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02/04/2010 12:34 PM

Post Radiation Treatment

tjc3844
 
Posts: 5
New Member

I had a radical prostectomy in 2006 and completed 38 radiation treatments because of a rising PSA in October. My PSA was .595 prior to the start of the radiation but only fell to .435 three months after the radiation. Can someone tell me if that's an acceptable/typical drop? I thought the PSA goal after radiation was 0. Also, is .435 a number that indicates additional treatment options should be done now or just wait for future PSA test results. I hate the waiting...it's very stressful.
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02/04/2010 01:17 PM
srciaran
srciaran  
Posts: 283
Member

Hi tjc,

I have heard varying numbers regarding what's acceptable as far as "cure" goes. It all has to do with the doctor. Has yours given you an opinion on these numbers yet?


02/04/2010 05:55 PM
tjc3844
 
Posts: 5
New Member

All he said was he'll do another test in 3 months. But, the waiting is so stressful and I worry that with a positive number and not 0 that there is still cancer and it could be spreading while I'm waiting for another blood test.

02/04/2010 09:15 PM
srciaran
srciaran  
Posts: 283
Member

TJC, I do know the following things, FWIW:

A) After radiation treatment, PSA numbers can jump around for the first few months.

Cool PC grows very slowly, and 3 months is generally considered insignificant.

Worrying makes life less fun, and suppresses the immune system. I know it's easy to say and hard to do, but try to relax. Read up on it -- knowledge is power. Those 3 months will go by a lot quicker if you can keep some perspective.

HTH.


02/04/2010 09:49 PM
Dack
 
Posts: 32
New Member

TJC, I am no expert on the PSA numbers by no means. I found my PC from a routine physical. My psa was 72. I had a second test done a few weeks later and it was 77. Because of my high PSA, the urologist, oncologist and radiologist all told me that surgery was not the best option for me, that hormone and radiation therapy was best. I have had two hormone injections now and a third in a week or so and will begin external beam radiations 5X a week for 8 weeks mid-March. Three weeks after my first hormone injection, my PSA dropped to 44. Hopefully it will drop another 30 points or so with the next test. I have felt great so far. Initially, I was scared shitless. I read everything online that I could and finally found this forum exchanging concerns, fears and experiences. PC is very curable, it is not a death sentence. Talk to your doctors, ask questions, get on prostate cancer websites and get informed. My PSA level is higher than anyone else I've talked to. I had a neighbor back in Indiana who's PSA was a 3 or 4. He elected to have the robotic surgery mainly because he wanted the cancer out and he was losing his insurance. He got along fine and is recovering nicely. There are always side effects it seems. So far, I can tolerate what little side effects I've had, but maybe that will change with the radiation. I can only speak for myself and have been happy with my decisions so far. As srciaran said, pc is slow growing. I'll bet there are thousands of men in their 60's, 70's and 80's out there who don't even know they have pc and most likely will die of something completely unrelated. I am 60 and wish I had been checked earlier. I had been meaning to get checked for many years but felt good and didn't want to take the time. I'll get through this I'm sure, and so will you. I wish you the best, stay positive and spend your time researching prostate cancer. You'll find that the more you know, you may get more confused, but it will lessen your fears. Good luck.

02/06/2010 08:21 AM
tjc3844
 
Posts: 5
New Member

I'm not so stressed that I'm dysfunctional Cool I was just wondering from a PSA number point of view if others have had similar numbers after radiation. Is a drop from .595 to .435 typical, a lot or a little? The only thing the radiologist told me was that he was "hoping for" a PSA number of 0.0 after radiation and he told me the guy he saw just before me did go to 0.01 after his radiation which led me to conclude that my results were not good.

02/06/2010 09:54 AM
srciaran
srciaran  
Posts: 283
Member

From what I understand, .5x and .4x are about the same thing. Before my surgery, I did 18 months of active surveillance, and I got tested every 3 months. My PSA ranged from 4.1 to 4.7 (up and down both ways, not a steady trend in any direction), and I was told that this was considered "no change." But as I said, there is a possibility that you are just seeing a "bump" that sometimes happens after radiation. Also, Dr. Walsh writes about this in his book, "Dr. Walsh's Guide to Surviving Proste Cancer:" "For many men who have completed radiation therapy, then, some normal prostate tissue survives and continues to make small amounts of PSA. This presents radiation oncologists with a difficult challenge when interpreting PSA scores after radiotherapy: is this 'good' PSA, pumped out by the remaining normal tissue, or is it 'bad' PSA, still being made by a few renegade cancer cells that somehow suvived the radiation? Right now, there is no way to tell... Instead, the most common strategy has been to watch the *trend* of PSA..." (Walsh, pp.391).

Post edited by: srciaran, at: 02/06/2010 09:55 AM


11/30/2011 10:29 AM
dupres01
Posts: 1
New Member

I am in a similar boat. I am trying to find a source of information about post radiation PSA fluctuation.

I had 6 months of hormone therapy beginning in Dec. 2010, ending in June 2011. I had external beam radiation Feb.-March. My initial PSA was 29.1 (3+4 Gleason). During the hormone treatment, my PSA dropped to undetectable. In August, three months after treatment (i.e. three months after stopping hormone therapy), my first post treatment PSA was 0.9. In Nov., my second post treatment PSA was 1.2.

My research indicates that, in cases such as mine, a stable post treatment PSA of 0.2 or less is considered “cured”, but it might take two years to reach that level. My urologist states that my PSA (after two post treatment tests) is “stable” and that he is not concerned until and unless it reaches 2.0.

I have not found much written information or statistics about post treatment PSA fluctuation. Can anyone point me to sources? Thanks.

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