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Editor's Correspondence
July 23, 2012

A Different Perspective Regarding Prostate-Specific Antigen Testing

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, El Paso.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(14):1110-1114. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.2038

I wish to provide a different perspective regarding prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and prostate cancer to the one reported by Dr Bennet.1 I was diagnosed as having prostate cancer at a similar age to Dr Bennet (57 years) some 6 years ago. I had routinely checked my PSA on a yearly basis, and it was typically around 2.0 ng/mL (to convert to micrograms per liter, multiply by 1). When retested it went up to 3.3 ng/mL, an unusual increase compared with my previous values but still within what was considered the “normal range.” Despite that, I was concerned about the sudden increase. I had symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, and my father had prostate cancer in his mid 70s. I decided to consult a urologist colleague. On examination, my prostate was slightly asymmetric but without nodules. My urologist told me it was very unlikely to have prostate cancer but recommended a biopsy because of my family history. One of 10 biopsy specimens was reported positive for prostate cancer, with a Gleason score of 6 (3 + 3).