ZocdocAnswers 4 years ago, I had radical nerve sparing prostate operation. Now my psa is 0.09. Is there something wrong with me?

Question

4 years ago, I had radical nerve sparing prostate operation. Now my psa is 0.09. Is there something wrong with me?

My psa since the operation has always been 0.01. This is the first time that I have been checked in 2yrs.

Answer

I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with your urologist. After a radical prostatectomy, the assumption is that all of the prostate is removed and thus the body should not have any more prostate specific antigen or PSA left in the body. Levels around 0.01 certainly are low enough to suggest that almost all of the prostate tissue was removed your body. There is always a very small amount left behind and that's why there is always a very small amount of PSA left. It is not possible to tell whether this rise in your PSA is significant or not. First, it is still so low that it is possible that this small increase represents nothing more than just a normal prostate tissue that was left behind or a small error in the test. One of the key pieces of information that would be helpful here would be to know how severe your prostate cancer was prior to having the operation. A very aggressive prostate cancer that was nearing expansion outside the prostate capsule would carry a much greater risk of recurrence. If your prostate cancer was small and not so aggressive, then the chances of recurrence are very low. Again, I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with your urologist. He or she will likely want to get another PSA in a few months just to make sure that it is no rising.

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