‘I needed more information about “What if?” questions –
What if my PSA doesn’t get down to zero?
What’s the next step in the process?’
The PSA test is used to monitor if hormone therapy is working. The PSA is a clearer indicator for some men than others, depending on the type of advanced prostate cancer they have.
You know hormone therapy is working effectively when your PSA level drops and stays at a low level. Your doctor will speak with you about what that level should be and will also tell you how often you will need to have a PSA test or any other tests. You will also know hormone therapy is working when you are pain free, feeling well, have no unplanned weight loss and your tests are stable.
You know hormone therapy is not working effectively when the results show that the PSA level has increased over time – this is not uncommon. For most men with advanced or metastatic prostate cancer, hormone therapy will work very successfully to control the cancer but it is hard to predict exactly how long for. It depends how far the cancer has spread and how well it responds to treatment.
Other clues that hormone therapy has stopped working include bone pain, urinary symptoms and difficulties, fatigue and other symptoms such as swelling in lower limbs, loss of appetite and weight loss. Tell your doctor or members of your healthcare team if any symptoms are getting worse, or if you have developed any new symptoms.