PSA After Prostatectomy

Last Modified: June 10, 2007

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I had a radical prostatectomy in September 2006. Why would I have anything but a 0.0 PSA at this time? It's very low (PSA=0.08) but I'm not clear as to why ANY exists without a prostate.

Answer

David I. Lee, MD, Chief of the Division of Urology at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, responds:

We aim for a serum PSA that is <0.1 ng/mL. We do not panic when a PSA is still detectable after prostatectomy. There can be benign prostate cells in the pelvis. However, a PSA that steadily climbs into the 0.2 ng/mL range and higher warrants a careful evaluation for the presence of recurrent disease. The adrenal gland can also make a very small amount of PSA.

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