Second Prostate Biopsy

The good news you just received about the result of a second prostate biopsy test could be misleading. Pathologists estimates show 20 percent of all prostate biopsies are false negative… meaning they can miss cancer.

A negative biopsy doesn’t mean you don’t have cancer. Your chances of having cancer increases, if your biopsy only included samples from part of your prostate. In fact the cancer could be quite extensive. The greater the number of samples biopsied, the better your chances of being misdiagnosed.

Perhaps there was no need to do the test at that time. Because, according to Dr. James A. Eastham at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Center, no one should be referred for a biopsy based on one single PSA test that is slightly elevated. Did you have a second prostate-specific antigen (PSA) before the second prostate biopsy was performed?

You should be here at this threshold because your second prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and digital rectal exam (DRE) continued to be abnormal. Experts recommend repeating the test 4 to 6 weeks before doing second biopsy. False positives are common, because cancer is not the only cause for increased PSA levels. A recent episode with constipation, inflammation, or recent ejaculation can raise your PSA score. But fluctuations should never be taken lightly.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute and Portland Veterans Medical Center have discovered a way to identify which men need second prostate biopsy, even though they were given a clean bill of health after the first biopsy. The single most definite indicator given for a repeat biopsy was a high PSA, Gleason score 7 or higher, adjusted for prostate size.

Prostate cancer is the second most deadliest cancer in men. An estimated 300,000 are diagnosed annually, and 30,000 men will die of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. You could be one of them.



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