Need advice on slowly rising PSA

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/28/2008 1:03 AM (GMT -6)   
5 1/2 yrs post RP. PSA <.1 until about 18 months ago. Since then several PSA tests have been .1, .11, .13, .14, .12, .19, .18, and now latest dropped to .15.  My surgeon who is an an expert in the field of prostate Cancer recommends waiting until PSA hits .2 before starting salvage radiation treatment. My local urologist thinks this is a recurrence and I should start tratement now rather than risk spread.  Since rise seems very slow I am still hoping it may be just some benign tissue that may had grown slightly but impossible to know. I don't really want to have the radiation if I can avoid it. I have good erections now and no problems with incontinence and I don't want to risk those.  Age 50 now. Gleason 3+3.  I did have a positive margin.  If anyone has any recommendations I woudl welcome them.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 8/28/2008 7:49 AM (GMT -6)   
As Chas036 points out the lower the psa at time of salvage the better the results.  Your situation is very similar to mine and I know what you are going through with the worries you mentioned.  I took the radiation and it appears to have worked well, only time will tell but the side effects have been minimal and no problems with ed.  I definetly feel like I made the right decision and I would encourage you to do the same.  Recent studies have also shown that even if the radiation does not cure your disease it appears to retard the ability of the cancer to spread and to become lethal.  Make sure you get IMRT or Proton but I am not sure Proton is really an appropriate option for salvage.  In fact I don't even think M.D. Andersen offers it for salvage.  IMRT has become highly accurate and has a long and proven track record of killing cancer cells, not a dis on proton but those are the facts right now.  Bottom line, get a radiologist you trust and who has a long record of success with your type situation. Good luck!
Age 45 at DX
DX 8/05 Gleason 5, Mayo clinic Second Opinion Gleason 6, PSA 2.8
Da Vinci surgery Dr. Dasari, Centennial Nashville 9/24/05
Pathology Report Gleason 6, 15 % on left side only very near to the edge of capsule, too close to call on margins, doc's said to watch it very closely, final decision T2A
PSA's have basically ranged from <.04 to .05 for two years.
no E.D. and no Incontinence, feel very blessed
PSA Nov 07 = .06
PSA Dec 10th 07 =.07
PSA Jan 4th 2008= .1
Started Guided IMRT on January 7th, 2008 to treat prostate bed and lymph nodes, completed on March 6th, 2008
PSA April 18th 2008 =.03
PSA August 18th 2008 = .01 or less, test only goes down to .01

Ken S
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 8/28/2008 9:00 AM (GMT -6)   

I too had a positive margin. My urologist, oncologist and of course my radiologist strongly suggested that I have IMRT as soon as I healed from the RP.

As far as ED is concerned after the RP but before the IMRT I could get maybe a 40% to 50% erection and that has not changed. Whether the radiation treatments stymied any improvement I may have had I'll never know.

The same can be said about incontinence. about 4 months after my RP I was pretty much pad free but still had slight stress incontinence and to this day I still wear 1 pad a day. Most of the time I'll have a spot the size of a half dollar at the end of the day, the worst days maybe 2 bucks worth.

Age 54 (2006)
PSA: 2005 - 3.2, 2006 - 3.7
Biopsy 8/06, Gleason 6 (3+3), T1c
Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy 11/3/06
Memorial Hospital, Pawtucket, RI
Post-Op Biopsy, still Gleason 6 (3+3),
T2c, right apical margin positive
CT Scan 1/07, tumor discovered on right
kidney (unrelated to PCa)
Partial Nephrectomy 3/9/07
R.I. Hospital, Providence, RI
IMRT (37 Treatments) 4/23/07 - 6/14/07
PSA: 7/08 - 0.02

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/29/2008 12:45 AM (GMT -6)   
I appreciate the responses. It is a tough decision to start salvage radiation when getting differing opinions from doctors. It is good to hear that side effects appear to be minimal.

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 8/29/2008 2:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Your PSA is going the wrong direction, but at least it's going at the right pace ~ super slow. Ask your doctor about a test called CTC ~ or Circulating Tumor Cell test. This test may help reveal if the cancer is still local. If your doctor does not know what it is, ask him to look it up. My oncologist has started using it and feels it is a useful test. If yours is zero then maybe a proactive shot at RT is a good idea.

My experience with IMRT was uneventful. I made it a practice to start the day with IMRT, then walk a few miles after it. I had some fatigue at the end but I still don't have any bad side effects. I'm doing well with an advanced stage, knock on cyber wood. Good luck to you! 



Age 46 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007 @ The City of Hope
Post-Op Pathology: Gleason 4+3=7, positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (May 9 '08): <0.1
I will continue HT until May '09. 
Years in Remission (3/23/07): 1
Visit my Journey at:
And at:

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 8/29/2008 4:56 PM (GMT -6)   
This is regarding proton therapy for salvage purposes - I had my proton at Loma Linda over 7yr ago and they have been doing proton for failed surgery even before then.  Because the beam can be stopped at any spot required and there is no exit radiation the chance of side effects are greatly reduced.  I am not surprised that MD Anderson doesn't do it - they also do not do any proton on Gleason 8/9 - they are very selective on who they treat.   UFPTI in Jacksonvill, FL may do it.  Best luck to you.
Diagnosed Feb 2001  (Age 65)  Currently 72
PSA 4.8      Gleason 3+3=6      Stage   T2b
Completed Proton Therapy @ Loma Linda - 2001 - No side effects.  My journey is at:
7yr PSA - 0.2
Our responsibility now is to educate men about Pca, PSA and the importance of early detection. 

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Monday, September 24, 2018 6:14 PM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 3,006,229 posts in 329,318 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 161825 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, TheRayf.
271 Guest(s), 9 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
mattamx, Kent M., xpeetzax, Admin, Girlie, InTheShop, oregonhay, stickersteve, iPoop