Apr 22, 2009 - 10:56 am
I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 56. I have checked my PSA for the past 10 years, the reason being that my father had prostate cancer too.
Lesson #1- The incidence of prostate cancer is 1:6, it increases to 1:3 if you have a first line relative with the disease. Closer observation will be required in this case. Always talk to your doctor and ask and demand. Remember you are your best advocate.
lesson #2- a normal PSA does not exclude the diagnosis of prostate cancer.It is important to follow the trend and if there is significant variability within a year you should request a biopsy. Remember the earlier you know the better your chance especially if you have more than 25-30 years life expectancy.
I opted to have surgery rather than radiation for the following reasons. I had4consultations, 3 urologist one of them an expert in robotic surgery,2 experts in open procedure, and one radiaqtion oncologist)
The potential complications of radiation cystitis, urethritis,proctitis and rectal bledding were not acceptable to me.
Regarding erectile dysfunction it is my understanding that it usually progress with years after radiation because of radiation damage to vessels and the nerves themselves. So although less of a problem initially it may become one down the road.
Finally I wanted to get this over with and not have to worry as much.
Next hurdle was the decison of having the procedure done open versus laparoscopic with the robot so called Da-Vinci procedure.
After research I found that there is not much of difference between the two other than blood loss and post-op pain may be less with the robotic procedure as compared to open.
I finally opted for an open retropubic prostatectomy. I had surgery at Memorial Sloan Cancer Center in NYC.The care was unbelievable,fantastic, from everyone involved.