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Really quick question - "<" has disappeared from PSA reading?

Posted 08 Oct 2021 at 16:25

Hi - just a quick question - my BIL is 2 years post RRP and has always had a <0.010 reading (3 monthly tests) - therefore, undetectable.  Test done today and the numbers are the same but the "<" has gone.  Could this be lab error?  (Same lab, same equipment we assume) - are results entered manually by technicians?  Or is this an actual reading as opposed to undetectable? (appreciate that if it is a reading, it's incredibly low, just want to know which direction things could be moving in).

Thanks - I'm probably likely to get a response quicker from you guys than any google search I do!

Posted 08 Oct 2021 at 18:38
Don't trust GP Surgery reporting. My PSA was 0.02 for several tests then I got one of <0.02. I phoned the surgery and the receptionist checked with GP and he confirmed <0.02. When I next visited three months later I was interested in discussing if the lab test or reporting protocol had changed as this was unusual. He checked on his screen and said "Oh sorry my mistake, there's no less than". And that's after double checking!

I get angry that GPs don't realise the importance of these results to us and generally don't understand Pca to well.

I would always check if you're in doubt.



Posted 09 Oct 2021 at 14:42

Many GP receptionists evidently didn’t study sums at school, and thus don’t recognise or understand the < “less than” symbol, which is crucial to the likes of us.

Moreover, the authors of the much vaunted EMIS Patient Access app seem to be missing that character from their keyboards as well.

Your cancer is ‘probably’ undetectable…

Best of luck.

Cheers, John.

Edited by member 09 Oct 2021 at 16:52  | Reason: Not specified

Posted 09 Oct 2021 at 16:49

This is why some GP receptionists are not allowed to give results to patients.

I have the same problem with many patients when I ask what their PSA is.
I'll get answers like:
0.030 (when I don't believe they had an ultra-sensitive PSA test)

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