Thursday, April 9, 2009
What About Prostate Cancer Recurrence?
This is the opening post in my personal process of determining if my prostate cancer is recurring. As is the case with PSA testing, there are differing views concerning when recurrence can be detected. Most PSA testing is done at the one decimal sensitivity level, i.e., at a sensitivity of ".1". Newer ultrasensitive tests can detect PSA levels at a sensitivity of ".01," which is an order of magnitude more sensitive. The Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for prostate cancer (according to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network) indicate additional treatment for men who have had a radical prostatectomy (I had an RP in 2003) if they have a detectable PSA level of >.3 ng/ml that increases in two or more subsequent measurements following a period of no detectable PSA. I fall into that category, expect that I my PSA measures over the past 18 months have risen from undetectable, to .01, to .08 with the most recent test at .06. Having spent a career in the military, I'm always focused on proactive response, so I am in the process of meeting with a physician that believes in early detection and treatment. My current task is getting my medical records sent from my surgeon (who believes I am 'cured') to my new physician. So far, my written request has been lost twice. If you are reading this post and are in a similar situation, I would enjoy hearing from you. Test. Track. Treat. Live.(TM)