Stage 4 – how much does PSA vary?

I was dx’d last October with stage 4 prostate cancer. My initial PSA was 5,306. I started chemo (standard six cycles of docetaxel) and Lupron (ADT/hormone therapy) simultaneously. My PSA has down considerably with each six week checkup. Last month I was at 22.09. This week if went up to 24.49. After nine months this was the first time it’s gone up. Granted not by much and nowhere near the drastic amount it’s come down each checkup in the past. At the moment I’m not too worried. One (clinically insignificant) result, not a trend. Be curious how much variance other people have in their PSA.


Community Answers
  • Doug Sparling moderator author
    4 months ago

    Thanks for the reply, Richard. At the moment neither my oncologist or I aren’t too worried about it. It’s the first time it hasn’t gone down, so it was a bit of a let down. But I’m at the nine-month mark since my stage 4 diagnosis and I’ve come a long way. So until there’s an upward trend, I’m just going to write it off as one of those things. Thanks again.

  • Richard Faust moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi Doug. PSA levels absolutely can have quite a variation. I’m linking to this article on the PSA test – much of it may be familiar, but it also looks at factors that can cause changes in PSA level: https://prostatecancer.net/diagnosis/psa-test/. This article from Harvard Medical also looks at reasons for variation: https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/PSA_variability_A_new_factor. Just how much of a variation you should be concerned about is something your doctor should be able to help you with. Often the percentage change can be a factor. Our contributor, Len, has spoken about a significant percentage jump from a relatively low number helped lead to him being treated. Hopefully other community members will chime in with their experiences. Best, Richard (ProstateCancer.net Team)

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