My Dad just turned 58 a few days ago. He is very active, eats right, and is not overweight. He has never drank nor smoke. He gets regular checkups from our family doc. He does have slightly elevated blood pressure and takes a generic med. for it and it is well controlled. He also had slightly elevated cholesterol and was placed on a generic med. a while back and it is well controlled. He has had all the prevenative procedures for a man of his age. Colonoscopy was perfect. Heart cath. clean as a whistle.
My concern is about his recent blood test. Every six months he gets a routine blood test to monitor his cholesterol, triglic., etc. They also measure his PSA. I don't know much about this but from what I have researched briefly on the web is that anything below a 4.0 is normal. Well my Dad's recent blood work showed that his PSA jumped slightly above 4.0. I don't know the exact nubmer but it was still in the 4's. His doctor is sending him to a urologist next week.
My question is how concerned should I (or he) be? I know that a PSA test is just an indicator for prostate cancer. But him being 58 and his PSA rising slightly like it has. Is this something to be very concerned about? Or is this typical for someone?
From the little research I have done. I see that his family doc. did what was text book. His PSA was elevated compared to his last test. So, he referred him to a urologist. I just didn't know how to interpret the information? For example should I be worried he has prostate cancer or is this just a routine?
Sorry for such a long message and if I confused anyone, I am sorry. B/C I am a little confused myself.
Maybe some concern, not worry. A rising PSA is not evidence of prostate cancer- it can be an infection. Also, the PSA test can show elevated results if there had been recent sexual activity or a digital rectal exam prior to their taking blood for the test. In any event, it's not a bad thing to have been referred to a urologist. The normal course of action, unless the DRE shows signs of hardness in the prostate, could be to wait 3 months and get another PSA test. If still elevated, a biopsy might be the next step, but you don't need to get too far ahead right now.
The good news, if he does turn out to have prostate cancer, it has been caught early and there are many successful treatment alternatives.
I would think an increase in PSA levels is normal for your fatherís age. The prostate gland continues to age throughout a manís lifespan. The first spurt is at adolescence, the next is after 40. After 40 an aging prostate may affect urinary flow and functions. Does your father feel the need to use the bathroom frequently, especially during the night?
It is great that your father has regular checkups and is in otherwise good health. Further tests with the urologist can diagnose the problem, if any. If medication is to be given, you may want to ask the doctor about nutritional supplements for prostate health which have lesser side effects. Beta sitosterol has been known to help an aging prostate.