A Question on PSA Testing and Older Men

We Often Consider at What Age a Man Should Consider PSA Screening, But We Rarely Ask When Do Individuals Stop?

I just had an interesting conversation with an individual who asked me at what age do most men start thinking about NOT having an annual PSA test? To be honest, I didn’t have an immediate answer. It’s a complicated question and I am, to be honest, stumped. Age is certainly a factor as is the reality that there exist 24 types of prostate cancer that range from indolent to very aggressive.

We frequently read about suggested guildelines for PSA screening. I personally like the AUA recommendation that suggests a man should talk to to his doctor about a first screening to establish a baseline when he enters his 40s. From there, based on a man’s general state of health and family history, he can decide on a screening approach that is right for him.  But in the almost twelve months that I have been writing this blog and the years that I have been meeting fellow patients, I can’t remember a discussion that addresses the other end of the spectrum. I would think that a vibrant, active 78-year-old man with a form that appears to be aggressive would be grateful to have the data and take some sort of action. Of course, a man of the same age could be pleased to live out his life with little or no intervention if his numbers indicated a slower growing form of cancer that he could quite possibly live with.  But, how many give up, for whatever reason, wanting to know at all?

So, I have to ask four questions:

1.) Are there men out there in their 70s and 80s who choose to no longer have annual PSA screenings and why?

2.) Are there men out there in their 70s and 80s who insist on annual PSA screenings?

3.) Are there men in this age group who have been screened and diagnosed with cancer?

4.) If you were given a diagnosis of cancer in your 70s or 80s, what course of treatment did you decide upon?

Thank you to anyone and everyone who can provide some insight.

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64 Responses to “A Question on PSA Testing and Older Men”

  1. Presently age 77 Diagnosed in Dec 2006 after PSA doubled in two years but still low, operation in early 2007 followed up by radiation because of margins not sure. Twice a year PSA has been 0.0 for four years. I am not sure what my urologist will require next year which will be 5 years. My internist says he has a patient who now has advanced cancer after 10 years of 0.0 PSAs. I guess I will like it as long as it stays 0.0 Bob

  2. My father had prostate cancer and lived until almost 90. I was diagnosed at age 73 with PSA of 5.8 and Gleason of 4+3. I go to Loma Linda next month for Proton Therapy. I will continue to monitor PSA as there is a lot of longevity in my family.

  3. I’m 73 and after having numerous PSA results that ranged from 4 to 17 and then back to 5+ which resulted in me having to submit to biopsies only to be given an all clear,I have refused to be tested anymore until there is a
    more accurate testing process.I still visit my urologist for the digital exam.

    • I would ask the question??? Have I really got Prostate Cancer????? Trust hospitals= share holders=profit= exaggerated diagnosis. I was diagnosed seven years ago and am fit as a butchers dog and all this without the radiotherapy and other things that they offered me.Today my PSA shows 14.2 which has risen each time I have been tested. My Gleason was 6, seven years ago and the year after I had no trace yet they are still saying that it is getting worse. I would like a second opinion done privately, but my pension credit will not stretch that far.
      I agree with Robert York above, it is all a bit of a hit and Miss affair. It would be a fairer system if we were able to get a second opinion and know for sure that money was not the motive to tell us we have cancer. I have always said that if they found a cure for all cancers tomorrow they would not reveal it. It is perhaps one of the biggest money making businesses in the world. They would be silly to end such a pot of gold.This site will not print this , they will not want to rock the boat and tell things as they really are.

  4. i recently completed 3 months of radiation.for details of my current prognosis please contact Dr.Mathew Bui at Tower Urology.

  5. I’m 76, 3 yrs ago PSA was 2, then year later 11, biopsy showed prostate cancer with Gleason 9 (very aggressive). Had cryotherapy, but already started to bones. Been treated with chemo for 2 yrs. Now PSA ranges from 60 to 40.

