This could mess up my zero club membership

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/27/2011 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I received a call from the doctor in Scottsdale concerning my forth (one year) PSA test today.  My first  three tests after surgey came back < .04.  The doc said this one was .064, without the < sign in front of it.  She said she called the lab and asked if it was considered undetectabale and they said no.  I had thought that as long as the results were < .1 it would fall under the undetectable label.  I was worried about the one year test and this just has put the stress meter in high gear!  I was told that they wanted me to have another test in two months to see if it is still headed in the wrong direction and make a decision at that point.  I had hoped that if this stuff did come back it would be a few years down the line but thats the way it is.  Waiting is the hard part for me and everyone else having to deal with cancer.  If the next test is headed upward, what would be the most approproate next step?  Thanks for listening.
.6 2007
9.4 Oct 2008
11 Nov 2008
12 core bio neg
16 July 2009
20 Sept 2009
all DREs normal
18 core bio gleason 6
Robotic Jan 2010
Up grade 4+4+8
contained, neg in all areas
stage T2b no mo
April <.04
July <.04
Oct <.04

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 1858
   Posted 1/27/2011 9:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Two,
It is only undetectable if that is what it is. PSA can only be undectable if it is not detected. I think the arbitrary 0.1 figure harks back to the days of less sensitive testing ------- most docs would be reluctant to go for additional treatment below that figure. It is a little strange that your first 3 tests came in at <0.04, suggesting that .04 was the lower limit of detection of the equipment your lab uses. Then they pop up with a result to three decimal places which suggests the equipment they has a lower limit of detection of probably .003. Perhaps they have altered their equipment or assay procedure. Still nothing is confirmed -------- you need more than the one apparent increase to confirm something is going on. It is probably a sensible course of action to see how the figure in two months shapes up. You wouldn't be the first here to see a few ups and downs. here's to the next reading falling back.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1011
   Posted 1/27/2011 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I was in the same position that you are a year ago. My 9 month PSA came in a .07 after being undetectable be 6 months. Doc said wait another 3 months to see if it continues heading up. I was on pins and needles for 90 days only to have my next PSA come in at .28. I very much hope that you have a different result, but now is the time to plan. Check out hospitals and doctors for potential next treetment options. You want to identify a good radiology oncologist to see and check out radiation facilities. You also should identify a medical oncologist or two to talk to. If you are having a recurrence, you have a number of decisions to make, and you should probably start considering them now.
I did some planning, but still felt rushed into the next phase of treatment. But at least I decided who I wanted to consult and was ready to set up appointments.
Best of luck. BB
Dx PCa Dec 2008 at 56, PSA 3.4
Biopsy: T1c, Geason 7 (3+4) - 8 cores, 4 positive, 30% of all 4 cores.
Robotic Surgery March 2009 Hartford Hospital, Dr Wagner
Pathology Report: T2c, Geason 8, organ confined, negitive margins, lymph nodes negitive - tumor volume 9%, nerves spared, no negitive side effects of surgery.
PSA's < .01, .01, .07, .28, .50. HT 5/10. IMRT 9/10.
PSA's post HT .01, < .01

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2845
   Posted 1/28/2011 3:05 PM (GMT -6)   
My first two post op PSA tests came back <0.05 - when I asked the exact level - he said 0.05 and he was pleased - if I have another 0.05 in march I go to once a year testing...
- it has been my understanding from my surgeon/urologist that <0.10 is undetectable.
I am a member of the zero club ( even though there is no such thing as an absolute zero) just as you are.
- keeping fingers crossed that your numbers stay down - as do mine - and you have a lifetime of zero's.
-I expect those more familiar with doubling times, etc will comment for added information.
all the best
Age: 55 - gay with spouse of 14 years, Steve
location: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
PSA: 10/06/09 - 3.86
Biopsy: 10/16/09- 6 of 12 cancerous samples, Gleason 7 (4+3)
Radical Prostatectomy: 11/18/09
Pathology: pT3a -Gleason 7 -extraprostatic extension -perineural invasion -prostate weight -34.1 gm
PSA: 04/08/10 -0.05 -Zero Club
PSA: 09/23/10 -0.05 -Zero Club
PSA: 03/12/11 - TBA
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