Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: psa | cancer | screening

Is My PSA a Reason for Concern?

Friday, 28 December 2012 11:17 AM

Question: I had radiation treatment for prostate cancer in 2003. Now, at age 81, my PSA has gradually risen to 3.4. Is this a cause for concern? What should be my next step?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:

Your PSA levels do not necessarily reflect recurrent cancer. Elevated PSA readings are commonly associated with prostatic inflammation, infection, and prostatic calculi (stones). Your first step should be to see your treating physician and your urologist for a prostate exam. Ask whether a treatment trial with medication is appropriate.

I assume you are asymptomatic, and the fact that you had prostate cancer in 2003 that was treated with radiation strongly suggests you had a non-aggressive form of prostate cancer. Normally a doubling of baseline PSA serves as a warning to physicians, but you have unique circumstances that require analysis by your urologist and from your personal physician.

Remember that an elevated PSA is expected as we grow older, and prostate cancer treatment needs to be tailored to the individual. Aggressive treatment for all patients would be harmful to many.

© HealthDay

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PSA levels do not necessarily reflect recurrent cancer.
Friday, 28 December 2012 11:17 AM
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