Disease Free Survival means that after
undergoing a prostate cancer treatment the patientís
PSA level does not rise for 2 to 3 consecutive. Biochemical
relapse free survival should not be confused with overall
survival. Overall survival when used in a clinical sense
refers only to those who did not die as a result of
their prostate cancer at the time of follow-up. Many
doctors believe that there is comparative difference
in the overall survival rates, possibly due to the unusually
slow growth rate common in most types of prostate cancers.
Biochemical relapse free survival is a more specific term. The word biochemical refers to the use of the prostate-specific antigen as a tumor marker. If the patient relapses biochemically, his PSA level has risen significantly. Generally, patients who undergo a prostate cancer treatment should have nearly undetectable PSA levels, somewhere around or under 1.0 ng/mL. Those with a high PSA velocity after treatment have experienced biochemical relapse, but they have not died. Biochemical relapse, however, is a reasonable indicator of who will develop recurrent prostate cancer.