I did have to educate him, at first he was against it and then once he spoke to another urologists who happen to be a friend who was already up and running with the test he decided I would be his first patient he eventually thank me for bringing it to his attention to the point he is now using it as another tool to help minimize the number of biopsies he might do for his patients. As for the cost of the test I think its in the 350$ range and I want to say my insurance pick most of it up.
I checked on the EPCA test and it isn't available to the general public, it's still in testing stages I'm told. It tests for a protein in the blood and if found I believe the possibility of having prostate cancer is 95%.
I had the PCA3plus test as well and as was stated the price was in the $350 range. Insurance never questioned the charge so I would assume it is a accepted screening test. I believe the PCA3plus tests for the cancer gene sloughed off when the prostate is vigoruously massaged, wherein the EPCA tests for a specific protein. My PCA3plus results came back borderline high which meant I had a 30% chance of a positive result for prostate cancer. We're watchful waiting.
Last edited by inspectormoe; 11-19-2008 at 07:43 PM.
I checked on the EPCA test...It tests for a protein in the blood and if found I believe the possibility of having prostate cancer is 95%.
I had the PCA3plus test as well... My PCA3plus results came back borderline high which meant I had a 30% chance of a positive result for prostate cancer. We're watchful waiting.
You mentioned you had the PCA3plus test "as well". So from that I assume you had the EPCA test too and you did not come back with results that indicated prostate cancer. I didn't have any advanced PSA tests, just the regular ones, and given my PSA and free PSA and my age, I was told it was 30% likely that a biopsy would come back positive. But it did, with a Gleason 7. I was fortunate that I had the biopsy when I did, as another year's progression, with a Gleason 7, would not have been good.
... I didn't have any advanced PSA tests, just the regular ones, and given my PSA and free PSA and my age, I was told it was 30% likely that a biopsy would come back positive. But it did, with a Gleason 7. I was fortunate that I had the biopsy when I did, as another year's progression, with a Gleason 7, would not have been good.
Just curious - were you watching the PSA doubling time back then? If so, was the PSA rising by more than 2 in the year you were diagnosed, which we now know is a warning? Did the PSA trend suggest a cancer with above average aggressiveness or not?
....Just curious - were you watching the PSA doubling time back then? ....
Jim- I was getting a PSA test annually and never paid too much attention to a possibility of prostate cancer, as the results were generally in the 2.5 range and said "normal" in the lab report. It then went up to 2.9 and when it moved to 3.9 in the following year, my internist said I should retest in 3 months to see if it stayed there (and it was 4.2 after that three months). That's when I went to a urologist and got my biopsy. I'm glad my doctor was aware enough to pick up that an increase of 1.0, even if the absolute level was below 4.0, could mean that I had a problem...
Daff, I guess I stated the testing incorrectly, but what I meant was, "that I also had the PCA3 plus test." Not the EPCA. I tried to get set up with the EPCA but the author of the study said it was not available to the general public nor any trials available to me.
Your 30% chance of having PC and then testing positive with a Gleason of 7 has my attention. My urologist seems to think I'm fine with no prostate cancer even though the numbers are crawling upwards recently. Did yours rise quickly as was mentioned in the earlier post? My free PSA was 30% and the standard PSA was 4.5 (60 yrs old). Thanks.
.. Did yours rise quickly as was mentioned in the earlier post? My free PSA was 30% and the standard PSA was 4.5 (60 yrs old)...
I rechecked my numbers and they were what I just posted-- from 2.5 to 2.9 to 3.9 in a two year period. Then retested again in three months and it was 4.2. Your free PSA is very high (which is very good)- and on a chart I was looking at for me, if my free PSA had been 30% along with a regular PSA from 4.1-10, my odds for having prostate cancer were shown as only 8%. So maybe your odds of having prostate cancer are much lower than your doctor said. That could be why he doesn't suggest a biopsy, which could always be done to provide additional information.
I can see why your urologist went for the biopsy, the numbers crawled right on up over the year. I'm glad you caught it early.
My PSA was sitting around 3.4-3.6 then all of a sudden went to 4.8 (6 mos.) so we redid the test 3 mos. later. It was down to 4.2. I traveled to a urologist who did the PCA3 Plus test which came back with a high normal borderline number of 35 (36 is the dividing line). That urologist stated the probability was 30% for a positive PC result. Due to my age he said a biopsy was prudent but having had a previous bad experience with the procedure, I came back to my home town urologist. After seeing the results, re-running the PSA's, DRE, etc. he says there is no PC just inflammation. So it makes one apprehensive for sure.
How are you doing since the PC biopsy? What have they done for you?
How are you doing since the PC biopsy? What have they done for you?
Sounds like you're in good shape and just need to watch the numbers. Maybe getting PSAs on a six-month cycle, instead of annually is a good idea. Also, don't have a DRE before they take blood for the test or engage in sex or ride a bicycle (3 days prior for the latter two), as that can result in an artificial boost to the PSA.
I did considerable research, from robotic surgery to brachytherapy to proton beam therapy, and ultimately decided on proton beam radiation at Florida Proton in Jacksonville. I believe that offers at least an equivalent cure with fewer side effects than other alternatives. So far, so good-- just had my first annual exam and PSA is down to about 1. Since the prostate is not removed, there is still going to be PSA, but after about two years, it should level off at a nadir and stay at whatever level that is. The healthy cells are not likely to redevelop cancer and the cancerous cells die off. The radiation is very targeted and does less damage to healthy tissue outside the prostate (than other forms of radiation) since it releases its energy inside the prostate and has no exit dose of radiation. If you're ever curious about this, I'd suggest you get a copy of the book "you can beat prostate cancer" by Robert Marckini.