Should I be concerned about my little brother

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 102
   Posted 9/27/2007 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Is a PSA that is constantly between 5.4 and 6.3 a concern even if it is not rising.
That is the state my little brother (age 49) is in.  He had a biopsy a while back that came back negative.  Of course there is such a thing as a false negative.
So now he is in regular psa testing and monitoring mode.  Oh..and one test came back 7.4.  But he was retested and it came back 5.6.
It just seems to me a psa of 5.4-6.3 is high even if it is not rising and that one outlier reading also troubles me.  But what do I know.
51 Year Old DBA by profession; amateur pianist by passion.
June 2006:  PSA 4.6.  DRE prostate enlarged.  
Aug  2006:  Second opinion confirms first.  Biopsy suggested.
Sep  2006:  Biopsy results positive one lobe.  Gleason 3+3.
Nov  2006:  RPA performed at Fletcher Allen in Burlington VT.
Nov  2006:  Pathology report: Stage T3a and Gleason 3+4.
Dec  2006:  PSA 0.1
Feb  2007:  PSA 0.0 (under 0.1)
May 2007:  PSA 0.0 (under 0.1)

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 9/27/2007 10:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Moz,
If he didn't have a brother with PCa then I wouldn't have some concern. There are stories of elevated PSA out that I know of at least one. And the one I know does not ever test positive for PCa. That stated, he should remain diligent on his tests. I would think that even if it does not rise after some period, another biopsy would be logical. But I'm guessing. Your positive biopsy should be enough to keep him acutely aware.

Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology was poor: Gleason 4+3=7, 4 positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
My PSA did drop out after surgery to undetectable.  It has not returned and I will continue HT until January '08.
My Life is supported very well by family and friends like you all.

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4462
   Posted 9/27/2007 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
chaso36 speaks almost exactly for my statistics. Mine stayed between 3.8 and 4.2 for probably 10 years, before jumping to 7.6 in 4 months. With now a history of prostate cancer in the family (you), it is even more likely that he is susceptile to it. My doc said if mine were biopsied 2 years ago, most likely it would have come back negative. I would recommend your brother get to a regular Urologist, if he hasn't and get some good numbers from a credible lab to check...With your cancer the odds have greathly increased his susceptability to it, along with anyone else in the family.
James C. 
Help support the forums so they can support you: 
Age 60 
4/19/07  PSA 7.6 , referred to Urologist
4/26/07  Urologist prescribes 3 weeks of antibiotics/anti-inflam. due to past history of Prostatis.  DRE-     nothing detected but 'gross enlargement"
6/5/07    Recheck of PSA: 6.7, biopsy scheduled.
7/11/07   Biopsy- 16 core samples, ultrasound size of gland around 76 cc.
7/17/07   Pathlogy report:  3 of 16 cancerous/ 5% involved, left lobe top, center, bottom, Gleason 3/3:6. 
8/3/07     Decision made for conventional RP surgery, scheduled for Sept. 24.
9/24/07  Conventional  open surgery performed, awaiting Pathology report. and 10 days for cathater removal

Doting Daughter
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1064
   Posted 9/27/2007 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
My sister-in-law's father (not sure exactly what that is to me)  had two negative biopsies after following up on a high PSA.  The third biopsy showed PCa.  A good friend's dad had a similar situation back in May and said take the prostate out and when they did, they found PCa as well.  I'm not trying to scare you, but my dad's idiot PCP sat on his 5-6 PSA for TWO YEARS before sending him to the urologist can see from my father's stats below what the outcome has been.  Better safe then sorry if you ask me!  You are a good brother...stay on him!  Hopefully, it's nothing, but the worst thing you can do is nothing.  Best wishes! 
A Doting Daughter
Father's Information
DX July 15, 2007
Age 62 (now 63)
PSA 5.5
Original Gleason 3+4=7 
Post Surgery Gleason- 4+3=7
DaVinci Surgery Aug 31, 2007
Positive Right Margin
One positive node
Bone Scan/CT Negative (Sept. 10, 2007)
T3a N1 M0
In process of determining follow up therapy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 9/27/2007 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   

