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stress over follow-up psa

Posted 23 Jun 2020 at 01:30

 I am 54, s/p RP 2 years ago for gleason 7(4+3) prostate ca. My PSA has been undetectable, and I am very appreciative for that. However, I continue to get very stressed right before my follow-up psa test each time I have one. I want to be able to take that deep breath and relax but just can't get there..... Any thoughts on how to approach this in a better way would be great. Just feel like I live from test to test and continue to be fearful about getting bad news.... Thank you...... 

Posted 23 Jun 2020 at 08:55

Yes, I am a past master of PSA Anxiety. I had an RALP 10 years ago with end pathology of 5+3 tertiary 4. The gland was riddled and it had, unbeknown to myself, started to escape nanoscopically. Still I remained undetectable for 18 months and in all the time until then, each test was monumental in terms of stress. The honest answer is that nothing will really help but one thing I wish I’d done back then is not sweat the small stuff. At that point, PSA rises are usually so small, we are talking billionths of a gram per teaspoon of blood that you really should only worry when/if the cancer returns a PSA which says you have become incurable. You are, from what you say, so far away from that point, I think you should really try and think from the perspective of a person who remains undetectable - and that is the fact of the matter. Just mantra - “I am cancer free, I’m young, my cancer is in a preserving jar and my blood remains totally undetectable. Why should I really worry about such a joyous position.” 

After all, isn’t that the outcome your wanted? To be PSA free?

good luck with your demons brother.


Edited by member 23 Jun 2020 at 08:58  | Reason: Typo

Posted 23 Jun 2020 at 11:48

I find I only stress during the period between the sample being taken, and getting the result.

If I do it via the hospital, this takes a week by the time I can contact someone and get the result.

If I do it via my GP (same lab at the hospital), it takes half a day for the result to appear on the GP's website.

Guess which one I do.

Posted 23 Jun 2020 at 12:36

I am in the same boat as you, G4+3=7 and prostatectomy two years ago.

I have had seven or eight PSA tests since then, all <0.1, ‘undetectable’. I have extended my testing regimen to six months and am quite chilled about it. The surgeon did a good job.

I am quite aware of the Nomogram prognostications of recurrence, which don’t look too great at fifteen years, but what the hell? I might be dead of something else by then.

Best of luck!

Cheers, John.

Edited by member 23 Jun 2020 at 12:42  | Reason: Not specified

Posted 23 Jun 2020 at 23:35

You really need to accept the fact you are going to die of something. PSA Tests generally just tell you it's not likely to be prostate cancer in the next 12 months regardless of the result.

So take it as an early warning and start doing something, anything, but stop worrying about (the) PSA..


Edited by moderator 23 Jun 2020 at 23:55  | Reason: Language

Posted 24 Jun 2020 at 01:24
Have you tried hypnotherapy, CBD or just plain old counselling?
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

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