risk calculator for prostate cancer….would my numbers have changed anything? is this a circle and we end up where we were i.e. a certain percentage chance of prostate cancer? at what percentage does one “pull da trigger?”
“And the universe is a lot like the earth, if you go straight around you end up where you were, and the universe is a lot like the earth….”
So I put my numbers in the risk calculator and come up with a 41% chance of prostate cancer. The only abnormality or risk was a slightly elevated PSA. So…we are back to doing a biopsy on an elevated PSA…what did this do for us?
For years I have been offering the Free PSA to patients who felt they needed more evidence to proceed to biopsy or were “biopsy reluctant”. It almost always comes back somewhere in the middle…i.e. “You have a 18% chance of a positive biopsy.” It doesn’t help that much…so it’s 18%…what would you do? You still don’t know what percentage of 100 “you” are.
Now about me…I had the elevated PSA and was debating my options and elected to do a Free PSA (no that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay for it) and it was very low. Well…that helped me. But if you are in the middle range of things it doesn’t help much. It goes back to your anxiety level…an anxious person will act on 15% chance where a non anxious type person will need a more dramatic number.
I think the risk calculator doesn’t hurt anything. But what is funny is that we are back to what we already knew and that is a high PSA, a family history of prostate cancer and being black puts one at an increased risk of prostate cancer and begins the consideration of having a prostate biopsy done.
What would be your cut off percentage number? What would do it for you? Well…that’s the problem.