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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/2/2011 5:02 AM (GMT -6)   
You have PC, so you have your prostate removed completely.
Lets say one year later your PSA is 1.5
This is an indication that the cancer has returned, correct?
However, if your prostate is removed, how can your body produce a Prostate Specific Antigen?
I'm just a little confused on this.
Age: 55- good health. Exercise now and then.
DRE 02/2011- no lumps, just enlarged prostate
PSA checked regularly last 8 years, ranged from 0.7 to 1.2
Needle Biopsy 02/2011- 12 samples. 10 OK.
GS 3+3=6 2 cores involving 5%
Stage T2a
DaVinci R.P. scheduled ???

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 644
   Posted 3/2/2011 5:45 AM (GMT -6)   
it would mean that some prostate cancer cells escaped and are growing somewhere else in your body. it could be they are right in the vicinity where your prostate was, that twould be more likely if there were postiive margins, for example, Or they could be elsewhere.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 3/2/2011 6:29 AM (GMT -6)   
As explained to me by my Medical Oncologist, the adrenal gland produces about 5% of all Prostate Specific Antigens and will sympathetically start to produce more in the absence of a prostate gland. Additionally, metastasized lymph nodes and bones can manufacture more tumors.

Post Edited (Mitch128) : 3/2/2011 4:55:08 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/2/2011 6:31 AM (GMT -6)   
So, it's the prostate cancer cells that produce the prostate specific antigen, and not the prostate itself?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1804
   Posted 3/2/2011 6:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Bitman, not true. My understanding is that all prostate tissue generates PSA with diseased tissue (e.g., cancer, BPH) generating higher amounts more rapidly. If the prostate is removed and the external nerve bundles are spared, benign (non-diseased) tissue can be left behind and will generate PSA. Since the PSA from healthy tissue is generated slowly and gradually, it often dies off on its own.

A PSA of 1.5 12 months after surgery is a sign that the surgery was not successful in removing all diseased tissue. The usual protocol for PSA testing after surgery is to check the PSA every 3 to 6 months for the first year or two (depending on the final pathology report). Hopefully, your question is a hypothetical one.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/2/2011 7:50 AM (GMT -6)   

Yes, it's a hypothetical question.
I'm trying to understand how or what causes you to have a PSA reading, after a complete removal of the prostate.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3149
   Posted 3/2/2011 12:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Adrenal gland can make some 'T' which can fuel PCa, . Once PCa moves anywhere in your body(it is always PCa, bones, lungs, whatever) it can set up shop and generate a PSa number. There are some variants or aggressive PCa's that don't give off much PSa to measure(more of an exception in PCa) this is why you need onco-docs to monitor various things to determine what is going on. This is far from simple science.

Post Edited (zufus) : 3/2/2011 10:46:45 AM (GMT-7)

John T
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4269
   Posted 3/2/2011 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Measurable psa comes form two sources, prostate tissue and prostate cancer cells.
A psa of 1.5 after a surgery can only mean two things. The surgeon failed to remove all the prostate tissue, which is very common as it is difficult to get it all, or the prostate cancer cells are outside of the surgical margin and are in the bed or in other parts of your body and are generating the psa.
65 years old, rising psa for 10 years from 4 to 40; 12 biopsies and MRIS all negative. Oct 2009 DXed with G6 <5%. Color Doppler biopsy found 2.5 cm G4+3. Combidex clear. Seeds and IMRT, no side affects and psa .1 at 1.5 years.
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