Here’s a PSA (“public service announcement“) on PSA (“prostate specific antigen“).
My PSA has been stable – hovering around 2.0 for years. Under 4.0 is considered “normal” — though “velocity” (short term upward change) is sometimes a sign of prostate cancer. A few years ago, my PSA went to 4.0 then 6.0 within about 18 months. I saw a great doc at the University of Chicago who recommended a biopsy. The biopsy took 16 “cores.” It came back negative. Within a year my PSA number went from 6.0 to 8.0 to 10+. Ouch. . . . I then had an MRI of the prostate – combined with another biopsy. The MRI with biopsy is supposedly 98%+ accurate. It all came back negative. Pfew (so far). . . .
The doc then advised that I go on a regimen of Advil (6/day for 3 weeks). If the rise in PSA was due to inflammation (which is a possibility), this protocol would reduce the PSA level. I did – and PSA went down to 8.0 where it has remained.
The doc says it may be chronic inflammation. There are no other symptoms (no bumps, nodes or enlargement). A rise (even dramatic) in PSA does not necessarily mean prostate cancer. In fact, PSA testing has been recently discussed and – in some cases – discouraged.
For men who live to be 80 – something like 80% will have cancer cells in the prostate. Yet fewer than 10% will die of prostate cancer (which in many cases is slow-growing). But NEVER play doctor. Always see your urologist if your PSA inches upward . . . . .
There was a great article from the Wall Street Journal which relates to aspirin therapy in prostate cancer situations. Regular aspirin use may lower risk of advanced prostate cancer. Check out — http://www.wsj.com/articles/regular-use-of-aspirin-may-lower-mens-risk-of-advanced-prostate-cancer-1451946945