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How do levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) affect cancer treatment?

ANSWER

Your prostate makes prostate-specific antigen (PSA), as do most prostate cancer cells. During prostate cancer treatment, changes in your PSA levels help show whether your treatment is working.

When you get treatment -- whether it's chemotherapy, hormone therapy, a vaccine, or a combination -- your PSA levels should drop and stay low. If you have surgery to remove your prostate, you shouldn't have any PSA levels that can be found in a test.

SOURCES:

Urology Care Foundation: "Prostate Cancer Testing," "Advanced Prostate Cancer."

The Prostate Cancer Charity: "Recurrent Prostate Cancer."

American Cancer Society: "Following PSA levels during and after treatment."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 22, 2019

SOURCES:

Urology Care Foundation: "Prostate Cancer Testing," "Advanced Prostate Cancer."

The Prostate Cancer Charity: "Recurrent Prostate Cancer."

American Cancer Society: "Following PSA levels during and after treatment."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 22, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

How do doctors monitor prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels?

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