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Old 03-29-2009, 01:41 PM   #41
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I'm not a doctor but I understand that if you have BPH your PSA will probably be high, but from the PSA, not necessarily from PC. Rich?
Thanks for the "heads up" before I get the fingers up. Just checked last year's medical from company Doc. PSA 0.53 and prostate approx 30 grammes and firm (how does he judge the weight?)
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:45 PM   #42
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Yes, BPH and prostate infection will raise the PSA in the absence of cancer. For that matter, ejaculating within 48 hrs prior to testing can elevate the PSA a bit. <<insert your punchline here>>
Thanks Rich - as always, good advice served with a twist of wit.
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:48 PM   #43
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... served with a twist of wit.
Only a half...
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:07 PM   #44
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.... served with a twist of wit.
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Only a half...
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:01 PM   #45
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Values over 10 are much more likely to indicate cancer, but the problem is that many of those are advanced and not curable even if they are asymptomatic (no survival value in diagnosing it sooner).
After my results came in at 12 the doctor and nurses at Megacorp looked at me as though I was a "dead man walking". Luckily, the test was incorrect. But now I get a chance (maybe) to do it all over again.
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:11 PM   #46
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After my results came in at 12 the doctor and nurses at Megacorp looked at me as though I was a "dead man walking". Luckily, the test was incorrect. But now I get a chance (maybe) to do it all over again.
Prolonged time on the bicycle saddle will raise the PSA.
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:32 PM   #47
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Prolonged time on the bicycle saddle will raise the PSA.
Note to self: NO saddle time - of any kind - prior to PSA test.
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:39 PM   #48
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:41 PM   #49
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I understand completely. I guess I just fall into the "more data is better" category and try to work on the "not being scared into doing something" side of the equation. But others feel differently I'm sure.
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For that matter, ejaculating within 48 hrs prior to testing can elevate the PSA a bit. <<insert your punchline here>>
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Note to self: NO saddle time - of any kind - prior to PSA test.
Geez, and I thought fasting for 12 hours before the cholesterol blood test was bad enough. At some point the procedural prerequisites are more life-threatening-- to the staff as well as the patient-- than the syndromes...
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:20 PM   #50
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Maybe the PSA test only saves a small percentage of lives, but if that life is yours, it saved 100%. Three years ago an annual PSA test showed that my PSA had moved up significantly from the prior year. I had a biopsy that showed cancer. My decision was to be treated with radiation and seed implants. I don't know if my cancer would have killed me or not, but I sure rest easier now that I know I am free of it. Why would anyone take even a small risk when such a simple testing is available?
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:55 PM   #51
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Maybe the PSA test only saves a small percentage of lives, but if that life is yours, it saved 100%. Three years ago an annual PSA test showed that my PSA had moved up significantly from the prior year. I had a biopsy that showed cancer. My decision was to be treated with radiation and seed implants. I don't know if my cancer would have killed me or not, but I sure rest easier now that I know I am free of it. Why would anyone take even a small risk when such a simple testing is available?
Because you might end up as the guy who died from complications of a biopsy (e.g. sepsis) but without prostate cancer. You die from a failed preventive strategy.

I am very glad the whole thing fell into place for you. My only point is that this is a strategy question which individual anecdote probably won't solve. You are right: if you are the one, the salvage rate is 100%. From a public health perspective, we have to consider the other 99%, too.

Glad you came out well as a survivor, though.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:13 PM   #52
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Rich: We know that tens of thousands of men die each year of prostate cancer. Can you tell me how many die of "sepis" from the biopsy procedure. Thanks!!
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:06 PM   #53
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Rich: We know that tens of thousands of men die each year of prostate cancer. Can you tell me how many die of "sepis" from the biopsy procedure. Thanks!!
It's under 1% if I recall, but I think you are seeking the wrong denominator.

What my comments address is Joe Sixpack with no symptoms of prostate disease who gets a PSA routinely as part of his check-up. About 2.9% of men will die of prostate cancer over their lives -- the other 97.1% will not, so for every 100 men screened for prostate cancer, only 2.9 even have a chance of benefitting from screening (and many won't). The other 97.1% have no chance of improved survival, yet are subject to the concerns mentioned above.

Biopsy side effects include sepsis (maybe 1%), severe pain (25%), anxiety, bleeding from the urethra (23 percent longer than three days), fever (3.5 percent) and rectal bleeding (1.3 percent). Fewer than 1 percent developed urinary retention or required hospitalization as well as sepsis.

