“For three years, Andrew Harder wondered if he had prostate cancer. In 2009, he had routine blood work that revealed an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. When PSA is above 4 nanograms per milliliter of blood, it can be one of the first signs of a prostate tumor. Harder’s PSA was 9.
“By the time Harder saw a urologist, it had skyrocketed to 20. His doctor recommended the traditional next step: a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) biopsy, which involves taking random tissue samples from 12 cross sections of the prostate.
“Over the course of two years, Harder, 60, an MRI technologist, would have three TRUS biopsies. They were all inconclusive.”
Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.