  6. In my mid 60s, my PSA reading began to rise from about 0.7 to 3.5 over a period of 3-4 years.
    My urologist did a biopsy and found a very small sample on one needle with Gleason of 3+3 and no indications on the digital exam. We began doing PSA tests every 3 months. The PSA dwindled down to the vicinity of 2.5. Readings were consistent. Two years ago they did a second biopsy, this time finding nothing. Then my PSA shot up to 5.2, then back down to 4. I had another digital exam last week with no change from previous exams. I’m otherwise in very good health and intend to continue the tests indefinitely. I’ve had too many friends die from this stuff and I don’t want to be the next one.

  7. First, I am only 68 but thought you might be interested in my input even though I’m slightly under your age grouping you’re addressing.
    Second, my biopsy was taken nearly six years ago and was shown to be positive but categorized as ‘low risk’. I have submitted to PSA tests twice a year and results have ranged from 4.2 to 6.7 with a slight upward trend. I shall continue on this course for another couple of years and it the values continue in this range, I plan to stop any monitoring by the time I’m 70. I feel great and am prepared to accept the outcome regardless.

  8. My dad who has just turned 82 had his annual PSA test during a recent physical. His numbers were great. His thinking was how could he not do it, mindful of my husband (age 59) being diagnosed last year with prostate cancer.

  9. My primary care physician told me in 1997 that he did not believe in having PSA’s. In early 2008 he changed his mind. I had one in January and it came in around 4.5 to 5. He had me have another in April and it had jumped to about 7. A biopsy in June showed a Gleason 4+3=7. I opted for surgical removal. Quarterly PSA’s followed until September 2010 – semiannual now – all “undetectable” since. I will continue semiannual blood tests until told to go to annual.

    James M. Dillon age 77

    • You say you opted for removel do you have to wear a bag? I am geting hormone shots My psa,s were 7.5 when I started last test was 1.5 Thanks for takeing the time to read this Jerry

  10. At my Oct. 2007 Lab test for annual physical, the PSA had zoomed to 8.7 from previous 2.3.
    I had an enlarged Prostate for 40 years, but low PSA until this very sudden increase from the previous year Lab test.
    Family Phys. advocated a visit with Urologist, and he performed a scheduled Biopsy that confirmed the presence of Cancer of the Prostate. He began to administer LUPRON steroids very soon (One dose every 3 months) and I was sent to a Cancer Treatment Center at a hospital for a series of 45 Radiation doses (One per day, 5 days a week for 9 weeks).
    Over a period of about 18 months from the diagnosis, my PSA has returned to ZERO Point ONE, and the Prostate has shrunk to a normal size at every checkup by Doctors.
    I have no discomfort issues, but my bathroom habits and visits are all over the place with both Urine and Stools.
    Sometimes difficult to enjoy being away from the vicinity of a bathroom.
    I am now 80 and enjoying most everything in life that is reasonable for my age.
    The treatment regimen that I used was urged by those Doctors as being very effective for men in this region and vicinity, with facilities and staff well trained and equipped.

  11. I am 73 and was diagnosed over 2 years ago. My PSA stays low ( 3.62 last time) and I am simply watching carefully with semi annual PSA tests. My doctor and I are confident in this as opposed to the life altering results of surgery and/or radiation. So far, so good. The only hard part is occasionaly remembering that I have a cancer growing inside of me!

  12. I will be 80 in May 2011. My PSA count
    taken January 2011 was 92.80.
    The first indication of prostate cancer was
    in that fateful year 2001 when my PSA was just over 4. Initially I was
    injected twice with LUPRON. The PSA dropped
    dramatically to less than 1 but I started feeling like a woman with hot flashes, enlarged breasts, loss of body hair…..So I decided enough of that misery. I stopped all treatment from then on and I am happy to say that after a recent bone scan and MRI no metastasis has taken place and further more I do not feel any pain in any part of my body. My urine flow is normal and so is my bowel movement. No sign of blood anywhere. I walk three miles daily at our local health club and just feel great.
    If I will consider any treatment it would be brachetherapy that DOES NOT leave the radiated seeds implanted indefinitely. The
    cancer centers organization does that but my medicare which is through Secure Horizons is not accepted by them. Now I await a response from my current oncologist as to whether his services include what I want.
    In conclusion I tell my fellow prostate cancer victims, do not rush to treatment especially when the side effects can spoil your life style. Continuing to live a happy life should be the goal for after all the last thing I want is to be a burden on those I love should any treatment create an intolerable condition and worse, not achieve any cure at all but create agony and anxiety. Call me a fatalist but having happily lived this long, travelled worldwide, ONE loving loyal wife for the last 50 years, three children and 4 grand children, what is in store after that is kismet and I accept that.
    Peace and love to all

