Abel S, Renz P, Hasan S, White R, Dawodu D, Wegner RE, Fuhrer R. Alternative Medicine and Oncology: Erroneous Biochemical Failure Following Herbal Supplementation in Early-Stage Prostate Cancer. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2019;119(11):763–767. doi: https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2019.126.
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Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels are routinely surveilled after oncologic intervention in patients with prostate cancer. Occasionally, PSA levels are elevated because of factors unrelated to disease recurrence, such as herbal supplement use. False-positive PSA elevations may confound the clinical picture and subsequent decision-making processes, potentially leading to unnecessary diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. In this case report, a patient with low-risk prostate cancer who was treated with low-dose-rate interstitial brachytherapy presented several years after treatment with an erroneously elevated PSA level after taking an herbal supplement. This case highlights the importance of a holistic approach to patient care, whereby tactful assessment of the psychosocial and spiritual aspects of health led to the identification of an uncommon but potentially morbid entity.
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