Importance of Follow-up Examinations
At least once a year, you should undergo the following simple evaluations: digital rectal examination and measurement of
serum acid phosphatase and prostatic specific antigen (PSA). A small percentage of patients will develop local recurrence
of their disease because cells escaped the prostate locally prior to the radical prostatectomy. It is often difficult to
predict this event and thus it is important for patients to be surveyed at least annually with these simple tests. If one of
these tests is abnormal, we then proceed to examinations that exclude the possibility that the cancer has spread elsewhere:
chest X-ray, bone scan, pelvic CT scan. If these are normal, radiation to the prostatic bed may be useful in eliminating the
tumor, especially if it is detected early. For this reason it is wise to be evaluated at least yearly.