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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 8/5/2007 1:13 PM (GMT -6)   
 My first post surgery PSA is .028 and my Dr recommends I have radiation my pre surgery psa was 5.8 gleason 3+4 anyone else in this boat?
See new thread::  click here....>  post surgery psa (corrected PSA 0.28)
This thread will be deleted after a few days....

v      bluebird ~  Moderator for Prostate Cancer Forum




Post Edited By Moderator (bluebird) : 8/6/2007 6:05:24 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 8/5/2007 3:18 PM (GMT -6)   

Hey ~ mgl,


Wow…. We are puzzled by this….  What exactly is he seeing that makes him want to follow up with radiation? 


One thing is for sure…. You need some down time to heal/recover from you’re April surgery.


I put some information together on Opie’s thread Opie's Update to help me understand and I had to go back to Buddy and say “Am I missing something here?  Why would he need radiation now?” 


I’ve decided to add the same info from there…..  I will delete this if I’m missing something in your post….


We are keeping you extra close at this time.... as you continue to search for answers.

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy




Quote from Opie's Update by bluebird


I had a hard time trying to understand the PSA results when reading some post…  So ~ I had Buddy sit down with me to give me a visual!!! 

This is a personal view on the PSA information… The information I provide below is specific to “Our Journey ~ RRP” and our lab.


Our lab uses <0.1 as their scale.  So when we got our 1st and 2nd call from the nurse she stated that our PSA was <0.1 undetectable  which ='s a Woo~Hoo!!

Many labs classify anything  <0.1 (10 pennies) as undetectable


Here’s a question that we would get answered by inquiring of the lab or your urologist.

What results do I have to be within to still be in the “undetectable” range with your testing procedure?

Based on the lab results I’ve received (2 different programs used) are they classified as being undetectable?


Here’s a scale that helped me to understand our scale with having Retropubic Radical Prostatectomy:

(green is in the undetectable range for our lab)

<0.01 (no pennies)

0.01 =     1 penny

0.06 =     6 pennies

0.07 =     7 pennies

0.09 =     9 pennies

0.1   =   10 pennies

At this point we would start monitoring.

0.11 =   11 pennies

0.12 =   12 pennies

1.6      =  160 pennies

2.0   =  200 pennies

2.5   =  250 pennies



* Excerpt: PSA Anxiety…  The Downside of Ultra-Sensitive Tests

            You’ve had the radical prostatectomy, but deep down, you’re terrified that it didn’t work.  So here you are, a grown man, living in fear of a simple blood test, scared to death that the PSA—an enzyme made only by prostate cells, but all of your prostate cells are supposed to be gone—will come back.  Six months ago, the number was 0.01.  This time, it was 0.02.

You have PSA anxiety.  You are not alone 

This is the bane of the hypersensitive PSA test:  Sometimes, there is such a thing as too much information.  Daniel W. Chan, Ph.D., is professor of pathology, oncology, urology, and radiology, and director of Clinical Chemistry at Johns Hopkins.  He is also an internationally recognized authority on biochemical tumor markers such as PSA, and on immunoassay tests such as the PSA test.  This is some of what he has to say on the subject of PSA anxiety:

  The only thing that really matters, he says, is, “At what PSA levels does the concentration indicate that the patient has had a recurrence of cancer?”  For Chan, and the scientists and physicians at Hopkins, the number to take seriously is 0.2 nanogram/milliliter.  (20 pennies my italic)   “That’s something we call biochemical recurrence.  But even this doesn’t mean that a man has symptoms yet.  People need to understand that it might take months or even years before there is any clinical, physical evidence.” 

            On a technical level, in the laboratory, Chan trusts the sensitivity of assays down to 0.1, or slightly less that that.  “You cannot reliably detect such a small amount as 0.01,” he explains.  “From day to day, the results could vary—it could be 0.03, or maybe even 0.05”—and these “analytical” variations may not mean a thing.  “It’s important that we don’t assume anything or take action on a very low level of PSA.  In routine practice, because of these analytical variations from day to day, if it’s less than 0.1, we assume it’s the same as

nondetectable, or zero.”



*Dr. Walsh’s Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer (2001)

Chapter 10 How Successful is Treatment?

Within this chapter there are many questions answered.

What Should I Do if My PSA Comes Back after Surgery?

Cancer Control after Radiation Therapy

What Happens if PSA Comes Back Again, or If I have Distant Metastases?



Dr. Peter Scardino’s Prostate Book (2006)

Chapter 20  Rising PSA after Surgery or Radiation Therapy

Read this chapter to learn:

Why do some prostate cancers recur?

Does a rising PSA always mean cancer?

What can be done about a rising PSA after surgery or radiation?



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

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

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


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 8/5/2007 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   

Glad you're doing so well. .028 is considered "undetctable". Me personally, I'd wait to see if the PSA rises close to .2 then make a decision. Get another opinion on how much treatment and when. So far, your PSA is low. With luck it will remain that way.


Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 8/6/2007 2:37 PM (GMT -6)   
My first psa was <0.04 and considered undetectable. The rest were <.01. I wouldn't do anything for now but see what happens on the next one as it takes a little while for the remnants of psa to leave the body. The next one should be undetectable. Also, it's just my opinion but I don't think radiation will do you any good anyway. Also, you wouldn't want to have to deal with the unwanted side effects down the road. My brother had RRP and 36 radiation treatments and his came back after 8 years. If the radiation was as good as they all preach, his wouldn't have come back. A lot of people make money on radiation treatments including the manufacturers of the equipment.

62 W/M healthy DX PCA 6/1/2003
PSA 6.7 Gleason (3+4)=7, T1c.
6 biopsies sent: One positive- Right Apex involving 70% of specimen. Perineural invasion.
LRP 7/1/2003-Path. T2b Surgical margins clear, prostate 65.5 grams.
Largest cancer dimension: 1.7cm
location of largest tumor: Left posterior
Cancer Volume: 1.14cc
Extraprostatic extension: Negative
Seminal Vesicle invasion: Negative
PIN : present
% Gleason 4: 30%
Post TNM: pT2b
4 years still <0.1. Now 66yrs. old

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