Feb 23, 2012 - 1:54 am
Hi! New to the board tonight but have been reading posts, and you all seem to be so helpful - bless you and thank you for that! Sorry in advance that this may be long. :)
My dad was diagnosed in late January, PSA 11.8. 3/12 cores positive, all less than 10% involvement, 2 Gleeson 3+3, the third 4+3. He had a full body bone scan, an transrectal ultrasound and a CT of abdomen and pelvis, and all came back clean. He was given a tumor stage of T1c.
Local urologist he was referred to for the biopsy recommended radation strictly because Dad is 73 - he's in very good health otherwise, no serious problems, just well controlled hypertension and arthritis. Urologist said that his life expectancy, at 73, is "only another 5-10 years anyway", and that it didn't warrant going for a cure, just treating it so something else would get him first. We don't agree with that, as he is the youngest child and all of his siblings are still living (oldest is 85) and none have serious health issues. Several of his aunts have lived independently into their mid-90's, so longevity does run in his family!
We researched online and found an excellent PC specialist in Michigan... went for a consult on 2/18. Dad really liked him, and he stated he felt Dad's chances for many years without recurrence were very good. He's done over 6000 robotic RP surgeries, with less than 1% of his patients dying from the PC in the 11 years he's been doing them. Dad's anxious, nervous, stressed out and feels that removing the prostate is his best chance for a cure, so we've scheduled the surgery for 3/6/12. He had pre-op testing (full blood panel, testosterone levels, metabolic panel, EKG, chest x-ray, and stress test) and all results were fine.
However, we found out on Monday, in the course of gathering medical records from his GP to send to the surgeon for pre-op review, that his GP did not tell him that his last PSA was in 2007 (he's believed all that time that it was being checked as part of his routine blood work every 6 months), and at that time his PSA was 4.0, meaning he should have been referred for biopsy at that point. Dad and I are both angry, considering possible legal action after he recovers from surgery, and worried sick that he could be more likely to already have microscopic spread if he's had the cancer all that time without any treatment.
And to top it all off, this afternoon he found a small hard lump just below the surface of the skin on his chest, about 2" below his collarbone. It's not painful, and it's about the size of a large pea, maybe a bit larger. He swears it was not there when he went for the chest x-ray and other tests last week. Of course, my first thought was that it's a lymph node met - but consciously, I realize that it could well be something else. I'm just freaked out about it, although I'm not saying anything about it to Dad. Are lymph nodes in the chest that close to the surface? Would a hard tumor in a lymph node show up on a chest x-ray?
Would appreciate any advise, suggestions, etc. that any of you may have. Dad and I are caregivers for my mom, who is disabled (and thankfully 5-1/2 years cancer-free after a hysterectomy for Stage 1 Uterine Cancer) and needs assistance 24/7, which makes the whole experience that much more stressful.
Thanks in advance!