I am an advocate of ultrasensitive testing. What you prefer is dependent entirely on your personality type. I am ultra analytical and want to know what is going on to the nth
degree. There are articles that clearly demonstrate the worth of ultrasensitive testing following surgery. Take my case. Surgery confirms Gleason 4+4 =8, 60% of the gland involved, perineural and vascular involvement, EPE with the surgical margin not definite due to disruption (probably due to handling during surgery). Now do I pull the trigger straight away with adjuvent radiation and risk possible additional side effects or do I wait and check the lay of the land so far as PSA goes. If I watch with a standard test then surgery may well have failed but it may be some time before I reach the magical 0.1 figure, indicating failure, and am keeping myself in the dark meanwhile. Or I watch the PSA at the ultrasensitive level (meaning the equipment tests to 3 decimal places, not 2). Now, testing to 3 decimal places will involve some fluctuation at that level but it means you are going to get a very accurate reading when rounded to 2 decimal places. If you have a reading of 0.004 or 0.006 or 0.008 you know it is definitely <0.01 and not the possible 0.099 that will deliver a <0.1 reading. If you have readings of 0.004 then 0.006 followed by 0.009, 0.12 and then 0.015 it is obvious that PSA is progressing steadily upwards so best make plans for a decision. Consistent readings below the 0.01 mark augers well for the success of the surgery while a reading of <0.1 is good but, to my mind, is not a definite indicator of successful surgery.
Now having said all that Traveller, I would ignore the exact reading with 3 decimal place testing and simply rely on the 2. So long as you are <0.01 your continued membership looks grand.
Post Edited (BillyMac) : 7/21/2013 11:53:42 PM (GMT-6)