Is PSA .05 still considered *undetectable*?

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Tim's Wife
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/25/2007 8:23 AM (GMT -6)   
My Dad just informed me that his PSA has *risen* to .05.  He is a bit concerned.  Previously he has had RRP, hormones and radiation, in that order, ending last Oct.  His uro had suggested he take another dose of hormones after the radiation, but my Dad was so weak he asked if he could postpone the treatment.
 Does this mean the cancer is starting up again?     He's been thru the ringer with this beast and I would hate for him to have to start hormone treatments again. 
 I am hoping that .05 is still considered in the undetectable range.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 187
   Posted 4/25/2007 8:56 AM (GMT -6)   
My oncologist told me not to get too worked up over small PSA rises post-surgury, post-radiation and post-hormone therapy.  While is it concerning and yout really want a "0", he told me he's seen little rises like this in similar patients, and then it can stabilize or even go back down.
What they're really looking for is a trend --- is the PSA on a constant rise, and how fast is it rising?  A reading of .05 at this stage could just be "noise" --- you find out over time. 
Age 46
Initial PSA march of 2006: 28
PSA May of 2006: 39
8 of 12 cores malignant
Open Radical Prostatectomy 6/9/2006
Pathological Stage T3a, Positive Surgical Margin
Gleason 3+4
Post surgury PSA fluctuated between .04 and .09
PSA rose to .24 in November of 2006
6 month hormone therapy initiated December 1. 2006
36 sesions of IMRT Ended Feb 1, 2007

Tim's Wife
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/25/2007 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks sterd82. I'm hoping his next PSA will reflect a better number.

Bob Rasmussen
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/28/2007 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
PSA testing is done with a number of different methods and products.  They range in accuracy from "Ultra-sensitive" to "good enough for routine testing".  Also, at the very low level you indicate, there can be a lot of variation either + or - when the same blood sample is subjected to three of four tests instead of just once.  Most of the PSA testing is done using the "good enough for routine testing" products.  If your father's PSA was determined using one of these tests, then anything below the test's proven accuracy range, typically .1 sometimes .2, then .05 would indeed be considered undetectable as the test can't really distinguish between 0 an .1 level.  The time to get concerned about your father's PSA is if it show a rising trend over several tests. 

Prostate cancer diagnosed 08/2006
Age 63
Robotic Prostatectomy 11/22/2006
Post op Pathology:
 Gleason 6 (3+3)
 Negative Margins
 Bilateral Tumor
 Tumor comprises 48% of Prostate
 No extracapsular penetration
 Vesicles negative
Catheter out 11/29/2006, Continent immediately
Used pads as safety measure one week
First Post-op PSA: undetectable (04/2007)
Post Surgery; Vacuum and Viagra starting 03/2007, Injection therapy begun on 4/27/2007.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 4/28/2007 8:59 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi ~ Tim’s Wife,


I have always had a hard time trying to understand the PSA results…  So ~ I had Buddy sit down with me to give me a visual!!!  I hope this helps you to understand a little more about your results.


Revising some info.... will post shortly

mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

J  We invite you to visit our personal thread:  Click Here:  “Our Journey” ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

2nd PSA 02-06-2007 Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)

Post Edited (bluebird) : 4/29/2007 3:59:17 AM (GMT-6)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/28/2007 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi All,

I am Kitt and my father and his 5 siblings all died from various cancers so it is a topic that is close to my heart. sad

There is so much information on all the cancers but prostate cancer is the one men fear most.

PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) test results report the level of PSA detected in the blood. The test results are usually reported as nanograms of PSA per milliliter (ng/ml) of blood. In the past, most doctors considered PSA values below 4.0 ng/ml as normal. However, recent research found prostate cancer in men with PSA levels below 4.0 ng/ml. Many doctors are now using the following ranges, with some variation:

  • 0 to 2.5 ng/ml is low
  • 2.6 to 10 ng/ml is slightly to moderately elevated
  • 10 to 19.9 ng/ml is moderately elevated
  • 20 ng/ml or more is significantly elevated

There is no specific normal or abnormal PSA level. However, the higher a man’s PSA level, the more likely it is that cancer is present. But because various factors can cause PSA levels to fluctuate, one abnormal PSA test does not necessarily indicate a need for other diagnostic tests. When PSA levels continue to rise over time, other tests may be needed.

Tim's wife, you said:

I am hoping that .05 is still considered in the undetectable range.

I think you can see that everyone here agrees with you.

Bless you.

<!--question 5-->

Depression 25 years, Husband Crohns Disease 30 years
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.”
Rosalyn Carter

Tim's Wife
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/29/2007 12:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone for the encouragement.

Meanwhile in a few weeks I await my husbands first PSA in since his February surgery. Unfortunately they did not catch my Dad's cancer as early as they did my husbands.
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