psa numbers mean?

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/3/2010 4:08 AM (GMT -6)   
My husband psa was  2008=15   2009=8   2010=3.5,    free psa 11.4%   WHAT DO THESE MEAN?  He has had 3 biopies all negative.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 847
   Posted 11/3/2010 4:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi kc and welcome to the forums. I wonder if you have these readings reversed and 15 is really the 2010 figure? If so, it's possible that hubby has PCa in an area that normal biopsies don't reach. A PSA of 15 certainly needs further investigation.

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4848
   Posted 11/3/2010 4:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. PSA is present in small quantities in the serum of men with healthy prostates, but is often elevated in the presence of prostate cancer and in other prostate disorders. A blood test to measure PSA is considered the most effective test currently available for the early detection of prostate cancer, but this effectiveness has also been questioned.
Rising levels of PSA over time are associated with both localized and metastatic prostate cancer (CaP).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1804
   Posted 11/3/2010 6:18 AM (GMT -6)   
KC, PSA is generated by the prostate gland. High levels of PSA (and 15 is high), can be an indication of prostate cancer but it could also indicate other benign prostate diseases. Free PSA indicates the amount of PSA that is freely circulating in the blood stream...a percentage below 25 (someone correct me if I have this one wrong) is cause for concern.

I assume the first biopsy was done in 2008 when your husband's PSA was 15. When was the second one done? May I ask how old your husband is? Did the doctor perform a DRE (digital rectal exam, which is part of a man's annual physical); if so, did the doctor comment on the findings of this exam?

A negative biopsy does not necessarily mean that there is no prostate cancer. A prostate biopsy takes very small samples of prostate tissue from different areas of the gland.

I hope you come back and give us an update and some more information.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2845
   Posted 11/3/2010 7:21 AM (GMT -6)   
- from site -

" Normal and Abnormal Percent-Free PSA
Typically, men have a percent-free PSA above 25%. Between 10% and 25% is considered an intermediate range and below 10% is considered to be low.

However, a low percent-free PSA, even coupled with a high absolute PSA level (the raw number that you were told is your PSA number), does not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer. Only a biopsy can definitively diagnose prostate cancer.

Does My Percent-Free PSA Really Mean Anything?
The most common situation in which the percent-free PSA is used to make a decision about how to test for or treat prostate cancer is when the absolute PSA level is at an intermediate level."

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2217
   Posted 11/3/2010 12:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome kc

Did your husband get given antibiotics in 2008 as that could explain the reduction in PSA if the high numbers were due to an infection?

However, it is possible to have a high PSA as a result of simultaneously having an infection and cancer, so I'm afraid the PSA going down if the infection gets sorted may not be 100% good news.
And how old is the gentleman?


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3887
   Posted 11/3/2010 12:12 PM (GMT -6)   
When your PSA level is trending DOWNWARDS, that's GOOD!! Sounds like hubby might have had a prostate infection of some sort and as that inflammation cleared up, the PSA readings headed South....PC can be tricky, but with 3 biopsies guarding the gate, you are doing the right thing.

Shortly, there will be a new test for PC called the "Four Gene Urine test". Abbott Labs and Quest Labs are working on test kits now..It's more sensitive and accurate than PSA..

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/3/2010 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   
 To be more accurate, I just got the records,  his psa 2008=8.3,    January  2009=15    re-check same day  =15.1,    in   June= PSA=8,     2010=3.5    his free %psa June 2009 =6.3 % AND   July 2010=11.4  %     3 biopies negative and the doctor didn't suggest doing  a biopsy   again because his PSA went down  3.5 and his PSA % went up.    The doctor suggested check numbers in 6 months  , this January.  He is 55 years old now.   I think it might be an enlarged prostate benign.  He is seeing a specialist,  my husband was on antibiotics but I think it was after the test in 2010.  This doctor seems unbothered , he just says its abnormal numbers.  My husband says he is now feeling a slight pain on urination, its more often at night and  a slower flow. I gave him some amoxicillin incase its an infection, he got one after a biopsy one time. Thanks for any info. Sometimes I think its got to be cancer with those numbers, but it might just be enlarged. During an exam, he was told  it was enlarged about 4 years ago, and in 2008.

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 11/3/2010 8:42 PM (GMT -6)   
with his psa decreasing,not increasing, now back to 3.5, wouldn't normally indicate PC. If cancer were present, it wouldn't cause a steady decrease in his PSA, checking again in six months sounds reasonable to me
Age: 58, 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, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
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 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3887
   Posted 11/3/2010 11:22 PM (GMT -6)   
You might discuss Proscar (Finasteride) or Avodart with your doctor..These drugs can shrink an enlarged prostate and relieve the urinary symptoms..They will also reduce his PSA number by half, giving a false sense of security in some cases.
Age 68.
PSA at age 55: 3.5, DRE normal. Advice, "Keep an eye on it".
age 58: 4.5
age 61: 5.2
age 64: 7.5, DRE "Abnormal"
age 65: 8.5, " normal", biopsy, 12 core, negative...
age 66 9.0 "normal", 2ed biopsy, negative, BPH, Proscar
age 67 4.5 DRE "normal"
age 68 7.0 third biopsy positive, 4 out of 12, G-6,7, 9
RRP Sept 3 2010, pos margin, one pos vesicle nodes neg. Post Op PSA 0.9
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