If prostate cancer returns

For some men, prostate cancer does come back after treatment. This is known as a relapse or recurrence.

If your PSA levels start to rise and the cancer has not spread beyond the prostate, this may mean you still have cancer cells in the prostate area. If this happens, you may be given more treatment, known as salvage treatment.

If you originally had surgery, you may be given radiotherapy. If you had radiotherapy, surgery may not be offered, as the side effects are more severe following previous radiotherapy. However, you may be offered ADT or another form of treatment. If the cancer has spread beyond the prostate, ADT is usually recommended. Sometimes people have palliative treatment to ease their symptoms.

It is possible for the cancer to come back in another part of your body. In this case, you may have treatment that focuses specifically on the area of your body where the cancer has returned. Call Cancer Council 13 11 20 for more information.

– Neil

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PSA test results

The PSA is only one test and it might not accurately reflect what is happening to the cancer. The PSA test can be useful early in the disease, to allow diagnosis and monitor the need for treatment, and to detect the return of the cancer. As the cancer progresses the PSA test becomes less useful. Your doctor will also consider any symptoms you might or might not have, and the results of other blood tests and scans. These all help to build a picture of what is happening to the cancer that is more accurate and informative than just the PSA test alone.

This information was last reviewed in April 2016
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