    • I am your age and being a Korean vet, I get annual physicals from the VA. I have been PSA tested for over twenty years and the highest was 6.0. my doc and I decided to watch for radical increases and one occurred which was retested and was incorrect. I am very, very skeptical as to the PSA testing and think many treatments being given are unnecessary, (not all)….we should expect better techniques after all these years of PSA testing. Money may be the underlying factor in these treatments and many doctors share that view. Be vigilant, ask questions and above all, make informed decisions. God bless…CHAZ

  13. I am 71 years old. Wil be 72 in 2011
    My PSA in Nov 2010 was 5.42 biopsy showed cancer 1 out of 12 snips. Had Brachytherapy 55 Cesium 131 seeds inserted in 11/2011 Gleason score was 3+3=6 this was third biopsy .In March2011 PSA dropped to 0.39 urologist said come back in Sept 2011 for another PSA check. Had some urination problems @ first now make it thru the nite ok. 8 or so of the guys i worked with [airline mechs etc] came up with prostate cancer 2 didnt make it waited to late one opted for hormone therapy. Others with external & seeds seem to be doing ok & maintaining low PSA scores. MY uroligist DR. Threatt is great.
    Also had 2 TURPS due to enlarged prostate. Previously.

  14. I am 71 years old and monitored my PSA for 15 years. When it reached 4.0, I had a needle biopsy performed (digital exam was negative). Five out of eight regions of the gland showed cancer cells and the Gleason score was 7. Because of longevity in my family, I elected to have a robotic-assisted prostatectomy. The surgery went very well and the cancer was confined to the prostate. Pathology testing on the removed tissue gave a Gleason score of 6. I have made a great recovery and very glad that I elected to have the surgery. It is comforting to know that I am not knowingly harboring cancer.

  15. Nephew of Mr. Billy Reply March 28, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    My 87 year old Uncle was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He chose “watchful waiting”. Now at 90 the cancer is in his bones & lungs & now on chemo. Doc gives him 3 months.
    I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 48 years old. I had a radical prostectomy 4 weeks later. I am now 53 & no sign of cancer.

  16. Douglas Steinhauer Reply March 28, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    In May my age will be 73 and having lived with prostate cancer for 4 years. My score at the time was 5.5. I had 6 weeks of radiation and then seeds put in. The PSA shot down to .0025 then up to .65 now it is back to .45. There is a problem with urination as I have to go 4-6 times per night. I have tried FloMax but it has not done the job. The next step now is unknown but something has to happen so I can sleep at night. Other then that I am in good health

  17. I’d probably either be dead or on the way to it if a PSA test hadn’t alerted me 5 years ago that something was wrong.

    Lupron and radiation since and so far, so good. We’ll see, hope it continues.

  18. Im 74 just recently told ive got prostate cancer,psa 6.6, gleason 3-4-7,trying to decide between radiation and seeding,was told prostate was a little to large for seeds,so i would have to take harmone injections to shrink it,radation takes 8 weeks going 5 days a week

  19. Diagnosed at age 69, had radical prostatectomy. The diagnoses followed a jump in routine PSA tests; first biopsy was not conclusive, one 11 months later was positive (don’t remember the scores). After surgery, I had PSA tests every 6 months for five years and now only once per year since all PSA tests have given “non-detectable” readings and rectal exams have been negative. My urologist intends to continue with annual PSA test.

  20. I am 82. I was told I had Prostate Cancer at age 72. About a month after a fretful investigation as to possible treatments, I decided on a 13 month treatment with Hormone Blockade. I now take Posscar as a maintenance.
    My Gleason score at the time of the Biopsy was 6,7,or 8 depending on the lab that reviewed it from a lab in Wisconsin to a lab at John Hopkins. My PSA is presently under one. I try to watch my diet and to exercise with resistance pressure where I live at least three hours a week and remain as active as I can in the Continuing Care Community where I live.
    live. I have had very few side affects with this treatment.

