Prostate Cancer Community
what does this mean?
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what does this mean?

My father is 88 years old and his PSA count has been watched for a long time...it has all of a sudden risen to leavels
that are not good and he has had a test....now they want him to take a bone marrow test...what does this indicate?
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Practice patterns may change in different places.

First, I am assuming  your grandfather has received a biopsy report which was positive for cancer

The PSA is used as a gauge to estimate the odds of prostate cancer progressing. At a certain level, a lot of patients start getting disease dissemination into the bones. Hence a bone scan (not a bone marrow exam) is contemplated.  The bone scan involves injecting radiocontrast material, wait for about 3 hours (so the bones suck it up) and then take an image of the entire skeleton. The bone marrow test involves sampling marrow (usually thorugh the hip bone) with a needle.

If we assume that your grandfather has never undergone a biopsy or has had a biopsy which was negative for cancer, the PSA could be used to estimate the chances of getting a positive biopsy this time around. Hence, a biopsy may also be recommended.

In both scenarios, the extent of disease would be estimated with a bone scan. Once, the tests are done discuss what treatment options are available.

Stay positive.  
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