3 month testing

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 4/26/2011 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
when does one typically start to relax about the PSA tests?

I have my second one on May 10th and it started to bother me about a week ago. It's on my mind a lot. Hasn't made me dysfunctional or anything like that, but it definitely is a part of most of my thoughts.

Every 3 months feels like all the time. Hope I can learn to make it part of my everyday life without it contributing too much to stress increase.

I think I do 3 months for a year then 6 months for two years.

Then I wondered how it feels to graduate to once a year, are you tense all year long because you might feel it's growing without your knowledge?

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 4/26/2011 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
It takes time to get more relaxed about the testing. Even still it never leaves the back of your mind. i just blew passed another test with good results. I was too busy to notice but couple weeks ago I am worried about some hip pain I am experiencing. So a body ache got me a bit worried but it wasn't what I thought it could be. It is typical for the PSA test to be drawn every 3 months after therapy. And it is also typical for it to be pushed out as time wears on. Right now I get mine done every six months. In fact I don't even have a scheduled appointment yet for my November test.

Life is too good to get too worried about these things. I just take it in stride...

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.

Blog: www.caringbridge.org/visit/tonycrispino

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 2447
   Posted 4/26/2011 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
David, maybe I am blessed or maybe I am cursed. Either I truly live the "Every day is a bonus" mentality or I am one really dumb son of a gun.

The PSA tests have never bothered me and I somehow seem to never angst over them. In fact in the last year most of my tests have been on my initiative, just so I know what is going on. The results never seem to bother me one way or the other.

The results only seem to tell me it is time for additional info gathering and decision making or time to do nothing at all.

I consider this a blessing for sure. I know that not many can adopt this mentality, but I am here to tell you that if you can, life sure becomes much more enjoyable and stress free.

60 years old - PSA 11/07 3.0 PSA 5/09 6.4
da Vinci 9/17/09 Post Surgery Pathology: GS 4+3=7
Stage: T3a
Tumor Volume 12.5% positive margin, extra-prostatic extension
PSA .6 IMRT completed 1/15/10 35 treatments- 70Gy
2/23/10 Post IMRT PSA 1.0
3/22/10 PSA 1.5
4/19/10 PSA 1.2
5/22/10 PSA 1.3
8/9/10 Radiation for MET
9/7/10 PSA 2.2
1/5/11 PSA 3.9
3/7/11 PSA 4.2
4/10/11 PSA 3.8

Doting Daughter
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1064
   Posted 4/26/2011 3:32 PM (GMT -6)   
It has been over three years since my father's diagnosis and treatment and I still get anxiety over his PSA tests. I will forget about them and then I always seem to get a sick feeling in my stomach when it is approaching the time of his results. My body seems to know :) It does tend to move from the forefront of your mind to the rear as time passes, but for me, it is never completely gone. I think it is about finding the balance. Live life, enjoy, but sleep with one eye open :) Best wishes for a lifetime of undetectable PSA's!!!

Father's Age DX 62 (now 65)
Original Gleason 3+4=7, Post-Op Gleason- 4+3=7,
DaVinci Surgery Aug 31, 2007
Focally Positive Right Margin, One positive node. T3a N1 M0.
Bone Scan/CT Negative (Sept. 10, 2007)
Oct. 17 0 PSA 0.07
Nov. 13 PSA 0.05
Casodex adm. Nov 07, Lupron beg. Dec 03, 2007 2 yrs
Radiation March 03-April 22, 2008- 8 weeks 5x a week
July 2, 08 PSA <.02
Oct. 2010 PSA <.02