  21. Monitoring my psa noting a small gradual increase over 7 years, in 2009 it spiked 1.3% in a 6 month period in 2009.
    Diagnosed Aug 2009 at age 71 psa 6.2 free psa 13.7 gleason 7(4-3) biopsy indicated tumor in 4 of 12 cores -stage T2a. After 3 months of intensive research on treatment options- I opted for 41 treatments IGRT (Image Guided Radiation Therapy)completed 2/2010. PSA 5/2010 .50- 8/2010 .33- 12/2010 .43. The next psa 5/2011. I firmly believe in after age 70. As for treatment each guys needs to make that decision on his own, after researching all of the options.

  22. I’m 73 and I have been getting a PSA test for many years. In April of last year it went up to 5.X. A biopsy showed that all 12 test locations showed a Gleason score of 9 or 10. A bone scan showed metastasis in my spine. I was referred to the University of Chicago Medical Center by my Urologist. Since then, I have been on hormone therapy and Lupron shots. My PSA has gone down to 0.016. This April if my PSA is still low, I will be taken off of treatment for awhile. I don’t know how I would keep track of my progress unless I continue to have PSA test done.

  23. When I was 70, a routine PSA read 4.0, a jump up from the previous reading. A biopsy revealed cancer in 3-4 lobes. The urologist gave me a shot of Lupron and recommended that I treat the disease with seeds and radiation. After some research, I decided to have a robotic prostatectomy at a NY hospital done by a surgeon with experience using the DaVinci machine. My prostate and lymph nodes were removed and the margins were clear. However, the next day as I was about to leave the hospital, I hemorrhaged and after emergency surgery had to spend 4 days in ICU recovering. Within six months, my PSA began to increase in very small increments from near zero. Five years later, my PSA reads 0.50 and both my oncologist and I agree on no further treatment until further notice. At 75 I dont know if I want to expose myself to potentially damaging radiation or to the effects of hormone treatments. Well…the best of luck to everyone.

  24. TSAKIRIS PERIKLIS Reply March 29, 2011 at 3:18 am

    I am 75. I discovered prostate cancer (Glison 8) in Aug 2005.(The PSA went up to 6.5 from 2.5 in 4 years).I had IMRT radiation treatement plus 7 months hormonotherapy,in USA in the Greenwich Hospital.(Dr.D. Fass). I keep checking PSA every 3 months. Now it varies from 0.7 to 1.0.

  25. Diagnosed at age 74, Gleeson of 3+4, used radiation of six weeks length. Now age 79 and cancer free with no side effects.

  26. I am 70 and have an escalating PSA (8.75)even after have had 2 green light laser ablations in 3 years for enlarged prostate. I have had 7 biopsy procedures, all benign. My Urologist said he believes the PSA is not accurate in my case , so he and I have agreed to put off any biopsies and PSA test for 2 years. Then will re-evaluate In kind of watchful waiting mode.

  27. I’m 78,diagnosed 2005 PSA 3.6,Gleason 3+3,Braccytheraphy ,PSA increased to 15 and started hormones Aug 07.Now completing 2nd bout of Lupron (every 3 months with holiday of about a year) but current PSA 2.1. Will get PSA at least every 3 months from here.

  28. I am 70 in May. I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer for four years. My psa score last month was 2.2. I initially had a score of 5.9. I have had a saturated biopsy confirming the cancer. I believe psa is a great indicator to test further for prostate cancer. However. I believe psa testing is not reliable after prostate can cancer has has been confirmed by biopsy. i am in watchful waiting with Dr. Bard of NYC. Dr. Bard uses a sonogram to ‘view’ the prostate

  29. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1996 at age 76. PSA was 5.7. I requested and was prescribed Proscar and PSA monitoring. In annual physical PSA doubled to 14. My urologist prescribed hormone therapy. Injection of Eligard at 6 mo intervals. PSA is stable at 0.03 and tumor is shrinking. I believe PSA testing is very important in my experience.

