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  • PSA Madness (Prostate Cancer related)

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    Old 06-21-2018, 02:19 PM   #1
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    Red face PSA Madness (Prostate Cancer related)

    Hi. New here. Been diagnosed with Gleason score 6, <.5, 2 cores. Active surveillance for 2 years. Health is great, no more sugar, red meat, dairy, 40 min of cardio daily, etc.

    My PSA has been constant for several years since diagnosed, getting reading every 6 months, from 5.9, moving downward to 5.5

    Was using QUEST DIAGNOSTICS for all of these tests. My insurance forced me to use a new lab. Well, imagine my SHOCK when PSA jumped to 7.5!! I was mortified. Urologist on phone said we will need to do another biopsy...


    I spent $43 of my own money to have another PSA test done by QUEST (my original lab), 12 days after the first one (both cases, did not do stressful exercise, sex, water only before test, etc) . 24 hours, results come back:

    5.1!!!!!!!! Lowest ever since PC diagnosis. Sunny days are here again!

    Though I discovered something that is maddening: there are two standards for PSA, one is the WHO system, the other is Beckman system. I am like ??? They say WHO reads 20% lower than Beckman (the new lab used Beckman).

    So, in the end, WHY WHY WHY are there two (confusing!) systems!? And which should I believe? My doctor was about to make another $1,000 from a biopsy I did not need.

    Anyone else have this problem? I will say, STAY WITH THE SAME LAB FOREVER. NO CHANGING LABS!

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    Old 06-22-2018, 10:34 AM   #2
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    Re: PSA Madness (Prostate Cancer related)

    Hi, welcome, and thanks for sharing your experience.

    Yes, it's frustrating when you get a concerning result as a result of changing labs or even lab error, which seems to be pretty rare. I'm thinking there are more than two "systems", as each PSA kit manufacturer uses a somewhat different approach, including different parts of the PSA molecule, as I understand it. However, maybe there are just two underlying systems.

    Good for you for sorting this out!

    Are you aware that multiparametric MRI is another tool in the kit for monitoring while on active surveillance? You have a really fortunate location as there is a lot of expertise and superb facilities in your area. In fact a famous annual conference for patients is coming up in early September.

    Good luck!

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    biopsy, cancer, prostate cancer, psa (prostate-specific antigen), psa level prostate cancer

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