I Have Prostate Cancer, Post # 1

I only know that 6 of 12 biopsies showed positive for prostate cancer and thus that I should see the Urologist to discuss treatment, so I’m otherwise naïve and glib about it presently.

I’m 63 ½ years old. I’ve lost 35 pounds since the first of January, due to diet and exercise (mostly due to diet actually, as I’ve always gotten a reasonable amount of exercise). My lady has lost over 30 pounds during the same time. I’m healthier now (other than that little cancer thing) than I’ve been in over 30 years.

In June 2009 during a routine cholesterol screen at my G.P.’s we found my PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) had risen from 3.4 (11/08) to 4.1, just over the 4.0 “let’s take another look” level, and I was referred to a urologist. (In retrospect, of course, “maybe” we should have taken a closer look when the PSA went from 2.4 in 11/06 to 3.5 in 11/07, but such was not advised. I now know velocity, or rate of rise, is a consideration. My PSA was between 1.1 and 1.9 for ten years prior to 11/06.) (I’m inclosing PSA info of my levels for the last 13 years.)

I saw a urologist and we did an ultrasound and biopsy on 24 July. My prostrate was larger than the ‘normal’ walnut size but smaller than a golf ball. There were no visible lumps or nodes (either is a sure sign of cancer). I was advised of the results (6 of 12 samples positive for cancer) on 6 Aug. and that a discussion of treatment rather than “watchful waiting” was advised. My lady and I are seeing the urologist on 20 Aug.

A book on prostate cancer was recommended by the urologist’s office so I could be more familiar with the situation and terminology. I bought the suggested Dr. Patrick Walsh’s Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer . It is 500 pages long! It is very well written and in terms the layman can understand. I can now recommend it myself. I have read or skimmed the entire book. I skimmed chapters such as Preventing Prostate Cancer (too late) and Help for Advanced Prostate Cancer (too soon). I read in detail chapters such as Diagnosis And Staging (how bad is it!?) and Radical Prostatectomy (the ‘gold standard’ in treatments, REMOVAL!). I skimmed chapters on a variety of other lesser treatments. Any of these can be revisited as needed.

Like most cancers, one must strive to DETECT IT EARLY and GET IT OUT. I do not know my Gleason Score, TNM Staging, Partin and Han Tables rating, etc. Hopefully I’ll get some of these answers at my next consultation.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the 3rd leading cause of cancer death in men. There have been HUGE advances in its treatment over the years. The possibility of avoiding impotency and incontinence as a result of treatment has been hugely increased. Until I have facts that say otherwise, I am optimistic for now. Stay tuned for Post #2, probably after my consultation.


About JohnRH

Retired, avid winter skier, avid reader, traveler (avidly). :)
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