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Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 4/6/2011 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Is that really good post surgery?

No it isn't me.

A friend who got his results today just sent me an email. He's very relieved.

What's the difference between 0 and 0.02 for all practical purposes?

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 4/6/2011 1:31 PM (GMT -6)   
It's excellent...

You can't ask for better. Most doctors consider >0.1 as acceptable and it is determined to be an undetectable cancer. 0.02 is using a test that can measure smaller amounts of PSA. The problem with this test is that the body can produce proteins that can be detected by these ultra fine tests.

Some like the finer test but I don't. For my case even if I saw a PSA rising in that low a number it would likely be of no benefit to start treatment. First we would want to wait and see if we can determine a velocity of the PSA. If it's rising quickly then it will become detectable with that standard assay test. If it is rising slowly then it might be detected with the ultra fine test, but treatment should begin only after we can determine the PSA doubling time. At which point the decision for salvage therapies can differ depending on this rate.

Advanced Prostate Cancer at age 44 (I am 48 now)
pT3b,N0,Mx (original PSA was 19.8) EPE, PM, SVI. Gleason 4+3=7

Da Vinci Surgery ~ 2/16/2007
Adjuvant Radiation Therapy ~ IMRT Completed 8/07
Adjuvant Hormone Therapy ~ 28 months on Casodex and Lupron.
Undetectable PSA.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 4/6/2011 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Tony.

I'll relay your message to them. They're celebrating tonight.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6983
   Posted 4/6/2011 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
If he was told "less than 0.02", it means undetectable according to the test being used. That is great.
If he is told 0.02 (without the "less than"), it could mean that the test really did detect something, but it is still great.
As Tony points out, where something less than 0.1 is concerned, unless it is increasing steadily over time, many doctors are quite happy to call it undetectable. My uro is of that school. However, the other day I was talking to a well-known PCa guy, who says for his practice the milestone is 0.1, but in my case, he thinks that second decimal is important enough not to ignore. But then he would not test for it. Wonderful contradictions.
Anyway, tell your friend he qualifies for our zero club, and that good news is always welcome here.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2845
   Posted 4/6/2011 3:17 PM (GMT -6)   
your friend is in the ZERO CLUB - PSA<0.1 -there is no such thing as an absolute zero-
-having a PSA of 0.02 is good - anything less than 0.1 is classed as undetectable

- question - do you know your friend's gleason score or staging?
-regardless, congrats on in store for him.
all the best,
Age:55 -gay with spouse of 14 years, Steve -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:03/24/11 -0.02 -Zero Club
PSA:03/24/12- TBA

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 4/6/2011 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I have it in an email at home. I can check when I get home tonight.

He had a gleason of 8 which is why he did do all the scans prior to surgery. They came back clean.

The tumor was extremely close to escaping capsule. I had posted the exact distance here in a thread some 4 weeks ago to get more info on what it meant.

Don't remember the PSA but it wasn't too high.

He's 52.

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2313
   Posted 4/6/2011 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm a 0.02 and consider this non-detectable or 'background noise". Like Tony, I don't like the sensitive PSA test, but that's the only one the lab I go to uses now. Go figure.
PSA quadrupled in one year (0.6 to 2.6)
DRE negative Retested at 3 months
1 of 12 biopsies positive (< 5%) G6
RP open surgery June 2006 at age 57
Bilateral nerve-sparing
Organ-confined to one minuscule area, downgraded to G5
Prostate weight 34 grams
PSAs < 0.1

Worried Guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3734
   Posted 4/6/2011 6:39 PM (GMT -6)   
You guys know I am a data weenie and have to jump in here. I was a participant in a study that compared two diagnostic (2 decimal digits) test methods: the older ultra sensitive 2 decimal test, Siemens Centaur - June 2006 protocol, with the new, more selective method Roche Cobas 601 - April 2010 protocol. All samples were drawn the same day from the same vial.

Here is my data after RP in July 2009.

As you can see the older method reports a slightly higher value and my results are quite stable.

1/14/2010 6 months - 0.05 (Siemens Centaur)
4/14/2010 9 months - 0.04 (Siemens Centaur) and <0.01 (Roche ECLIA).
7/12/2010 1 year - 0.03 (Siemens Centaur, direct chemilum); <0.01 (Roche Cobas 601 ECLIA)
10/22/2010 15 months- 0.03 (Siemens Centaur, direct chemilum); <0.01 (Roche Cobas 601 ECLIA)
12/29/2010 17 months Siemens data discontinued; <0.01 (Roche Cobas 601 ECLIA)

So, does 0.02 make a difference? It depends upon the machine used. He should ask for a copy of the test report then decide. (Either way it is good.)


Post Edited (Worried Guy) : 4/6/2011 5:43:03 PM (GMT-6)

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