  30. At 76 diagnosed with prostate cancer, psa of 4.9,gleason score of 6. After 2 biopsies, and seeing several different docs, I chose proton therapy at UFLA proton therapy institute in Jacksonville. We had a radiation vacation for 2 months.Treatments were a breeze. 4 months later with minimal slight burning at the end of urination, all systems are go. Sex was never interuped, and instead of going 4-5 times a night I get up once and frequently, not at all. Proton is the only way to go. Check it out.

  31. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer almost 5 years ago. Had prostate removal via surgery. My psa readings have always been in the range of .02 to .04. Except when I had sex within 3 days of Psa testing. Then the reading was .7. Still I thought that was in the acceptable range. My Urologist thought otherwise. I had another test in 3 months and had no sex 72 hrs prior to test. The results showed to be .04. John Hopkins recommends no sex 72 hrs prior to testing. In my case it appears to be correct.

  32. I am a 70, a pharmacist and very skeptical of all the baloney about PC and $$ motivated treatment logic. I consider myself healthy and submitted to a general physical that reported a PSA of 70. I have a negative bone scan, lung scan is negative and had a biopsy with gleasons of 6. My sales pitch doc only does hormone treatment and when questioned, admitted there is no real accurate diagnosis or treatment unbiased opinions and if I object to his treatment he has a partner that does 100% surgery and his other partner does 100% radiation. He said I would be a good candidate for a research project using an injection to stimulate your immune system, but it is full. I have a friend that is 86 and he says he has a psa in the hundreds and he has had it for years. He eats very healthy, feels fine and so do I. In addition I have told no family members, avoid all the detrimental negative mental stress, continue to do my reading, eat healthy, enjoy all aspects of life. It works just fine for me. They were ready to ruin my life 4 years ago and I have been fortunate to attract proper wisdom.

    • I am 82 diagnosed 2 yrs agoleason 6,7,8.psa 178. After diagnosed, had bone scan, and the usual tests, all negative. I have decided to do nothing, except as you do, I eat well and excercise . I do have a problem of having it on my mind, knowing I have cancer.

  33. After reading all the above testimonials I have conlcuded that prostate cancer treatment is a potpouri of confusion and uncertainty especially when it is a mix of several treatments per patient !! How truly sad and how profitable for the medical profession !!
    One would expect that after all this time and money spent on researching what is best, a consensus would have been reached
    WORLDWIDE by now about what works.

    • Yes, navigating through prostate cancer can be confusing and frustrating–a fact that is exacerbated by the fact there are 24 known subtypes of this cancer. Some types are non-life-threatening while others are very aggressive. With this recent discovery and other breakthroughs including whole genome sequencing and the ability to capture circulating tumor cells, among others, we can now say there will indeed be a day when we can discern between the types of prostate cancer and match the right treatment plan to the right person. This will provide clarity, direction and much needed stress reduction for all.

      Until that day, patients need to be their own best advocates and make informed decisions with a physician and they trust. Right now, one size does not fit all when it comes to treatment.

      Progress continues.

  34. I went to a Urologist for the first time because I had blood in my urine when I was 62 in 1999 . It turned out to be a good thing because I was one of those who didn’t know anything about PSA tests. He thought it just might be an infection, but told me to come back for another PSA in six months. After that it slowly went up with the tests over the next few years. In 2006 at age 68 it went up over 5. so he took a biopsies and the results was cancer. I decided on a radical prostatectomy because my family history has a lot of relatives that lived for a long time and I hope to do the same. I was told that the lab results showed that the cancer had been confined to the prostate. My PSA tests had been down in the .01 to .03 range for almost 4 years. Then in 2010 they started to go up. When they kept going up I have started seeing an Oncologist. I start my radiation next week for 37 weeks 5 days a week. Feeling confident that the radiation will help. I am thankful for PSA tests.

