Month 111 – PSA Results Are In

Baffled. Completely and utterly baffled.

Excited that my PSA value went from 0.16 ng/ml in September to 0.08 ng/ml last week, but completely thrown for a loop as to how and why a 50% decrease happened (without any treatment or other intervention). The last time I was at 0.08 ng/ml was nearly three years ago in April 2017.

I follow the same routine for a week before each PSA blood test to avoid activities that may influence the outcome. The only difference time was that I had a cold/flu the days before the test (Monday afternoon-Thursday evening; blood draw on Friday morning), but I can’t imagine that having any influence on a PSA number. I’ll ask when I talk to the doctor on 25 February 2020.

I tried updating my PSA Doubling Time using the MSKCC PSADT calculator, and this bumped my PSADT from 43 months to 123 months. There is a caveat, though. The online calculator accepts only PSA values of 0.10 or more, so I rounded up my 0.08 to 0.10 to run the calculation.

I get that there can be lab errors or accuracy concerns as well, but I would be hard-pressed to attribute a 50% shift to a lab issue. Still, when you look at the last four data points on my chart, there is pretty significant fluctuation between each and its previous data point when compared to the quite consistent series of data points prior to that. It makes you go, “Hmm…”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about where the PSA is at. I will say, however, that these kinds of wild swings make it challenging to wrap your head around what’s happening in order to prepare for what’s next. I was mentally gearing up for calls to imaging centers and radiation oncologists because I was expecting the result to be in the 0.16 to 0.18 range this time around.

So that’s it. A short post with unexpected, somewhat bizarre results. We’ll see what the doctor says on the 25th.

PSA 20200207

21 thoughts on “Month 111 – PSA Results Are In

  1. babou30

    Bonjour Dan
    Je suis avec intérêt vos “aventures” et votre lutte contre le PSA étant moi même confronté à la même angoisse au moment des résultats.
    Même si une erreur s’est produite lors de votre dernier test, il serait étonnant qu’elle soit aussi importante.
    Pourquoi ne refaites vous pas un contrôle dans quelques jours pour confirmer cette valeur de 0.08 ?
    En tout cas, je vous souhaite plein de courage et vous remercie pour ce que vous faites pour la communauté !
    Babou

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    1. Bonjour, Babou!

      Merci!

      I agree that this PSA number is an oddity and that a new test may be needed. I will ask the doctor when I visit on 25 February.

      I wish you well as you await your own PSA results. Even after 9,5 years of tests, there is always that nervous anticipation for the results.

      Wishing you all the best.

      Hello Dan
      I am with interest your “adventures” and your fight against PSA being myself faced with the same anxiety at the time of the results.
      Even if an error occurred during your last test, it would be surprising if it were so important.
      Why don’t you check again in a few days to confirm this value of 0.08?
      In any case, I wish you lots of courage and thank you for what you do for the community!
      Babou

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  2. Charles McGill

    Great news Dan. Thanks for sharing it. It will help others who are having to monitor their PSA in a watchful waiting setting either before or after some treatment.

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  3. Tammy Allen

    Great news. Just can’t keep us 58ers down! Enjoy the sunshine and count your blessings until the 28th and hopefully the doctor will give you a “High 5”. You are a trooper!

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  4. Viscose

    Dan that is good news indeed. I do think a retest is warranted, just to be on the safe side.
    Lab errors , often in the form of human error, do happen. 9 months out of surgery, after a series of

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  5. That’s great news, Dan. Let’s hope it’s not a lab error and reflects perhaps some turn for the better. Seems like a re-test does make sense, as some of these comments have suggested. I hope it gives you even better news. Take care and be well.

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  6. It is certainly a strange disease Dan. I am pleased for your good result. I think the medical profession has a lot to learn about what psa readings really mean. Best wishes, Les

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    1. Thanks, Les. I agree. There’s lots to learn yet. In the meantime, we just ride the roller coaster and yell, “Weeeeeee!!!!” at the top of our lungs. 🙂

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    1. Hi Bill,

      My medical team mentioned that sexual activity (orgasm) or other physical activity that can stimulate the prostate could lead to higher PSA values if done within about 48 hours of the PSA test. I asked my team if that still applies after the prostate has been removed, and the answer was yes.

      Whether it’s widely accepted or not, I abstain from both for about a week before my PSA tests to remove one more variable from the equation. It’s a small price to pay for consistency.

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      1. Hi Bill.

        I’ve heard that it can, and I wish that I could link to a study stating so, but I can’t at the moment. It’s something to ask your doctor about to be sure.

        Dan

        Like

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