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Help understanding first diagnosis

Posted 04 Sep 2017 at 17:08

Hey, I have just found out that my dad has PC and just wondered what others have encounted with this as it all seems a bit vauge at the minute.  My dad had a blood test as there had been a module found on his prostrate which picked up his PSA level were 280 as appose to the normal 7 figure, my mum was told by the lady who called with these results that he would be put on hormone tablets for 1 month and will be going for a hormone injection on the 14th September and on the 14th September the doctors will discuss what treatment he will have (chemo, radium, or surgery) I think they are waiting for a MRI scan through the post to see if it in his bones but to be honest we haven't been told that much so we are a bit blinded by the shock of this news and also a bit unsure what is happening.  The lady who called to give the blood test results didn't really give that much information and it was only when my mum called to the hospital to collect the hormone tablets there happened to be a doctor there and she asked him the big C question.  She explained that my dad's PSA levels were 280 and the doctor told her that with those figures he is 99% sure it is Cancer but this all seems a little vauge to me.  Does this sound correct?  We have tried calling the lady who originally called with the blood test results but no one ever answers the phone.  I've seen on forums like this people using PSA levels but also other indicators to verify if it is infact cancer whereas we only have the PSA results to go on and are very confused?


Thanks if anyone can help xx

Posted 04 Sep 2017 at 17:49


It is a worry when you are first told the results of high PSA and treatments but the specialists go through much the same procedures to identify the best treatment for you.

He will have MRI scans and maybe a whole body scan to check his bones to help diagnose what treatment is best for him and it all takes a few weeks to set it all up so don't think they are holding information back from you as every patient is different so it will take a little time.

I am sure other members will be along soon to help you and maybe explain a little bit better than me.



Posted 04 Sep 2017 at 18:56

Hi Adele,

Welcome to this site but sorry for the reason that brings you here.

PSA is not a reliable indicator for PCa, particularly when figures are only slightly above those considered typical for the age of the man. (There are a number of reasons for an elevated figure which among others may be attributable to an enlarged prostate or a urinary infection). However, as the PSA figure rises, particularly into three figures, it is increasingly likely that the man has PCa. This accords with what the doctor said is the situation with your Dad unfortunately.

The HT tablets/injections are a sort of holding or restraining treatment and may be supplemented at some point with whatever the doctors feel is appropriate after they have completed his diagnosis and individual plan.

We have quite a number of men who are at various stages of their individual cancer journeys, some having been diagnosed 10+ years ago. New treatments help extend lives but it is difficult for doctors to forecast how any individual will fare over the long term because men respond to their cancer and treatment differently.

Posted 04 Sep 2017 at 20:03

It is the score of 280 combined with the nodule that could be felt that makes the doctors confident that your dad has prostate cancer. The MRI scan tells them whether there is any spread to soft organs such as lymph nodes and whether the cancer is still contained within the gland - a bone scan will also be requested if they want to check his bones.

Usually there is a biopsy but occasionally they don't bother if all the other tests are conclusive. Putting dad on hormones immediately was the wise thing to do; the hormones starve the cancer by knocking out his testosterone. Once the results are all in, they will be able to advise on whether any other treatment such as radiotherapy or chemo will be added.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
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