How to Monitor Your Disease Progression


A PSA test is performed along with other tests when prostate cancer is suspected, but only a biopsy can confirm the presence of the disease. Many doctors and organizations recommend PSA screening for men as young as 40 years old who are at a higher risk. If you have already been treated for prostate cancer, the PSA test may be used to determine if the prostate cancer has returned.

In advanced prostate cancer, studies have shown that the PSA test should not be used alone to determine long-term outcomes, like living longer. The PSA level also does not predict whether or not a man will have symptoms. Other factors should be considered before your doctor recommends a treatment approach.


ALP is a substance that may be released into the bloodstream when bones break down. High levels of ALP give your doctor a better idea if your disease has spread to bone.


There are a number of different ways to monitor and find prostate cancer. Some of these include an MRI, a CT scan, a PET/CT scan, and a bone scan.

An MRI is useful in determining the severity of the disease and the appropriate treatment approach. Imaging can also be a useful tool in locating the tumor within the prostate.

Doctors may also perform a CT scan and/or a PET/CT scan. A CT scan can see if the cancer has spread from the prostate to other parts of the body, such as the bone. PET/CT is useful in staging metastatic and recurrent disease and evaluating early response to treatment.

In addition, your doctor may perform a bone scan. During a bone scan, material is sent into your bloodstream and is absorbed by areas of damaged or compromised bone. If the test confirms “hot spots,” it is possible that prostate cancer has spread to your bones. If this occurs, it is important to talk to your doctor to see if a different treatment approach may be in your best interest.

ALP=Alkaline Phosphatase; CT=Computed Tomography; MRI=Magnetic Resonance Imaging; PET=Positron Emission Tomography;
PSA=Prostate-Specific Antigen.

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