Originally Posted by Anne Staples
My husband is 73 years old and had his prostate removed in March of 2012 and went back for a PSA test this week and it showed 1.3. so the doctor is senting him to a radialogist for therapy. Does this mean that the cancer has spread out of of prostate because that is removed? What is radiation therapy and and is it successful?
Welcome to the board.
Unfortunately it seems that the surgery was not successful in removing the whole cancer so that his doctor is requesting for salvage radiotherapy to try to control cancer spread.
You did not share more info on your husband’s story and diagnosis before surgery which could reveal the reason for the failure. In any case, after surgery without the prostate gland in place, the PSA should be in the zeros below 0.06 ng/ml. His test at the 3-month mark with a value of 1.3 it means that recurrence is apparent. There are some rare cases where a portion of benign tissue is left behind producing serum PSA but the high level seems more to be related to metastases.
Salvage treatment with radiation (SRT) can be successful in killing the cancer but it must hit the whole targets. This is a treatment done when the cancer is thought to be still localized (at prostate bed and lymph nodes at the iliac). In cases with relevant far metastases at the bones, etc., a combination of RT with hormonal treatment tend to be recommended.
Has your husband done any image study (CT, PET, MRI, etc)?
SRT got its own risks and side effects that your husband should be aware of. I would recommend you to read books on salvage radiation treatments and to prepare a list of questions to use in your next meeting with the radiologist. Just type in a net search engine the following; “questions to ask your doctor, prostate cancer”.
Wishing you both peace of mind and a successful outcome.