Together we will beat cancer


Raised PSA

20 Aug 2019 20:10


my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year with a PSA of 12. He had a radical robotic assisted prostatectomy last August. His three monthly PSA checks have been undetectable until today. It is now 0.1 and I am really concerned that his cancer may be back. The nurse said not to worry he will have another blood test in three months time. Does this raised level indicate cancer has returned.

Any advice would be really helpful

many thanks

Raised PSA

21 Aug 2019 11:45 in response to Steenie

Hello and thank you for posting a question. I am sorry to learn that your husband has been affected by prostate cancer.

It is difficult to draw firm conclusions from one PSA raised result.

After a radical prostatectomy the most widely accepted definition of a biochemical recurrence is a serum PSA level of 0.2 ng/mL or above on at least 2 occasions.  You may know that a biochemical recurrence means a rising PSA with no other sign of active disease. But it does generally signify that the cancer is growing.  Although in a very small number of men a slightly elevated PSA might be due to some normal prostate tissue being left behind that has started to grow. But if it is due to a recurrence of the cancer, often it can take some months and sometimes years before any active disease becomes apparent. So, your husband’s specialist nurse is right in saying that you need to wait until his next blood test to find out more. This waiting time must be rather unsettling to say the least.

When prostate cancer comes back after surgery, if the recurrence is in the prostate area, it is often possible for men to have salvage radiotherapy and this can often solve the problem. So, if it does turn out that your husband has a recurrence there might be other potentially curative options for him.

I hope that this reply is of some help. Do get back to us if you have any other questions. If you would like to telephone our freephone number is 0808 800 4040. We are here from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am to 5pm (closed public holidays).

All the best,


Raised PSA

21 Aug 2019 11:54 in response to CRUK Nurse Jean

Many thanks Jean

i guess it’s the waiting that we are finding so difficult and the  worry that if it’s back it might not be treatable but thank you fir your advice. It’s good to know there are treatment options.

thank you