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Getting PSA tests while travelling?

Posted 31 May 2021 at 15:38

Hi all

OH currently has PSA tests every 3 months (he's had quite a lot of fluctuation in readings in the 4 years since RT). We're seizing the day and heading off in a camper van next month. We'll be away from home for more than 3 months at a time (initially just in the UK, what with one thing and another, ha). Wondering if any of you have managed to arrange PSA tests while travelling - either in the UK, or France or Spain? Any tips/ideas welcome! We will probably be in Scotland when the next one is due (home GP is in England). 

Posted 31 May 2021 at 20:33


What was the value in April ?

Regards Gordon






Posted 31 May 2021 at 22:33
Seems rather pointless arranging a PSA test away from home - you wouldn't be able to reliably compare it with previous or subsequent tests. It could give you a false sense of security or unnecessary distress ... you may as well just wait till after the trip.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 01 Jun 2021 at 01:02

If your in Scotland just jump on the train pop home for a few days (think of it as a holiday from being on holiday) and get a psa test at your home GP. If you are further abroad just forget about it and enjoy the holiday. My oncologist said if it's below 2.1 nothing to worry about, and even if it did go up he wouldn't offer any further treatment until it got to 10. So if I were on holiday I wouldn't want a test and then a holiday cut short just to be told by the oncologist "come back in three months we'll see how it is then. Have you got any plans for a holiday this year?"


Posted 01 Jun 2021 at 02:01
As Matron says above, why bother with PSA tests en-route?

If you have a higher reading from a different lab, what are you going to do? Abort your holiday and race back home to your GP, who will tell you to have a test and then come back in three months for another one?

You have PCa, it’s under control, so have an enjoyable trip and test again upon your return.

Cheers, John.

Posted 01 Jun 2021 at 10:55

Thanks all for your perspectives.... his latest reading (in April) was 1.47. So, reassuring that he's not on a relentless upward slope. As it's jumped up quite a lot on two previous occasions though we're not entirely relaxed that all is well....so we (and the docs) want to keep an eye on it.

Just to clarify, we're renting our house out for year, and while we might pop back once or twice, we might also have periods of time of 6 months or more when we're on the road/out of the area. In which case it could be useful to be able to get a test elsewhere. Also he has a phone appointment with his onco consultant in early August, so he is keen to have a recent reading. But what I'm understanding from your responses is that values can vary between labs (is it really that much though?). Perhaps it's best for him to talk this through with his GP before we head off. 

Posted 01 Jun 2021 at 15:46

Yes it does seem the values can vary between labs, we had a post recently, where I think one lab was reporting about 5.5 and the other about 4.5 so 20% difference.

I believe you can order PSA tests online, they send you a test tube and a syringe and you send it back by post. You could do this whilst you were travelling, as long as you had some sort of postal address, campsite whatever. Of course you would still have the non comparable results so it would only tell you anything useful if the change was quite large perhaps going up to 3 or more.

If the last test was April the next one must be due in July, I would try and get one done just before you set off on your trip, even if it is a few weeks early, and then maybe bring your road trip back near home in six months for another test, if you really feel it is that important to keep on top of the tests.


Posted 01 Jun 2021 at 20:21


From those values, in my humble opinion enjoy holiday and forget any tests.   Go yearly. 

Regards Gordon




Posted 01 Jun 2021 at 21:16
I've read reports from several posters here that the postal tests give spurious high readings. I really would stick to your GP or hospital's tests if I were you.


Posted 03 Jun 2021 at 10:20

Thanks all for the feedback. I think you've saved us the angst and hassle of getting a test elsewhere which then wouldn't be reliably comparable. He's decided to wait until September and plan to touch down at home briefly in order to get the test at the usual place. 



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