After prostate cancer treatment
What follow-up do I need?
After your cancer treatment has ended you will still need regular check-ups. This is called follow-up. The follow-up will involve PSA tests and maybe a digital rectal exam (DRE). At first you will see your consultant every 3 months but these check-ups will become less frequent over time.
You may have follow-up appointments to check your PSA for many years. Some men have PSA tests at the hospital or you may have them at your local GP surgery.
If you are between check-ups and have a symptom or problem that is worrying you, call your specialist nurse for advice or to arrange an earlier outpatient appointment if necessary.
If you become suddenly unwell and can’t contact your specialist nurse or hospital team, go to your GP or the emergency department at the hospital.
What is PSA bounce?
If treatment has been successful you would expect the PSA level to drop. Sometimes your PSA may rise again after radiation treatment, as some prostate cells may still produce PSA. Sometimes the PSA level may rise and then fall again one to two years after treatment. This is called a PSA bounce. It is not necessarily a sign that the cancer has come back. The PSA should drop to its lowest level after 18 months to 2 years after radiotherapy. This is often called the PSA nadir.
What if the cancer comes back?
If the cancer comes back in your prostate or somewhere else, your doctor will advise you about your treatment options. This may include taking part in a clinical trial. You might also find it reassuring to have another medical opinion. Your doctor will refer you to another specialist for a second opinion if you feel this would be helpful.
Read more about metastatic prostate cancer.
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