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How are prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels tied to metastatic prostate cancer?

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Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein made by the prostate gland. A rise in PSA is one of the first signs your cancer may be growing, but PSA levels can also be high without there being cancer, such as if you have an enlarged prostate or a prostate infection.

If you've been treated, especially if a surgeon removed your prostate, your PSA levels should be so low they can't be found on a test. The presence of any PSA after surgery is a concern.

Any rise in PSA after radiation or hormone treatment suggests the possibility the cancer is spreading.

SOURCES:

CancerCare: "Living With Metastatic Prostate Cancer," "Caring for Your Bones When You Have Prostate Cancer."

National Cancer Institute: "Metastatic Cancer."

American Cancer Society: "What is advanced cancer?" "What is metastatic cancer?" "Can advanced or metastatic cancer be prevented?" "What's New on Prostate Cancer Research? Topics," "Prostate cancer that remains or recurs after treatment."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on April 09, 2017

SOURCES:

CancerCare: "Living With Metastatic Prostate Cancer," "Caring for Your Bones When You Have Prostate Cancer."

National Cancer Institute: "Metastatic Cancer."

American Cancer Society: "What is advanced cancer?" "What is metastatic cancer?" "Can advanced or metastatic cancer be prevented?" "What's New on Prostate Cancer Research? Topics," "Prostate cancer that remains or recurs after treatment."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on April 09, 2017

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How long does it take for prostate cancer to become metastatic?

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