  35. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 at 80 years of age. My PSA had reached 17 after almost 20 years with an enlarged prostate and a gap of more than 10 years without a biopsy. My urologist felt that I should do nothing, which prompted me to ask him why had I been seeing him every 3 months for so long if we were to do nothing about a Gleason score of 8 indicating an aggressive cancer! My heart & blood pressure are good, and I am active physically, so I chose to have a prostectomy @ City of Hope. The margins and lymph nodes were clear, but there were aggressive cancer cells in the prostate. A year after surgery my PSA was rising and a small cancerous growth was evident in the area where my prostate had been. After 7 weeks of radiation and a short Luperon dose, my PSA is .29 & hopefully stable. I will continue monitoring my PSA & probably move to hormone therapy if it goes up. So yes, I hope to live a long & healthy life, believing that had my urologist had suggested a biopsy every 2 or 3 years while my PSA was rising I might be cancer free.

  36. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer four years ago at age 72. My PSA had bounced around from 4 to 8 to 6 and back to 4 and then up to 12 in the years before my first biopsy that showed no sign of cancer. My second biopsy (three years after the first) turned up one positive out of twelve samples with a non-aggressive type cancer. After investigating and reading about all of the options and speaking with my urologist and with a specialist I decided on watchful waiting. It has been four years since that diagnosis and I have had annual checkups. The latest physical exam showed no cancer on the surface of the prostate. My PSA was 8. I am healthy and happy and do not worry about possible problems, but it is apparent that the my PSA seems to be erratic and not particularly helpful.

  37. My father aged 72 has been diagnosed with Prostate cancer which has spread to lower spine and pelvis. He is currently on hormone treatment (month supply of tablets, which finished today) and also periodic injections. We believe he will have to have chemotherapy shortly. The only numbers he has been given are 5 + 4, we are not sure if this is his PSA or Gleason score, all he has been told is that it is an aggressive tumour. If anyone has any advice on what questions we need to ask, as I am not particulary happy with the lack of information my parents have received. We live in the UK.

  38. Gary MedlerGEM3730@aol.com Reply March 30, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    My father (age 84) was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 78. His PSA went from 0.10 to 9.1 in a year. He opted for seed implantation. His PSA results since have been negligable. He says there have been no side-effects.

    I started getting tested/screened at age 40. In 2004 PSAs of 2.5 and 3.2, then negative biopsy followed by PSA of 2.7. PSAs that followed were 2005 – 3.1, 2006 – 3.1, 2007 – 3.3, 3.1 2.9, 2008 – 3.0, 2.8, 2009 – 4.1 followed by negative biopsy in 2010 and 2010 PSAs of 6.9, 6.8 and 6.5. Doctor did not think a biopsy was needed since last biopsy came back negative. In 2011, at my regular physical exam, my PSA was 6.5. My doctor ordered another PSA two weeks later which came back at 7.7. He suggested scheduling an appointment as soon as possible with my urologist.
    Assumption being my uroologist will do another PSA and then another biopsy. Have not been able to connect with anyone with hight PSA values but negative biopsy results.

  39. Last year I had enlarged prostate surgery. My PSA was a .59 so I did not suspect cancer. A biopsey was required due to the surgery and to my surprise and also the physicians I had prostate cancer! I am 72 and have an annual screening which always showed a low PSA score. After much reading and talking with my doctor I chose to go to the PROCURE THERAPY CENTER in Oklahoma City, OK for proton therapy treatment. I had 45 treatments which only took a short period of time and there are virtually no side effects. The facility and employees were wonderful to each of us and the treatments are successful. My 6 mos. PSA shows no sign of cancer. I will continue to have screenings every 3 mos. and then return to one annually. I did not believe in the ” watch and wait” theory and would recommend to anyone to look into the proton treatments. There are now about 9 centers throughout the US.

  40. Over the past year’s reading I have been struck again and again with the thought that the value of a first-person perspective being put down in one place together with current and accurate information is remarkable.

    There are other websites dedicated to ‘all things prostate cancer’, of course, and lots of other trustworthy information sources including doctors themselves. However, the viewpoint consistently presented here (patient, yet positioned at the Prostate Cancer Foundation) is, I think, truly unique.

    Kudos, Dan. Thanks for writing.

