How does a PSA test work if prostate is removed?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 6/8/2007 10:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I know this was asked before but I couldn't find it.
Just wondering.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 6/8/2007 10:54 PM (GMT -6)   


If prostate is removed and the surgery is successful the PSA will remain undetectable.  If, however, the surgery was not successful and the cancer returns the PSA will begin to rise.  This actually applies to any of the treatment modalities except that they may not have nadirs of 0.00.


Diagnosed Feb 2001  (Age 65)  Currently 71
PSA 4.8
Gleason 3 + 3 = 6
Completed Proton therapy @ Loma Linda - Aug 2001
5yr PSA   0.17
Have had no side effects.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 133
   Posted 6/9/2007 12:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Question....

PSA stands for prostate specific antigen. An antigen is simply a protien secreted by
prostate cell. Prostate cells that are cancerous sectete more antigen. Hence elevated psa.
When prostate is removed, cancer cells
and it's "bound" Psa can be left behind. This can lead to recurrent PCa that can take years or days to become metastatic.
Hope that helps.

Diagnosis12/3/05 T3b Gleason 9
PSA May 29th '07....01

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 6/9/2007 1:04 AM (GMT -6)   

Here's an excerpt from Brady Urology Institute report,

'PSA is very sensitive in detecting any recurrence of cancer. That's because only prostate cells make PSA -- so if it goes up after a radical prostatectomy, it means prostate cells are still present somewhere. For all intents and purposes, it means that a few cells escaped the prostate before it was removed, and now have grown to the point where they're producing enough PSA to be detected,'' explains Walsh.

The complete paper can be found here,

Hope this helps,

Dave M.
Age: 52


PSA 10.2 - Discovered during Annual Physical with Family Doctor

Referred to Urologist Surgeon specialist

Free and total PSA - 10.9

Biopsy ( sent to John Hopkins pathology) - 2 of 16 positive on left and right apex of prostate

Left - GS 3+3=6, Right - GS 3+3=6

Davinci assisted laparoscopy radical prostatectomy on Apr. 17, 2007 -Complications due to extreme unusual size of prostate. Normal Prostate = 20 to 31 grams. Mine = 120 grams (not enlarged, but genetic growth large)

Nerves on right side spared.

All Lab's clear. No Cancer outside prostate

Cystogram Apr. 24 2007- Slight leakage at anastomosi negligible.

Catheter in for 1 week Removed Apr. 24, 2007

May 30th, First post-op PSA results...Non-Detectable!

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