A very low PSA but aggressive prostate cancer?
Yes, for three reasons. “Most prostate cancers produce PSA,” says Sean Cavanaugh, MD, Chief of Radiation Oncology at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Southeastern Regional Medical Center.
Explanation for Low PSA with Prostate Cancer
“However, it is possible for a cancer cell line to dedifferentiate (mutate) and stop PSA production,” continues Dr. Cavanaugh.
“This could result in a patient with cancer, perhaps even a very aggressive cancer, but a normal or even low PSA. This is quite rare.
“In addition, men on anti-testosterone therapy might register a low or even zero PSA while still having viable cancer cells.
“Finally, post-prostatectomy or post-radiation patients generally have a low PSA, but as time passes some learn that they still have active cancer.”
The PSA, which is obtained via a blood test and stands for prostate specific antigen, can also be high in a man who does not have any malignancy.
Nevertheless, this biomarker is a valuable tool to physicians as a guide for how to proceed next in a symptomatic patient.
The American Cancer Society recommends that men who have an average risk of prostate cancer begin getting tested at age 50 if they’re already healthy enough to expect to live another 10 years.
Prostate Cancer Awareness
Dr. Cavanaugh explains, Cancer Treatment Centers of America®, the NFL Alumni Association and LabCorp are proud to offer 2,000 eligible men in the United States access to one free PSA screening from through Oct. 15 .
“After the 2,000 free PSA screening spots are filled, we will be offering eligible men a screening at a discounted price of $25. Eligible men must sign up by Oct. 15 through ProstatePepTalk.com.”
For additional information on PSA testing as a marker for prostate cancer, contact CTCA at (855) 993-3381.
Dr. Cavanaugh has chaired the hospital’s Prostate Center for Advanced Oncology and Prostate steering committee. He regularly performs high-dose and low-dose rate brachytherapy, plus all aspects of highly conformal external beam radiation therapy.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
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