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  

One thought on “A PSA on PSA

  1. Don Fagerberg

    Thanks, Scott. Very interesting.


    Don Fagerberg, Founder *Ministry Mentors* * enhances the professional effectiveness of active clergy, strengthens their personal and spiritual health, and affirms their gifts for ministry.* http://www.ministrymentors.org Phone: 847-804-1644

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