I have good reason to be happy today. Beside crossing over the 1,000 post mark I am comforted by the latest retest of my PSA. On June 6 I was told by the medical officer in charge at the Surgical Out Patient Department (SOPD) of the government hospital I went for my BPH treatment that based on the latest PSA result I am a candidate for prostate cancer. The conclusion was based on 2 results: 3.1ng/ml in December 2010 and 4.3ng/ml on May 30 this year. Any result below 4.0ng/ml is deemed normal and any sudden rise in PSA is deemed a flag to carry out further tests. The sharp increase of 1.2ng/ml within a 6 months period to above the trigger maximum of 4.0 was the basis of concluding I may have prostate cancer, even if the percentage is low at 10-20%. If this is correct then I would need to take precautions to control it.
To be honest I was worried. Who wouldn't when told you may be 'grounded' by the big C? My friends advised me: get another opinion or get another test done. I chose the latter and on June 13 went to an independent pathological laboratory to have my blood sample drawn and the PSA test done. Today I was told my PSA was only 1.8ng/ml. While I have good reason to rejoice I'm bugged with the questions:
Why did the earlier results showed I had high PSA? Could both be wrong?
Or could the latest result be wrong?
What factors can manipulate the PSA result from its 'true' value? Sex life? Diet? Physical activities? I need to know and research.
My next PSA test is scheduled in March 2012 by the government lab. I am planning to have a parallel test done by the same independent lab about the same time to verify the accuracy. For now I know that no result is absolute and even a 'good' result does not necessarily mean all is well. What is important is to maintain vigilance and carry out regular health checks to detect early signs of cancer growth for better chance of survival and cure.
I spent RM30 (USD10) for this test and felt that it was a small sum to give me peace of mind, at least for the next 9 months.