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Just Diagnoised Considering Options

LBlanks's picture
LBlanks
Posts: 44
Joined: Oct 2009

Two weeks ago my biopsy indicated 6 out of 12 sames taken indicated cancer cells. The Gleaon score was 6 and my PSA has risen from 3.7 to 4.01 since Feb 24th of this year.
I am 66, still working and in good health.
My Urologist wants to remove my prostate via Robotic surgery. At first I thought that would be best, but after a good bit of research, I'm not so sure.
Of course with any treatment, there are risks and rewards. However, due to recent past surgical experiences, I'm considering quality of life.
The "ProstRcision" technique reads well in their informational package and video, but I don't want to be swayed into a life decision by first class advertising.
Since I'm in the early stages with my Uroligist telling me I have plenty of time to make my decision, I'd still like to move forward within the next month.
Any advise, experiences, etc. would certainly be appreciated.
Thanks/Larry

txbarton's picture
txbarton
Posts: 85
Joined: Aug 2009

Larry,

I will not welcome you to the group, no one wants or deserves to be here but we do stand together very well and there is a wealth of knowledge here, from first hand experience to exhaustive individual research.

I was diagnosed on 28 July. My urologist offered seeds, radiation, or open surgery. I am a little overweight and he decided I was not a candidate for daVinci due to abdominal wall thickness (he does not do daVinci). He said the results are about the same for all 3 (4) options with the longest recovery with open surgery. He said he would personally chose seeds because it offered the least down time. Luckily my youngest son is a surgeon with a urologist friend who, without hesitation, recommended daVinci and said that is the only route he would let his own dad take. I live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and he recommended a surgeon in Austin who coincidentally was the closest that takes my insurance and also is one of the top 10 daVinci surgeons in the world.

My PR was last Wednesday. The surgery was a "non-event." The post-op pain and discomfort is negligible. The catheter is a pain in the --- but comes out this Wednesday.

I am a wimp, haven't had much for surgical procedures in my 59 years, was terrified over the prostpect of the surgery but this is not bad. I'm sure you know that if you select one of the radiation options surgery is not available as a follow-up. With surgery the offending organ is gone.

Everyone has a different experience with whatever option they chose, luckily mine has been favorable so far.

Good luck whichever route you chose.

VB

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1007
Joined: May 2009

Larry,
Well glad to hear that you have found the prostate issue early. I am 55 and had the Davinci Surgery in Aug 2009. Do you live in Atlanta area? I looked into ProstRcicision but opted for Davinci since I had a gleason 7 and Dr. Critz didn't give a real good outcome from his tables for my case.

Rather then listing all the reasons here it you want to contact me offline and talk further I can be reached at lewvino@yahoo.com

ANother Larry

NM
Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

I am 52 psa 5.8. Gleason 3+4=7 5 out of 6 cores positive for cancer. I just wanted it out.

Doctors appointment today PSA now .05(no future treatments needed)
No positive margins(cancer confined to prostate)

I choose Davinci for the above reasons and never looked back. Trust in your decision after research,prayer, tears, and reading posts here will help you tremendously.

Once you decide as its your decision to make with your family and doctor dont second guess yourself,trust your doctor and move ahead with confidence all will be ok.

One more thing stopping the cancer is first side effects should be second.

Nick

saoco
Posts: 43
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi LBlanks,at 46 pc hit me thanks God I had laproscopy surgery,my numbers ware almost the same as yours.It had been almost five years and my psa is 0.04 First you need to trust God
that he will cary you in this valey of your life.you have many choises and all will cary
almost the same problems.no matter what you chose the fact is you will lose something.
I chose surgery,because I want the cancer out of my system in my humble opinion any other method will try to cure me but the gland will be stil inside of me I did not like that.
my father had radiation and about one year after the radiation he blead every time he used the
toylet,and he needed to be treated for that;he pass away on June but no from pc.I hope the help you get here will help you to make your decision.good luck.

gkoper's picture
gkoper
Posts: 174
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Larry.......sorry to see you here....but the good news is your gleason appears not so bad. psa also not dramatic. So you should have time to really research this.

I (65) had a gleason 7 & opted for davinci in May. Why davinci? Because a friend had it done by a local surgeon with apparently good results. Also because of the many success stories on this website. Also because it gets rid of the cancer (mine was contained...clear margins when removed.......also because surgery is not an option after radiation.

My davinci was unsuccessful. I was .3 , 1 month past surgery & .7 a couple of weeks ago.
They found a spot on the ct scan.I'm starting IMRT radiation next week.