  41. I am 84. Starting about twenty seven years ago I had a seesion where I cold not urinate. Over the next twenty years I have had to have catheters two or three times. My PSA was high enough for my doctore to send me to a urologist. I have seen urologists twice a year for at least ten years. Finnally a biopsy showed cancer in 30 percent of the samples. Two years have passed. My PSA droped before my last urologist apointment. I go back in July. Since I have been using flomax for three or years it works good for me I have not had any catheter events. I have not had any treatments. My Granfather died in his 80s from prostate cancer. The cancer went through his pelvis. He was treated with harmons. He was confined to his bed for around 6 months.

  42. I am 73. I obtain PSA results every 6 mos. Diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 69 during my annual prostate exam. PSA at that time was 5.1. Biopsy Gleason score 6. Stage T1C. After thoroughly evaluating my options at that time, I elected focal cryotherapy. The follow-up is to monitor the PSA to determine if additional intervention is to be. Most recent PSA in Jan,2011, was 2.8. No incontenance, bowels work fine. However pre-op erectile dysfuntion continues. Still travel. Still physically active. Happy with my therapy choice. My father died of matasticized prostate cancer at 81. His older brother passed also at comparable age of Prostate cancer. We’ll see what’s in store for me.

  43. Mohamed Fettah Reply May 5, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I would like to share the good news about my cancer ordeal!

    I got my blood work test result from my oncologist and it came back with 0% PSA comparing to the 7% I had prior to my Prostate surgery. Thanks to God I’m cancer free now. It’s all from the bounty of God…

    When I got diagnosed with cancer; I had the courage to ask the doctor how long I will live if I would not undergo operation, his response stunned me…6 months only, 18 months at the most.

    When I heard those words…I felt the world standing still. Everything the doctor was saying was incomprehensible. I felt like a prisoner handed a death sentence. During those moments I felt numbness all over my body. What I could only feel at that time were tears running down my cheeks.

    “My cancer scare changed my life. I’m grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life.”

    Cancer was best the best thing that ever happened to me. Yes, you read that right; it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It forced me to stop in my tracks and re-prioritize my life. It renewed my creative spirit and taught me that today is when I need to do the things I love. Waiting until tomorrow is wasting precious time. I have enjoyed life to its fullest and cherished every moment with family and friends. I never asked “Why me God?”, but rather “Show me the way God, I know you will take care of me.” My faith gave me strength and a sense of calm throughout my ordeal.

    Strength is the source of life and I will do more than the ordinary man to enhance my strength.

    “Let all those who are newly diagnosed know that there are thousands and thousands of SURVIVORS — prostate cancer is treatable and curable! These men will come to know more love and support than they ever could have imagined. My doctor told me on the day of my diagnosis that my life would be richer and better one year from then; he was right. I hope these words can help someone.

    Best regards to all

  44. My uncle had his prostate removed 10 years ago. He had PSA tests done every 6 months for those 10 years, and all were negative, except the last one which showed a worrisome rise. The cancer had returned, and he had radiation treatment. So, be careful. You are not out of danger even after 10 years

  45. hey, guys…I’m 70, had digital exam for years…the VA started PSA testing…I drifted along til ’02 when it jumped to 3 something, then over 4 in ’04…doc sent me to Temple , TX for biopsy…2 of ten cells were cancerous…for some reason, the VA sent me literally up the street to a civilian ex-Vietnam medic oncologist…I got 25 treatments externally, then he said ‘time to kill those cells’…I was knocked out in the hospital, then driven to his clinic…he inserted 12 stainless steel needles a foot long directly into the prostate and turned on the juice…he does this repeatedl;y for 31 hours, not 30 or 32…ended up in his clinic, asked if ‘I was ready?’…for what? I asked, and he yanked all 12 out at once and I walked home…I’ve had 8 years of .01 readings…you don’t have to get it taken out!

  46. I had two PSA tests a couple of years apart and both had PSA readings that were as low as they could get.

    I found I had Prostate cancer in 2002.

    PSA tests are not the be all, end all.

    If you see a little bleeding in your pee or have any other inexplicable weird things happening in that area see your doctor. NOW.

    • Dear LuC,

      Thank you for sharing. I am glad that your PSA levels are behaving. Mostly importantly thanks for sharing your wise words with others!