My brother-in-law's PSA has been slowly rising over the past 5 years and he has had three biopsies during that time with negative results.  They have him on an every six months PSA check.  It has not gone up every test as sometimes it would fall back a few tenths of a point and then rise higher the next time.  It is now at about 6.5.  I have talked with urologists that have patients that have PSA's between 10 and 20 for several years and have had as many as five biopsies with all being negative.  As long as your brother is in te hands of a good urologist then he is probably okay. 


Diagnosed 7/6/06, 1 of 10 core samples, 40%,Stage T1c, Gleason 3+3
Da Vinci on 11/01/06, Catheter out on 11/13/06
56 Years Old
Post Op Path, Gleason 3+3, Approx. 5% of prostate involved
Prostate Confined, margins clear
Undetectable PSA on 12/18/06
No more pads as of 1/13/07
Began injections in April '07
Undetectable PSA on 6/25/07

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 762
   Posted 9/27/2007 5:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Mozart,

I am not posting much these days, and others have given you a lot of valuable advice here - just an opinion from me too and who knows really? The stringent medical follow-up regularly seems to be the main thing on your side here with regards to your brother.

All I can really say is that my husband with a PSA of 3.5 (at 48 years at the time), DID have prostate cancer (multi-focal but confined to 2 specific areas close together), however the (12 core) biopsy picked up only 1 x 5% positive in 1 core and all others negative. As you know, biopsies can miss small cancers. We have exactly the same dilemma here with my 54 year old brother-in-law who had a PSA in January 07 of 4.0, refused follow-up or repeat anything, and is only NOW getting his PSA re-checked (so he tells his mother - my mother-in-law). Even now, I am not so sure he is following this up at all, and this is extremely worrying. He still has not seen a specialist, despite all efforts of the rest of the family. So maybe the thing is to check out your brother's doctor and make sure he is experienced (an expert) in the area - if so, this may not be a concern if he is being monitored carefully, but to me this PSA reading seems high in light of his age. My understanding is that a PSA for a man of 49 should be less than 2.5 but of the higher readings not all are cancers (my husband was told his odds were 50/50 of having cancer pre-biopsy).

I reckon the good news with your bro is that he is having regular testing, therefore he is being monitored, and Tamu's words are wise on that point.

If you check out his doctor (privately - reputation etc) maybe a second opinion on his PSA's and tests so far would be helpful to suggest to him? I think with this disease, and knowing his family risk now, that you will probably always worry about him, but keeping him to his tests and appointments so that if there is a problem it can be addressed early, is all you can really do. And that seems what you are right into here with your questions.

Hope you do not mind me chipping in here - I am ultra sensitive to high PSA's in younger men - it makes my heart pound with anxiety... Good luck to you, and also in watching over your little brother. cheers, Lana
Lana posting for husband CJ (49 years). First PSA 3.5 (Nov 06). Open Radical Prostatectomy on Tuesday 17th April 2007. Gleeson 3 + 4 = 7. Confined to prostate. PSA 0.01 (June 07).

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 9/28/2007 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   


Family history is one of the "red flags" you should be aware of when checking for Pca - you are twice as likely to get Pca if your father had it  and 3 times as likely if it's a brother.  With your brother's PSA jumping around, is he aware of the things you should abstain from for 72 hr before PSA (heavy exercising or activity, bike riding, sex, digital exam).  Also, a "free" PSA might show if there should be a concern.


Diagnosed Feb 2001  (Age 65)  Currently 72
PSA 4.8      Gleason 3+3=6      Stage   T2b
Completed Proton Therapy @ Loma Linda - Aug 2001 - No side effects.
6yr PSA - 0.19
Our responsibility now is to educate men about Pca, PSA and the importance of early detection. 

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