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Newly Diagnoised

Don9238
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2011

I was just recently diagnoised with prostate cancer this past momday. I am 53 years of age. When I found out I was totally numb and not sure what to do. I am looking into surgery. My doctor only does the Radical Perineal Prostatectomy and the other with the incision in the stomach area. I am checking into the da vinci robotic surgery. Has anyone had this type. How bad are the side effects. Any info would be greatly appreciated

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1331
Joined: Apr 2009

sorry to hear of your diagnosis..........you have come to a good site for information......first, when we are diagnosed, we all are shocked, and for the first two or three months or so have all kinds of negative feeling and thoughts, while we have to determine the "best" treatment option.

It is very helpful to develop knowledge about prostate cancer , and what we need to do; put our self in positive situations and avoid negative situations....for example, it's a good idea to attend religious services, only if the clerygyman is up beat.

Now as far as treatment; this is dependent on what your numbers are..please let us know your gleason, how many cores were taken, how many positive and what was the involvement of each....what is your psa....how have the numbers been during the last few years...for example, has it been steady?....have you had any other tests, or are there any trests scheduled.

Please get back to us

RRMCJIM's picture
RRMCJIM
Posts: 149
Joined: Mar 2009

But it has some great men on this site to help...first, read, 2nd read ... 3rd read some more...lots of info, lots of treatment options...ask questions, write them down, get copies of everything done in your case..
GL
Jim

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1562
Joined: Nov 2010

Don
Do not be anxious about your diagnosis. There are many ways to treat prostate cancer and surely there are many guys here wishing to help you in understanding all its parameters.
I was diagnosed with PC on my 50th, eleven years ago and know that understanding the “enemy” and tactics are the best weapon to fight it. Educate yourself firstly and do not jump into any procedure without knowing what’s behind it and its consequences.
Most probably you found out about PC through a PSA test leading to a biopsy. However, these elements are not enough to rule surgery (open or robotic). Your Gleason score, pattern, and clinical stage as well as age and any other health issue will weigh on the decision of the treatment. It would help to know about your history together with any info from the pathological report.

You can find many articles in the net regarding PC treatments and their side effects. There are many books which you could read. A good one is the “A Primer on Prostate Cancer, The Empowered Patient’s Guide” by Strum & Pogliano, which touch all “corners” of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Amazon sells many books on PC new and used copies.

You are not alone on this “boat”. You are part of the crew even if none of us wanted to have you here.

Welcome.
Wishing you peace of mind.
VGama

Don9238
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2011

Some one ask for these details. My biopsy was done nearly two nweeks ago . 12 samples were taken. The Gleason score showed three at a 6 and one at a 7.My PSA was 4.2 up from 2.5 the previous year and up from 1.6 the year before that. My father had prostate cancer as well as his brothers. It runs in the family.

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Don,

Welcome to the forum and I'm so sorry you had to seek us out.

I think the place where you are at now -- newly diagnosed with a lot of questions, fears, and unknowns in front of you -- is probably one of the hardest things to get past in combating this disease. Men here generally do one of two thing: Roll over and do what their doctors suggest without knowing why or whatfor; or take the time to educate themselves about their disease and how the many, many ways there are to fight it.

Please take the time to understand your diagnosis. Your pathology report will give you much useful information about the nature of your cancer today. For example, is your Gleason 7 core a 3+4 or a 4+3. There's a huge difference between the two. What was the calculated PSA density of your prostaste? (You can calculae that by dividing the PSA reading at the time of biopsy by the prostate volume). Did your doctor go over other statistics with you such as PSA doubling time or your PSA velocity and what that might mean for potential treatment options?

Were there any other symptoms such as an abnormal DRE? Do you have any concurrent urinary issues such as nocturia (getting up frequently in the night to void), starting/stopping when urinating, or painful urination? Was your prostate enlarged? Do you have any erectile issues today? Are you overweight or have a heart condition?

All of these questions can help determine the potential severity of side effects from different treatment options. Other questions you have to answer for yourself is the priorities surrounding your quality of life. Are you more concerned about the length of your life or the quality of those days remaining?

Hopefully, your doctor briefed you about a variety of treatment options available to deal with prostate cancer. Besides open and robotic surgery which you have expressed interest in, there are a variety of radiation treatments such as IMRT, IGRT, SBRT, HDR brachytherapy, brachytherapy, active surveillance, cyrotherapy, hormone therapy, HIFU, tomography, proton therapy and on and on.

Before you can make an intelligent decision about which is best for you, it is important to take the time to research each of these treatments, understand their potential side effects, and discuss them with your doctor. You also need to dig into your medical insurance policy and understand what will be covered or not covered under your plan today and whether or not you have the means to self pay for a treatment that might not be covered under the plan you presently have.

Another action most prostate cancer survivors recommend is that you get a second opinion on your biopsy results. Your doctor can explain how to do this and it may involve some out-of-pocket expenses. The pathology report on your biopsy is probably the single most important factor in determining a treatment course and it is well worth the time and expense to get a second opinion from one of the few nationally recognized laboratories in this area to confirm your diagnosis. It is not uncommon for initial biopsy reports to be upgraded or downgraded and you want an expert in reading prostate cancer cells to provide a second opinion.

As others have suggested here it is important that you take the time to read some books and educate yourself on prostate cancer. Besides those recommended earlier, I would add Dr. Patrick Walsh's book, "Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer" to the list. Others worth a read are "Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers," and "The Big Scare." When I was diagnosed a year ago I downloaded almost every prostate cancer book available on Amazon.com. If you don't have an iPad of Kindle, get the hardback copies and read them.

I would also encourage you to go back through several pages of posts here on this forum which is an excellent source of information and experience from those who have been in your shoes and have faced similar decisions. Experiences from men who have had the various types of surgery, radiation treatment, or other courses are well documented as well as the impact of the side effects, which in some cases can be significant.

Many of us who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer have also chosen to make significant changes to our diet, particularly in the areas of dairy and red meat intake because of the chemicals from these products that encourage cancer growth. Take the time to read these posts, do additional research, and make your own decisions. This is a particularly difficult area because there are very, very few cancer specialists who are also trained in nutrition and diet and the role these play in cancer.

Whichever way you eventually decide to go, the men (and women) who contribute to this forum are keen to support you and help you through the process.

Good luck to you.

K

Don9238
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2011

Kongo,

Thank you for your comments and wisdom. I will certainly check into the books you suggested. This runs in my family my dad had it. I have been checked yearly for the last 14 years. My original surgeon wants to do the radical perineal surgery. I like this doctor and trust him, However, I do not want this type of surgery.

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

Don,
Several have given you excellent advice so far. Yes the news of the 'c' word can be very scary.
I'm sure though that you are beginning to hear the 'good news' that your cancer was found at an early state.

You asked if anyone has had the Davinci. Yes I have. I was 54 at diagnosis. If you end up deciding on Davini make sure you go with a very experienced surgeon. The Robot has a high learning curve.

If would like to chat sometime just let me know and I'll be glad to call you and talk frankly with you.

Larry (age 56)

Don9238
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2011

Larry, Thank you for your comments. I have an appointment with another surgeon next week who specializes in surgery with the da vinci robotic surgery. I feel he is a confident surgeon. I personally know of three people who have used him. All of wich are much older than I am. All of which were happy with their surgery. I'm still exploring options but right now I think surgery may be the way to go. I'm going to purchase some books that others have suggested.

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