The surgery itself is quite easy with little pain or bloodloss & I was playing tennis at 10 days after. Side effects: I was "wet" for about 3 weeks & ED is improving...but still a "problem". Gather all the information you can Larry...there is a lot here...before you make the choice. And most of all, take the attitude that you are going to live each day to the max........do the things that bring you joy that maybe you have been putting off...and when your fullfilled day is done you can rest at night and say....what a great day!
George

Bill_4's picture
Bill_4
Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2009

Larry,
Like everyone on this site, I'm wishing you the very best. My numbers: age 60, Gleason 3+3=6), pre-treatment PSA 4.56, stage T1c. I am 12 weeks out from having Davinci and progressing nicely. I was fortunate to have clear surgical margins and be continent right from removal of the catheter. So far ED is resolved by medication.

My decision was between surgery and seeds. I based my decision on wanting the gland fully removed and with the knowledge that with seeds, side affects can show up later anyway. Also, I wanted radiation as back up in the event the cancer returns. I understood that, with seeds, PSA may not show full reduction for over a year. I will have my first post-surgical PSA at the end of the month.

My efforts at the moment are to regain strength and flexibility through weights, yoga, hiking and stretching.

Bill

NM
Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi I had Davinci on Sept.3rd and made my decision like you. Research, asking questions,prayer admittedly some fear as my dad dies of this disease.

Im 52... Psa was almost 6 / 5out of 6 cores had cancer..

Results so far...no incontinence...no positive margins.....First psa after surgery .05

Make your decision based on what is best for you not what advertisement or such.Trust your doctor and say a few prayers

My reason for surgery was mainly to remove the cancer and if needed later I had more options like radiation and such. So far my doctor said no further treatment but as I must have more psa tests I still at times wonder,will it return, no guarantees but I dont regret for a minute my decision and am enjoying life immensely...Good luck on any decision you make

Nick

LBlanks's picture
LBlanks
Posts: 44
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks to everyone for your words of encouragement and confidence.

I've discussed the ProsTcision technique with Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia's Dr. Critz. He ran my stats through his database and reported that within the 12,000 patients they've treated that matched my profile, there was a 98% cure rate. no leakage and a 68% retention of sexual function. However, he didn't point out short and long term side effects resulting from the combination seed/radiation treatment, which concerns me.

My Urologist pointed those out to me and also pointed out that since I've had two previous laposcopic surgeries (kidney and hernia) it may be difficult to perform robotic, but they wouldn't know until I was on the table.. If they found they couldn't, then they would revert to the open surgery at that time... I'm not sure I like that.

So the decision process continues. Only suggestions from both Docs were that I make a decision and do something in the next 3 months.

Larry

Kentr
Posts: 111
Joined: May 2009

I had brachytherapy almost two years ago (no other treatment) and I still test positive for psa (0.5) which does not concern my oncologist at all. Duh, if you have a prostate, you will have a psa reading because that's what a prostate produces - PSA!

On the other hand, if you have your prostate removed and still test positive for psa, you may have a problem in need of further review.

Best of luck to you!

Kent

steckley
Posts: 100
Joined: Aug 2009

Larry,

I had the robotic (Davinci) surgery. In the past I had three hernia repairs.

My surgeon warned me about the possibility of having to switch to open surgery. One of my hernia repairs was laproscopic and used a mesh behind the incision. My surgeon was able to work through and around the mesh and complete the robotic procedure.

To date (over 5 months out from surgery), everything has been holding together in spite of some strenuous activities (ie. no new hernias near the DaVinci incisions). I have been pleased with the results.

Sorry, I am not very familiar with Prostcision, and can not offer you any advice on that procedure.

Bob

JR1949
Posts: 230
Joined: Jun 2009

Larry,

I am 60, had PSA 22, Gleason combined 7, all 12 in biopsy were malignant. I chose open radical prostatectomy due to high PSA and still having treatment options in the future if needed. My surgery was March 2, 2009, post op PSA on July 23 was 0.008. As you doctor said you still have a little time to decide. These bulletin boards are a great source of information. My advice is go into your journey with prostate cancer with a positive attitude and pray to God to get you through it all. If you are married, involve your wife completely including discussions with your urologist. My urologist asked that my wife come with me for office visits during the discussions after diagnosis of cancer. This affects both of you and the good thing about your wife being there is that one of you may forget what the doctor said and also one of you may forget to ask a question that the other will remember.

Hang in there, it's a little scary, but there are a lot of survivors as these discussion boards can tell you.