John T
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4237
   Posted 4/26/2011 3:36 PM (GMT -6)   
You never get relaxed about psa testing. I've been doing it for 12 years and thought my anxiety levels were under control. I had my blood pressure checked before the Dr gave me my psa results two weeks ago and it was 149 over 94. Five minutes after my results were given to me it was 134 over 80 which is normal for me. Even if you fell no anxiety your body does. You will have psa anxiety for the rest of your life.
66 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, 4 weeks of urinary frequency and urgency; no side affects since then. 2 years of psa's all at 0.1.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6982
   Posted 4/26/2011 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
My GP's office called yesterday - reminded me it was time for my 6-month cycle of general blood tests. Drew blood today, and threw in an ultrasensitive PSA (my uro only does standard 0.x) as well as Vit. D and a T-level (never had one, but guess I should set a baseline - they warned me that it will be $200 plus by itself). So now I'm nervous - have had two theoretical (i.e values < 0.1) increases, but I'll know Thursday. The uro will do another in June, I guess. 
But no, I don't really worry too much. It won't change anything. Except that my ultra-high deductible will be satisfied.
And although my uro would move to yearly tests next year, my GP and a well known surgeon both insist I should stay at 6-months interval forever.

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4835
   Posted 4/26/2011 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   

David - since there isn't a gosh darn thing you can do about the test... just go for it and you'll deal with the results however they turn out.

Course it doesn't hurt to keep the fingers crossed.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 713
   Posted 4/26/2011 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I guess because this is still new to me ,I worry about tests all the time. My wife calls me a worry wart,my GP had to adjust my blood pressure meds. Some times I just over think stuff and make myself nuts!
Every minute you fish or ride,adds an hour to your life!

Age 52 Dx age 53 daVinci surgery
prostate volume 32 grams
Biopsy 12 cores with 7 positive
Gleason score of 7
1st PSA 38.7 10/05/2010
2nd PSA 49.9 11/23/2010
CT neg.
BS Negative
RRP on 01/25/2011
PT3a -40% involved
margin involved-Left anterior
lymph nodes -clear
1st post op PSA-0.26-03/16/11

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 725
   Posted 4/26/2011 3:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I was extremely anxious after my first 3 month test, but a bit less at 6 months. Hardly thought about them for the 9, 12, and 15, and they were all undetectable. But then I began to get anxious before my 18 month for no good reason. As it turned out, my PSA was up on that one to .05. Still "undetectable" but a far cry from the previous <.014. I don't know what this means, maybe we create our own reality?
Age: 66
PSA: 7 tests over 2 years bounced around from 2.6 to 5.6
Biopsy 8 of 12 positive, Gleason 3+4, T2a
DaVinci August 2009, pathology Gleason 4+3, neg margins, T2c
Continent right away, ED
Viagra, Cialis did't work, Trimix works well
Post-surgery PSA:
3, month: undetectable <.1; 6 month: undetectable <.014 (ultrasensitive); 9, 12, 15 month: undetectable <.1; 18 month detectable .05

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7213
   Posted 4/26/2011 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I found it difficult starting 2 weeks before my test.
Of course, my PSA started increasing from the get-go, so that didn't help.
I think my next one will be 3 months after the conclusion of my SRT (in 2 1/2 weeks)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 4/26/2011 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   

It is a widely held, but incorrect, belief that PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen.

In reality, PSA stands for Permanent Stress Aggravator


Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 4/26/2011 6:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I no longer has PSA anxiety. Ever since my SRT failed, I have resigned myself to steady rises, all the suspense is out of the game, and I know there's no longer a curative means. My PSA rapidly rose prior to dx, doubled in 6 months after surgery, etc. I think if one's number is holding good, I can see where there would be anxious moments, or if one sees the number slowly creeping up, little by little.

Just my take.

David in SC
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 margin
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, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81
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 9/10

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 847
   Posted 4/26/2011 6:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I no longer worry about PSA tests either. I have another due in about a week, and I see the uro a week after that, and will wait to til I see him to find the result. To me it's nothing more than an interesting number.

I have a rising PSA, doubling every 6-7 months, so expect that my next will be 0.6. If more than that, it just means that I'll be on HT sooner than I would expect. If less, it's party time!
No symptoms; PSA 5.7; Gleason 4+5=9; cancer in 4/12 cores
Non-nerve-sparing RRP 7 March 2008 age 63
Organ confined, neg margins. Gleason downgrade 4+4=8
Fully continent
Bimix worked well; now using just VED
PSA undetectable at first but now 0.4, doubling time 7 months
No radiation but ADT coming unless I can slow down the rise...
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