Given you hated maths it's perhaps worth mentioning the decimal point
There have been a number of cases mentioned at HW where people got results over the phone etc where they misheard what they were told
eg they heard they were "0.1" when they were actually "0.01" which is very good, or they thought they heard they were "0.1" when they were actually "Less than 0.1" (usually written down as "<0.1"), which is much better than "0.1".
A PSA level of "<0.1" after treatment is good; that's what we regard as "Zero". And one that also stays at "<0.1" is what we all aim for.
So try to make sure your dad gets all such details on paper so he and you or your mum do not have to feel uncertain about
exactly what you have been told.
Re a PSA of 10.
The lab report from my initial PSA test was part of a general health check and all the way down the report next to my own readings it listed what was the "safe" level (be that for sodium, sugar, cholesterol or whatever) and for PSA my lab marked 2.5 as being the borderline. So in Holland the rule seems to be that a PSA above 2.5 needs to be investigated further, so a PSA of 10 is too high to be ignored. (Thus my own PSA, at 8.6, was flagged up on the report with an "H" next to it)
PSA can never really be zero, some women have even been found to have very low levels in them, but what counts here is that the PSA that matters is made by prostate cells, however the problem with prostate cancer is that cancerous cells can move away from the actual prostate gland and not be removed with the gland at the operation. The biopsy report is therefore important to give an indication about
what the cancer is like. In your first post you said: I do know that it is stage 2, Gleason of 7 and localised, no spreading to bone, lymph nodes or seminal vessels.
And that is positive enough news for the doctors for them to believe that if they remove the gland they will have a good chance of removing all the cancer (a so-called curative treatment).
Thus testing the blood after the operation to see if there is still PSA in it helps the doc find out if all the prostate cells were indeed removed.
My doc said that they would want to give me additional treatment if the PSA level got above 0.2 after the op. so as it was 0.4 at the last test I am off to the hospital tomorrow to be prepared for radiotherapy.
And remember that because it takes a while for the PSA that is still in a guy's blood the day after the op to get broken down it will be a fews weeks before they test the PSA after the operation.
(It might help everyone understand your dad's situation if you edit your profile to add a signature about
Age at Dx 48 No Family history of Prostate Cancer
Married 25 years, and I cannot thank my wife enough for her support.
April 2009: PSA 8.6 DRE: negative. Tumour in 2 out of 12 cores. Gleason 3+3.
RALP (nerve-sparing) at AVL-NKI Hospital Amsterdam on 29th July 2009. Stay 1 night.
Partial erections on while catheter still in. Catheter out on 6th Aug 2009.
Dry at night after catheter came out
Post-op Gleason 3+4. Tumour mainly in left near neck of bladder.
Left Seminal Vesicle invaded, (=T3b!)
no perineraul invasion, no vascular invasion. clear margins,
Erection 100% on 15th Aug 2009, but lots of leaking
Stopped wearing pads on 21st Sept 2009
Pre-op style intercourse on 24th Oct 2009 !! No use of tablets, jabs, VED etc.
Nov 17th 2009 PSA = 0.1
Mar 17th 2010 PSA = 0.4!!! referred to radiation therapist
Post Edited (English Alf) : 4/12/2010 1:25:23 AM (GMT-6)