  47. I’ve had PSA readings of between 4.0 and 5.7 for 10 years, since I was 48. Five years ago I had a biopsy of 6 sites, came back negative. My doctor does not become alarmed when scores come back at this level. I go to the bathrooom X2 a night. I haven’t been to the doctor for a year, but I think he took to watchful waiting. Should I get another opinion?

  48. I am currently 71 years old. I had regular PSA test from the age of about 60. My PSA was 1.0 about 5 years ago. Then it started going up and From 2009 to 2011, it started going up faster rising from 2 to 3.4. In February 2011 I was diagnosed with PCa with Gleason 3 +3 T1C. I had brachytherapy in June 2011 with 98 Iodine 125 seeds. Within three months my PSA went down to 1.1 and in the next six months down to 0.4.

    I am glad that I had regular PSA test and treated promptly when diagnosed. With virtually no side effect, I feel more comfortable being treated.

  49. I am 72. 3 1/5 years ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My psa was 4.5. The prostate was not removed and I had 36 rounds of external radiation. Since then the psa has started to rise. 6 months ago it was 1.9 this month it has risen to 3.5. To say the least, I am concerned. My doctor says we will consider hormone therapy when it reaches 10 or higher. Really confused about the whole situation.

    • Mike,

      If you’re feeling confused, a second opinion might provide some clarity. Many patients avail themselves of a second opinion. Your physician should not be offended!

      Best regards and good luck!


  50. My 92 year old father had PSA score of 16.8 recently. Dr. suggested going to urologist for biopsy. Do you advise him going through that? I head it is very painful and there is a lot of bleeding. I am worried that he will not go. I live 500 miles away from him.

    His health is okay but he is having difficulity “getting around” due to pain in his hips and legs. He does seem to be getting more forgetful.

  51. My 89 yr old father-in-law’s PSA went from 17 to 24.8 in three weeks. He is going in for a bone scan and a CT scan this week. He has been on and off Lupron, which kept his numbers low for years. He has no hip or bone pain but has been tired. He has heart troubles (several heart attacks) and a pacemaker, and we fear surgery would prove to be exceedingly tough for him. I believe he has already had the seeds implanted, maybe 5 years ago. Is there an expected prognosis for someone of his age and health level? Has anyone had their numbers jump like this, and if so, what did it mean for you?

    • Laurie,

      I am sorry about your father. As I am not a medical professional, I can not give medical advice. I can, however, comment from a patient’s perspective.

      First, PSA number can fluctuate and rise in all sorts of fashion. I recommend that ask his doctor. I would also ask about a Gleason score. From my understanding, surgery is typically not done on a man of his age, and suspect that is treatment is recommended, that that it might be radiation.

      • Thanks Dan. Found out today that his doctor said he had the max amount of radiation his body can tolerate 5 yrs ago, and it is a virulent form of cancer, and the Lupron is no longer working. Crossing fingers and waiting for meeting with urologist next wk, can you only get a gleason score from a biopsy? Maybe that is the next thing on the horizon.

        One day, surgery seems like an amazing option that may buy 3-4 more years, enough time for a grandson to graduate college, and the next minute it seems like an insane choice. What a crazy world we live in. Thx

  52. My 92 year old father had PSA score of 16.8 recently. Dr. suggested going to urologist for biopsy. Do you advise him going through that? Would he be put to sleep for the biopsy? I heard it is dangerous and painful and there is a lot of bleeding. I would guess that if he did have cancer it would not be treated due to his age.

    • Lynette,

      I am sorry to hear about your father.

      As I am not a medical professional, I can not make recommendations. I can only provide a patient’s perspectives.

      Remember, a rising PSA can also be an indicator of other prostate conditions. Biopsies are done with local numbing agents and the patient is awake. Antibiotics are prescribed to prevent infection. If cancer is identified, his doctor would present options based on the perceived aggressiveness of the cancer. There are less aggressive treatment options for older men. Many men of his age choose to forgoe treatment.

      Best wishes,

  53. veronica williams Reply April 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    My husband reciently had a blood test
    his psa came back 84- yet he has no symtoms
    of any kind, no pain, no urine problem what do you think is his best way forward
    should he do a biopsy or could this be a BPH, he will be seeing his doctor soon but he would like to hear from some one that has a simular situation.