January 21, 2019

   A Publication of the James Buchanan Brady
   Urological Institute Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Volume I, Spring 1988

Value of Simple Yearly Follow-up Examinations: Monitoring your progress

As with all cancers, patients who undergo radical prostatectomy need to be followed routinely. The yearly checkup is simple. You need to have a carefully performed rectal examination to exclude the presence of local recurrence and blood samples must be obtained for the measurement of acid phosphatase and PSA. Bone scans, CT scans and simple radiologic studies are unnecessary If the tests outlined above produce normal results, it is unlikely that other expensive or invasive procedures will yield useful information.

Why are these studies necessary?
It is easy to assume that after an operation for cancer all is well, and there is no need for further evaluation. However, it is possible that the cancer may return either at distant sites or, rarely, locally. Fortunately, if the recurrence is detected early it can be treated easily and effectively Clearly, you need yearly examinations so that additional treatment, if necessary, can be administered promptly.

The follow-up visits should not be difficult. If you choose to return to Johns Hopkins, I would enjoy seeing you. The examinations can also be performed easily by your local doctor. In any case, please have the results of your yearly examinations sent to me so that I can continue to monitor your progress.


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