Are There Ways To Determine Whether I Might Be More Likely To Need Salvage Therapy After Primary Therapy?

Matthew Cooney, M.D., University Hospitals

Jan. 01, 2009 -- Question: Are there ways to determine whether I might be more likely to need salvage therapy after primary therapy?

Answer: When we look at salvage therapy options and who might be at risk or higher risk to need salvage therapies, there's a few factors that we can look closely at. The first is our Gleason score; the lowest is two and in the patient with the highest risk it's 10. So you and your doctor will talk about your Gleason score to see what risk factor you had that you may need other treatments for your prostate cancer.

The other factor you and your doctor will look at is your PSA. The higher your PSA, and certainly if your PSA's higher than 20, the must higher risk you'll need adjuvant therapy -- or more than one therapy -- to treat your prostate cancer.