Sep 05, 2010 - 8:17 pm
Hello Guys. Definitely not happy to be here, but after reading your posts for a couple of days I appreciate the wealth of experience represented here, and would welcome your thoughts.
Here is my deal: I'm 56, with recent biopsy results showing 1 of 12 positive, with 5-10% of the core tissue involved; Gleason of 3+3=6, last PSA I think was 2.3, nothing on DRE, but family history (father) with PC (which was the main reason my local uro recommended the biopsy). Stage is T1c. General health is good, other than having to take Crestor for cholesterol.
I'm going through Dr. Walsh's book, and have had the sit down talk with my local doctor. His is a surgical background and he is comfortable recommending open, non robotic surgery by his partner, who has 20 yrs of experience and averages one of these per week. I'm probably 1.5 to 2 hours away from medical centers with robotic capabilities, and my uro has offered to arrange a visit with the hot shot at one of those university centers that specializes in the RRP technique.
I'm still in the process of trying to absorb a lot of information, and don't want to exclude anything until I feel more informed and able to make a reasoned judgment. The idea of removing all the tissue is appealing. Sounds like the stage, my age and general health make me a good candidate. Yet, the possible side effects from doing exactly that scare the hell out of me, and nothing about my stage, age and general health guarantee me anything.
My dad's health (diabetes and previous small strokes) precluded surgery as an option for him back in the late 80's- early 90's, and his radiation treatments left him with some tissue damage and some re-occurring problems. I don't really know the details of his initial diagnosis.
Perhaps because of my dad's situation, radiation seems a bit less attractive to me. The potential side effects seem almost equally worrisome to those of surgery, but I'm still learning about the details. Don't know much at all yet about Cryo/Thermal, HIFU, CyberKnife, and lots of others that I've heard mentioned. Lots more work to do there. Watchful waiting for another 10 years - without the potential side effects - sounds good too, but I worry about the possibility of missing a chance to "cure" the disease while enjoying life without side effects in the interim.
Anyway, my current thinking, which is subject to change if a better plan comes along, is that I should talk to at least two other drs, looking for different perspectives and specialties. I'm not sure how to look for them in an organized way, particularly giving preference to any that might be nearer to me geographically, other than a hit and miss searches on the internet or webpages of the nearest major medical centers. I expect that I'll get lots of info that way - but processing it will be a challenge.
I'm also thinking at this point that I'm not going to rush the process. My impression is that while it is possible that immediate action is needed to keep the cancer from spreading out of the prostate, that that isn't probable in my situation and I should in the end be as comfortable and confident as possible about whatever choice is made.
(I think part of the "not rush" attitude is because I feel like my PC was found years before it otherwise would have due to a fairly random series of events that led me to change doctors, the new uro saying that due to the family history "if it were me I'd do the biopsy", and my reluctant willingness to go along and humor him with what I felt would surely amount to an unnecessary test. So, taking a month or two to figure things out doesn't seem unreasonable.)
So, there it is. Any comments, advice, thoughts, etc. are welcomed.