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Extra PSA tests

User
Posted 02 Sep 2020 at 19:29

I had my RP operation in June and my first PSA test 6 weeks afterwards - 0.025. My surgeon has requested the next PSA test for early December. This is too large a gap (5 months) in my view given my Gleason 9 PCa.

I would appreciate knowing if people use non-NHS PSA tests for interim checks?

I have just tried letsgetchecked.com and the total PSA result has come back at "< 0.03 ug/L" which I guess is the minimum that they record results to. The service was quick - sent my blood on Tuesday and got a phonecall from the nurse today (Wednesday) with my results.

I appreciate that different labs have different calibrations and there is some risk in comparing PSA results between labs.

Any other PSA test providers people have tried?

Richard

User
Posted 02 Sep 2020 at 20:10
Depending on date in June, your first PSA test was in mid August and so early December is only 3.5 months gap. If so, not sure what the problem is - 'normal' is

6-8 weeks post op (surgeon's preference)

3 months after 1st post-op test

3 monthly up to 2 year mark and if low & stable,

6 monthly to 5 year mark then

annual for the rest of your life.

In theory, that means that your annual test will always be 6-8 weeks after the anniversary of the op.

If you are not happy with the wait to December, you could just ask the surgeon to bring it forward a week or two. If the PSA is going to be managed by your GP, you should be able to book the test at the end of November without anyone making a fuss. Not sure what benefit you would get from private lab testing in between times - it isn't necessarily reliable / comparable and your surgeon is unlikely to give you an early appointment or take any action based on its results. Just seems to introduce a new unnecessary level of angst?

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

User
Posted 02 Sep 2020 at 23:18

I had 3 monthly for 2yrs, then 1yr at 6 monthly.   Years 3&4 are annual.  Then at 5th anniversary discharged to GP.  I was told to take it earlier than a year if I get worried.

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User
Posted 02 Sep 2020 at 20:10
Depending on date in June, your first PSA test was in mid August and so early December is only 3.5 months gap. If so, not sure what the problem is - 'normal' is

6-8 weeks post op (surgeon's preference)

3 months after 1st post-op test

3 monthly up to 2 year mark and if low & stable,

6 monthly to 5 year mark then

annual for the rest of your life.

In theory, that means that your annual test will always be 6-8 weeks after the anniversary of the op.

If you are not happy with the wait to December, you could just ask the surgeon to bring it forward a week or two. If the PSA is going to be managed by your GP, you should be able to book the test at the end of November without anyone making a fuss. Not sure what benefit you would get from private lab testing in between times - it isn't necessarily reliable / comparable and your surgeon is unlikely to give you an early appointment or take any action based on its results. Just seems to introduce a new unnecessary level of angst?

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

User
Posted 02 Sep 2020 at 22:01
Hi Lyn,

Guess who cannot count. It is indeed a 4 month PSA interval and not 5 months (first PSA test was end of July).

Another concern of mine is that I have come off HT (although my body doesn't think so yet!) and I wanted to see how this will affect my PSA.

I am a worrier and my logic was that interim results would reduce my anxiety but I understand it from the other viewpoint. I do agree that the surgeon will not take any action from my own tests if the PSA goes up.

Richard

User
Posted 02 Sep 2020 at 23:18

I had 3 monthly for 2yrs, then 1yr at 6 monthly.   Years 3&4 are annual.  Then at 5th anniversary discharged to GP.  I was told to take it earlier than a year if I get worried.

User
Posted 03 Sep 2020 at 00:31
John is 10 1/2 years post op and has never progressed beyond the 3 monthly test - firstly because of biochemical recurrence leading to salvage RT but even in the 8 years since then, the PSA has persisted in hovering just at the equivocal point where onco says "let's see what it is in 3 months' time"
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 03 Sep 2020 at 06:33

As I have said here before, several times, my GP gave me a few PSA blood test forms to be used quarterly. Plus I have a photocopier...I go to a local chemist to give the blood sample.

I have just got a new form as I noticed the original one I was copying was dated 2018! I am now extending the interval to six months as my results have been undetectable for 27 months.

Don’t waste your money on private tests. The results will be more consistent if they’re all done in the same lab.

Best of luck.

Cheers, John.

Edited by member 03 Sep 2020 at 06:34  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 03 Sep 2020 at 19:24

Interesting about different cases.    The form I get is signed and ticked by the nurse and has a rather nice soft plastic bag attached.  Photocopying and glueing on a bag probably wouldn't work, ha.

Richard is at the stage where it's all new and uncertain.  Although I had an irregular and erroneous blood test early this year, using another lab, and the worry came back quickly enough. 

Edited by member 05 Sep 2020 at 22:10  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 03 Sep 2020 at 21:58

I don't get a form at all. I phone my GP surgery and tell them I need a PSA test. They ask if it's hospital ordered, I say YES and we agree an appointment (nurse or phlebotomist at the surgery). I think it works differently in different places.

Edited by member 03 Sep 2020 at 21:59  | Reason: Not specified

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