Case Report  |   November 2019
Alternative Medicine and Oncology: Erroneous Biochemical Failure Following Herbal Supplementation in Early-Stage Prostate Cancer
Author Notes
  • From the Division of Radiation Oncology at the Cancer Institute (Drs Abel, Renz, Hasan, Dawodu, Wegner, and Fuhrer) and the Department of Internal Medicine (Dr White) at the Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Stephen Abel, DO, MHSA, Allegheny General Hospital, Division of Radiation Oncology, 320 E North Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212-4756. Email: stephen.abel2@ahn.org
     
Article Information
Urological Disorders
Case Report   |   November 2019
Alternative Medicine and Oncology: Erroneous Biochemical Failure Following Herbal Supplementation in Early-Stage Prostate Cancer
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, November 2019, Vol. 119, 763-767. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2019.126
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, November 2019, Vol. 119, 763-767. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2019.126
Abstract

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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