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PSA level - what does it signify

Posted 21 Nov 2018 at 14:36

Can someone please tell me if a PSA of 49.7 in a 72 yr old with none of the other reasons for it being raised present (eg urinary infection, prostatitis, etc.) could be anything other than cancer? Can it be this high and not be cancer? It is impossible to find this information on the internet.

Posted 21 Nov 2018 at 18:26
What tests has the gentleman had, that rule out those conditions you mention?

Cheers, John.

Posted 21 Nov 2018 at 21:49
Sure, it’s probably prostate cancer - most 72-year-old men have prostate cancer. Most will never be aware of it and will die with it, not from it. Wait for an MRI scan and a biopsy before worrying (and even then don’t worry too much).


Posted 22 Nov 2018 at 09:21

Hi John, In June 2016 he attended a one stop urology clinic because of haematuria, he had a raft of investigations including urine tests, blood tests, cystoscopy, ct and ultrasound. A letter to the GP said nothing was found except a slightly enlarged prostate. There was no mention of results from blood tests.  Fast forward to September 2018 and he mentioned to his GP that he was having problems with frequency, the dr looked at the online hospital records and found the psa result in June 2016 had been 49.7 -  he repeated the test with a result of 98.4 and he has now been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer with mets in his shoulder, has been started on hormone treatment and shortly to have chemo. My question is should he have been followed up in June 2016 and offered more investigations, is it possible that at that point he had localised cancer that could have been cured instead of the life limiting disease he now has

Edited by member 22 Nov 2018 at 09:33  | Reason: Direct reply to specific person

Posted 22 Nov 2018 at 10:58

When I read posts like yours I am shocked at the cavalier attitude some GPs have to PSA testing and PCa in general.

Since I was diagnosed I recommended three friends aged over fifty to request a PSA test next time they went to their GPs. All three were told separately ‘You don’t need a test, you have no symptoms’ (just like me!), but they insisted.

Two were OK, one ended up having an MRI, which was clear, but he is now on a 3 / 6 month testing regimen.

I will leave it for others to comment as I am now speechless!

Regards, John.

Edited by member 22 Nov 2018 at 12:24  | Reason: Not specified

Posted 22 Nov 2018 at 13:39
I don’t blame the GP in this case, the PSA was done at the hospital and they failed to follow up, the GP hadn’t been told of the result and re-referred him immediately he discovered their oversight. His Gleason score is 4+3, MRI T3a, N0 - we know there are many far worse off with whom I sympathise greatly and we are staying positive and trying not to dwell on what might have been. I wish you all the best and thank you for your support. Alison
Posted 22 Nov 2018 at 14:46

Unforgiveable Ali that a Urology dept at a Hospital ignored a 49 PSA reading. One consolation I guess is the cancer must be a slow growing one if the PSA has only doubled and the mets haven't travelled anywhere else.

Once your dad starts on the HT/Chemo route his PSA will start tumbling.

I wish him well with his treatment.

Posted 23 Nov 2018 at 01:23
We have had men on here with PSA of up to 80 / 90 who were given the all clear after thorough testing; they apparently just had very large prostates.

If the hospital did all the correct tests in 2016 and they were clear, they should have put him on monitoring. But how much do you know of the story - is it possible that he declined a biopsy, or was told to have regular PSA tests and then didn't?

Mr A, why are you thinking it's likely to be a T4?

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

Posted 23 Nov 2018 at 10:04

Hi LynEyre

I just wanted to find out if it was possible he had cancer in 2016, I do know what happened as it is my dear husband.  He only attended the hospital the once for haematuria not prostate problems, amongst all the other tests that day were blood test but he did not know what they were for. The results would not have been available that day, he was never called back or offered any follow up.  We have access to his GP’s notes and at no point was the result sent to the GP.  Not really relevant, but his prostate was’nt ‘very large’, as a matter of fact only 6 weeks ago while undergoing the current investigations a doctor wrote in a letter to the GP that it ‘felt benign‘, so I think DRE isn’t always a good indication. 

Anyway we were at the hospital yesterday and a doctor told us that something had gone wrong, that he didn’t want to get any colleagues in trouble, but that we should report it to the Patient Expereince Team to prevent such things happening again.  

We now need to put what could have been behind us and move on, focusing on the future.

For this reason I am going to stop following this conversation now as I realise there is no definitive answer but again thanks to all who have offered support and I wish you all well.





Posted 23 Nov 2018 at 11:04
Yes Alison, I can understand your despair, as someone, somewhere made a major cock-up! Talk about “your life in their hands”. Of course, I doubt ‘someone’ will ever be reprimanded.

If you do happen to read this, may I wish you both the best of luck for the future?

Cheers, John.

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