Just how many innocent bystanders is it worth harming in order to find one potential "winner?" I don't know, kind of a societal decision. We are at 32:1 now (probably much higher, since not all who are diagnosed from screeing actually benefit from treatments), and society isn't sure if this is a good strategy.

Here are some numbers from UptoDate, a professional evidence source:
"Evidence from randomized trials — There are currently no convincing data from randomized, controlled trials of screening that show benefits on morbidity and mortality.


One randomized trial of screening for prostate cancer reported positive findings, but the data analysis was flawed. In this population-based study in Quebec, 46,193 men aged 45 to 80 years identified from electoral records were randomly assigned to screening with prostate specific antigen (PSA) and digital rectal examination (DRE) versus no screening [54]. In an analysis that excluded the 77 percent of men in the screening arm who declined screening and excluded the 6.5 percent of men in the control group who were screened, the prostate cancer mortality rate in men undergoing screening was reported to be 67.1 percent lower than in the control group. When the data were evaluated by a more appropriate intention-to-screen analysis, there were no mortality differences between the two groups (4.6 versus 4.8 deaths per 1000 persons, respectively). Additionally, the results suggesting benefit seemed biologically implausible, since the survival benefit became apparent within only three years, a very short time for a screening program to be effective given the long lead time for prostate cancer.
Two large randomized screening trials are currently underway,... These studies, which plan to pool results, should have sufficient power and follow-up duration to determine the efficacy of screening. Preliminary reports from the ERSPC show effects of screening on detection rates and stage of disease at detectionbut effects on morbidity and mortality are still unknown; results from both trials will not be available for several more years."
Sorry for the wordy answer - hope it helps clarify my points.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:25 PM   #54
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Rich: I don't believe that PSA screening is going to harm "Joe Sixpack". I believe it would be the inept physician that orders a biopsy without making an effort to confirm his suspicions with at least some of the following: "Positive DRE, Free PSA test, PAP test, PSA velocity evaluation and PSMA test. As you have stated some PCa's are rather benign, but on the other hand some are very aggressive and deadly, and the only way to find out which one you have, is to biopsy.
In regard to the studies you presented. It is my "opinion" that a study can be used to prove just about any position you wish to take.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:59 PM   #55
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Bluescat:

Welcome to the board. Start a new thread in the "Hi, I am" section and tell us a little bit about yourself.

Best wishes,

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Old 04-02-2009, 12:44 AM   #56
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Rich: I don't believe that PSA screening is going to harm "Joe Sixpack". I believe it would be the inept physician that orders a biopsy without making an effort to confirm his suspicions with at least some of the following:
Well, paraphrasing Will Rogers, the solution is straightforward. Only use "ept" physicians. If they're inept then don't use them.
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:35 PM   #57
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Nords: I agree with you and Will 100%. Unfortunately, you sometimes don't find out about a DR.s "eptness" until it's too late
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:56 PM   #58
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Bluescat:

Welcome to the board. Start a new thread in the "Hi, I am" section and tell us a little bit about yourself.

Best wishes,

Gumby
Hi Gumby: I'd rather not, I'm just a lurker here (4 years, I think). I am however, a PCa survivor, 8 years, of hard fighting. I just received my "first ever" below 1.0, PSA result. I owe my life to PSA screening, and hate to see bad information being passed on to other men. I probably won't post on any other subject, but if I do I will start the thread you asked me to.
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:49 PM   #59
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Finally had a minute to retrieve this article - nice summary of the difficult issues surrounding PSA screening. Good reading for those who want to make a balanced and well-informed decision together with their doc.

The USPSTF is a consensus panel of highly respected content experts, statisticians, and decision analysts who do exhaustive analyses of the current evidence. What is nice about their recommendations is that they are able to say "we don't know" when applicable.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:09 PM   #60
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Nords: I agree with you and Will 100%. Unfortunately, you sometimes don't find out about a DR.s "eptness" until it's too late
The point of my sarcasm is that a patient has to be informed about the issues and the risks. Doctors have to know a lot about everything but patients can attempt to become experts at one narrow subject-- themselves and their symptoms. Patients also have to ask questions, get second opinions, and not just blindly comply with the "They're the doctors, they're in charge" attitude. The responsibility rests at least as much with the patient as with the doctor.

Don't even get me started on the subject of reconstructive knee surgery.
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