May 23, 2012 - 8:54 am
I’m new to this discussion group. Just recently diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer (T1C) and have spent the past few weeks reading many of the posts on this blog.
I’m 56 years old, in good health, African-American, married.
My annual PSA tests were increasing from 3.0 just a few years ago to 5.7 earlier this year.
Nothing noticeable with the DRE exam. No physical symptoms. No urinary difficulties. Family doctor recommended a biopsy and referred me to a local urologist.
Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) went as expected. (Experience was uncomfortable, but not the horror story that I’ve read about elsewhere.) TRUS diagnosis was Prostatic Adenocarcinoma of biopsies on both left and right side of prostate.
Urologist indicated that the prostate was slightly enlarged.
Of the 10 biopsies taken, 5 of the biopsies (3 on the left; 2 on the right) indicated prostatic adenocarcinoma (percent involvement was between 25% and 35% for each of those 5 tissues biopsied). Gleason scores on all of those were 6 (3 + 3). The other 5 biopsy results were benign, with one of those showing tissue inflammation.
No history of prostate cancer in my family, though there have been a number of lung cancer and throat cancer on the male side, and uterine cancer and ovarian cancer with the women. (Not sure if all that matters with this situation.)
Urologist is recommending an aggressive approach, given that I’m African-American. On June 1st we’re meeting to discuss options. Wife is actively involved and asks questions that I might be missing. So, I’m in a continuous data-collection mode between now and the date of my next appointment (and beyond).
I’ve read on this blog (and other sources) about pros and cons about the different types of procedures. Certainly doesn’t appear to be one best answer. Side effects appear to be significant no matter the option taken – ED, urinary incontinence, or bowel problems are of major concern (of course).
Given the side-effects, I’d probably choose the wait-and-see approach, but (1) the wife isn't supportive of that idea, and (2) the urologist indicates that isn’t a good option given the race-factor.