Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Unusual PSA level or not?

Had my first f/u with radiation oncologist this week after receiving the higher dosage 28 day radiation treatment. I did not choose hormone therapy. My last PSA # was 13 going into radiation and the first reading after completion of the procedure is 7. I know it can take a year or more to land on the nadir # but is this first result unusual or it basically means nothing at this early point? I was expecting something lower I guess. I was active management for 18 months with favorable data but then after a more recent biopsy moved into borderline favorable/unfavorable intermediate risk category and chose treatment.


Community Answers
  • Richard Faust moderator
    3 months ago

    Hi ohhawk. I can’t say specifically if a PSA of 7 after the radiation is usual, but you are correct about the PSA following radiation continuing to decrease. In fact, as this article from the American Cancer Society on the topic states “PSA levels after radiation tend to drop slowly, and might not reach their lowest level until 2 years or more after treatment:” https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/treating/psa-levels-after-treatment.html. Has your doctor had anything to say about the current PSA levels? Hoping you get some answers soon to put your mind at ease and for planning moving forward. Best, Richard (ProstateCancer.net Team)

  • ohhawk author
    3 months ago

    Thanks Richard…….radiation oncologist doesn’t seem concerned. Much like you stated and I have read it takes time and sometimes a couple years to reach that benchmark number. He implied that had I taken hormone therapy with the radiation that it may have fallen quicker but that doesn’t necessarily mean a quicker drop soon after treatment is any better or worse than a slower one when dealing with radiation treatment outcomes.

    I need to exercise patience I’m sure 🙂

  • Dennis Golden moderator
    3 months ago

    I did radiation a few years after surgery and also was on Lupron. Currently I am almost 2 years out and so far the PSA is 0.02. And yes it does take time for the radiation to work. Just met with the radiation oncologist 2 weeks ago and he is happy with the results so far.
    My cancer was caught early and fully contained in the prostate at the time of surgery. While my Gleason was high the actual PSA was 2.7 So now its a matter of wait and see. I think the hardest part is it does play in the back of your head especially just prior to going in for a PSA check up. All the best, Dennis (ProstateCancer.net Team)

  • Richard Faust moderator
    3 months ago

    Hi ohhawk. My understanding of what the impact of hormone therapy would be is similar to what you heard from your doctor. Because hormone or androgen deprivation therapy drives down the level of male hormones it is very likely that your PSA level would be lower at this point. However, if the radiation got the cancer than it is not an indication of things being better. The hormones fuel the growth of prostate cancer, but if the cancer is gone than they aren’t feeding it. The hope, of course, is that the treatments got all of the cancer. It sounds like your cancer was caught early, which is certainly a great place to start. Best, Richard (ProstateCancer.net Team)

  • wmcali
    3 months ago

    I have been through 42 days of radiation treatment while on hormone therapy called Lupron injections which is consider a chemotherapy. Started radiation treatment with a PSA at 40.0. I decided to go with the hormone treatment. I don’t believe a PSA 7 is consider undetectable PSA score. Currently my PSA is a 0.01 that is what is a undetectable PSA is.

  • ohhawk author
    3 months ago

    Thank you for your response.

    If my number is 7 currently how is that considered undetectable? I thought it simply means it is on the decline but still present to some degree so far……understanding it’s still early since treatment ended.

  • Dennis Golden moderator
    3 months ago

    So far so good PSA is currently undetectable

  • Share Your Answer

    Poll