Keith Padbury’s experience of the PCA3 test, a new genetics based assessment of prostate cancer risk

Keith Padbury PCA3 Test
Keith Padbury in Tuscany

Keith Padbury was one of the first patients to have a PCA3 test, a new genetics based assessment of prostate cancer risk five years ago. He has benefitted from advanced assessments which mean unnecessary biopsies are avoided. Keith describes his own experience and how an elevated PSA result does not inevitably lead to a biopsy and further interventions.

“I was in my early fifties and began to need the toilet more often and have some difficulty in passing water. Through my employment as an engineer, I have regular company medicals and those include a PSA test. My reading was slightly above 3 and so my GP advised me to see a specialist, although he felt there was nothing to worry about. Through my employers, I had private medical insurance and a friend of my partner who works in the medical profession advised me to see Mr Doherty, as he has a very good reputation.

I knew what a prostate biopsy involved and I didn’t want to have one unless there was a real need to do so. When I first saw Mr Doherty, he suggested I have a test called a PCA3, which is a genetics based assessment and provides a different sort of reading to the PSA. It came back negative. Mr Doherty decided on the basis of these two specialist assessments, I didn’t need a biopsy.

I also had an ultrasound scan of my prostate which showed it was enlarged and was prescribed alpha blockers which help to relax the muscles around the bladder and prostate so it is easier to go to the toilet. That has been a big help with the problem of needing to go to the toilet a lot.

My first appointment with Mr Doherty was five years ago. Since then, I’ve come into BPC for assessment every six months and now, I come in annually. As well as having a PCA3 test, I’ve also had an enhanced prostate MRI scan and I have still avoided having a biopsy. Of course, I’m prepared to have one if necessary but I don’t think it should automatically be the first step after a slightly raised PSA result.

I do feel a little anxious every time I have to come into the clinic, but I feel completely confident in Mr Doherty, knowing the plan is being managed by one of the country’s leading experts in his field. I know my PSA is being monitored and we have a map of my readings showing the pattern over many years. I’m in the right hands and feel relaxed and more confident about the future.”