitivity specified. For example, a test that has a sensitivity of "<0.008ng/ml" may yield a result of 0.009 for a particular man, but that number may vary greatly over multiple tests. On the other hand, a result of 0.015 may be very reproducible. This is just an example.
Age:45 (44 when diagnosed)
Father diagnosed and cured at age 52.
08/21/07: Diagnosed with T1c cancer
1 of 12 biopsy cores positive; 10% tissue
Gleason score: 3+3=6
PSA level prior to biopsy: 4.3 (velocity < 0.4ng/ml)
10/19/07: da Vinci prostatectomy by Dr. Vipul Patel
              Difficult surgery due to prostate inflammation.
              Both nerve bundles spared.
              Spongy erections began within 24hrs of surgery!
10/24/07: Catheter out; down to 1 Serenity pad/day next day.
              Final pathology: neg margins, no capsular penetration,
              Gleason 3+3=6, 5% tumor involvement, multi-focal.
11/04/07  First usable erection with Cialis
11/22/07  Thanksgiving - Bye-bye, pads
01/17/08  First post-surgery PSA result: < 0.008 ng/ml

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 3/10/2008 8:57 PM (GMT -6)   

tongue  Yea!! Uncle Dan & Loved Ones,


6th Month   PSA  !!!~~~>>>  Woo~Hoo <<<~~~!!! undetectable


Cause for celebration!!!!!  Definitely!!!  

What a wonderful day it is ~ each and every-day….   

Enjoy it to the fullest. 


*     *     *     *     *     *

The ultimate “goal”… we all strive for… Thank you for sharing!

It is very important to “all ”of us!  This is a way of positive feedback…

A way of showing others Hope… and a way of Sharing.


J      Caring is Sharing ~  Thank You for Sharing  J


  cool Hey Uncle Dan,

Here’s a thread that might give you a little info... and will help new members when they find us!  Thread started by: Opie  Low level PSA after surgery


Threads by: uncledan

08-26-07 Prostate cancer surgery

01-19-08  Age limit

11-29-07  Second post surgery PSA

09-26-07  First PSA since Surgery


Thank you for continuing to share and contribute to this wonderful place ~ HealingWell.

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 3/11/2008 5:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Uncle Dan,

I just got the same 6 mo. PSA .04 result and went through a terrible weekend of anxiety and fear. I emailed my surgeon and here is his response:

"With the current technology used in commercial PSA assays, it is very hard to measure PSA concentrations below 0.1 ng/ml. Therefore, anything less than 0.1 is the same as zero. Some assays provide results to two or three decimal places, but it is wishful thinking. In most instances, a PSA reading of 0.04 is essentially the same as zero."

Sure hope he is right! :)
42 yo. now
5/07 PSA 4.65 at routine physical
6/07 biopsy positive for cancer...Gleason 3+4...diagnosed at 41 y.o.
6/07-9/07 manic research and interviews with physicians across the country in search of the "right" decision.  I went to Mass General in Boston, Loma Linda, University of Chicago and Northwestern.
9/17/07 - Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy Surgery at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago by Dr. William Catalona.  Thankful the father of the PSA test was right here in Chicago.
Post op pathology was Gleason 3+4 with negative margins, no seminal vesicale involvement, no lymphatic or vascular invasion, bladder and urethral free and tumor volume was 5% of 27.3g.  
9/27/07 - Catheter removal...let the games begin...
12/07 - Threw out the pads.  I only had to use 1 pad per day for protection against minor drips. 
I started Trimix 8 weeks after surgery with success.
I hope someday I won't need injections, but I hope more that my PSA stays at 0 forever.

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