JR1949

txbarton's picture
txbarton
Posts: 85
Joined: Aug 2009

Larry,

Go look at: http://www.prostatecenterofaustin.com/pdf/Davinic_2008_Final.pdf

It is Dr. Randy Fagin's (Austin, Texas)info packet. Most of it is geared toward men that select him as their surgeon but there is also some very good general information on daVinci, pre-op, post-opp and rehab.

My view is the more info you have the better armed you are.

BTW, he did my surgery, the board filters altered his name until I sent a message to the administrator. The filter did not like the first 3 letters of his last name.

Good luck,
VB

mate
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2009

dear Larry, hi if it helps i had radical surgery back in 2000 53yrs old married with kids my psa was 6.4,i see a lot of people have told you about other ways to go,for me i just wanted it out, my doctor gave me all options to go, at that time the seed implant did not have a long term history although i knew of people that had it done,i did not fancy going to radiation therapy because of after effects,have seen what its like from other family members
i was out of work 9 months hospital stay,well hospitals are not to my liking so went home straight from i.c.u. the next day,(was supposed to stay in step down for a week) had a home nurse come in every day for first 3 weeks to check me out, cathedra was in for three weeks no problem for two weeks third week body tried to reject it by this i mean had a slight muscle twitch in my penis now and again (no big deal)had half the staples removed on the 4 th day the rest about a week later my main problem was i was not prepared for how weak i was
.i go every 6months for p.s.a. test and is ZERO THANK GOD for nine years know,im told 15yrs is the time frame before one can say cured with this kind of cancer as is real slow,SIDE EFFECTS KNOW it did leave me with e.d. there is many ways to help get an erection when needed, i use an ejection drug called coverject does the job. hope this helps can get me at monckpr@netscape.net REMEMBER WITH YOUR TEST RESULTS YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS....

cagey
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi,

Have you tried to find out about HIFU or CyberKnife radio surgery in case your cancer is organ contained?

I am still researching and have talked to some patients who have had HIFU done and are very happy with it, minimal side effects.

Can any one around here throw more light on this please?

Good luck Larry.

LBlanks's picture
LBlanks
Posts: 44
Joined: Oct 2009

Cagey, no I've not looked into the CyberKnife radio surgery... my Urologist didn't seem to think it was effective, so I didn't consider it.

But for now, I think I came to a decision last night to move forward with the Robotic Surgery. Being in the Atlanta area, I've got several choices of doctors and hospitals. My particular Urologist has only done about 50 robotic procedures as the primary and about 50 as secondary with his partner. Although I've got complete faith and trust in him, the only hospital on the southside of Atlanta (where we are) with robotic equipment is Southern Regional hospital which does NOT have a good reputation.

I've got a call in for an appointment with Dr. Scott Miller at Northside Hospital to discuss my situation. Dr. Miller was the pioneer in robotic surgery in Georgia so very experienced.

Since I've had two other laposcopic surgeries there may be a problem in using robotics with me. That's to be determined.

I'm comfortable with my decision now and moving toward getting it done and over with.

Larry B

WHW's picture
WHW
Posts: 189
Joined: Jul 2009

Larry,

Absent any insurance and/or financial concerns, you should widen your scope looking for an experienced doc. Sure there are logistics and other concerns, but I think they are outweighed by finding the doc with the experience and the success rates.

Many robotics guys who have posted here and on another site I visit would tell you that the learning curve on da Vinci is at a minimum 200 - 300 surgeries. There are some of the best docs out there that have well over 1000 surgeries. I know that just because they do a bunch doesn't make them the best, but they continue to do more because the word it out that they are good and get good results.

Many on this board know that when I was diagnosed I went searching for the best. Like I said there are many, but the doc and staff that I interviewed over a 2 day period was the one I felt the most confident with. He has personally done over 3000. He was the first to use da Vinci for prostatectomy and and his refinements to the surgical procedures are the one's being taught around the world today.

Additionally he is as concerned about the continence and ED issues and has continued to evolve surgical procedures to improve these areas.

If you would like, shoot me and email and we can exchange #s if you want to talk. I have no interest in which doc you chose, I just think you should think outside the box if you can and not settle for the best they have in your area, if they are not some of the best in the country.

Good Luck,

Sonny

wwolfe3rd@cfl.rr.com

MCSmith44
Posts: 13
Joined: Jun 2009

Larry, 18 months ago at age 64 I underwent brachytherapy treatement at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. I continue to be very pleased with my decision to go with seed implants and would be happy to discuss my experience with you. If you would like to do so, call me at (803)802-8001. Marvin

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