February 21, 2019

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

Volume II, Winter 1991

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.


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