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Recently Diagnosed

Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2009

I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. My Doctor suspected something suspicious from a DRE and wanted me to have a biopsy. I had my biopsy back on November 10th. Went back on the 24th of November and 1 out of 12 cores showed cancer (10%). My Gleason is 7 (3 + 4). My latest PSA is 2.4. My two options as recommended by my urologist are a prostatectomy or brachytherapy with beam radiation and hormone therapy (due to the large size of the prostate which is 59cc). It's decision time and quite frankly a prostatectomy is not looking so bad based on my research (I'm 53). Anyone out there is a similar experience care to comment on their decision process? Thanks for listening.

macguy's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2009

Welcome to the group. I am sure we all would prefer not to be here but thanks to research we know what and where the battle is. Sounds like you will have plenty of time to research and decide on your treatment. Your prostate size may require a drug such as Lupron that I am on. My doctor gave me a 3 month shot to reduce my size from 52cc on Nov. 25. 40cc seems to be preferred before most procedures are started. So far the side effects are mild hot flashes. My stats are below. We have an interesting 2010 ahead of us.

Age 74
PSA July 09...6.89
Sept. 8 out of 12 biopsy cores 3 were positive
1 was 10%,
1 was 20%
1 was 40%.
Gleasons 2 7's & 1 8
Stage is T1c
Prostate volume 52cc
Oct 13 for CT & Bone scans both negative

The Nev
Posts: 50
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Bob I had some very similar numbers as you. I was 54 yrs when diagnosed my PSA was 4.5 my Gleason score was a 3&3=6 but was upgraded to a 3&4=7 after surgery. This is fairly common to be upgraded.
The main reason I chose surgery over radiation was if the cancer does return after surgery they can still do the radiation. However if it comes back after radiation it’s very difficult to do surgery. So I figured with the robotic surgery the chances of getting all the cancer was very good, the down time isn't too bad and if I had a recurrence I could still have radiation treatments.
I am now 3months post surgery and my first PSA was 0. I do still suffer with some incontinence and from E.D. They had to remove the nerves on the left side so my E.D. could very well be a life long problem. I have hopes the incontinence will go away with time. I would love to say piece of cake no problem but the truth is most of us will have problems, however the cancer will be in check and there are ways of dealing with the other problems.
Just keep in mind that you will not be the same coming out as you were going in. But then again isn’t that why your thinking surgery in the first place?

Posts: 58
Joined: Sep 2009

There is another option, but your doctor can't tell you about it, it has the least chance of any side effects (no chance of incontinence). It's ultrasound, it's been in use in Europe for 18 years, Japan 10 years, everywhere except the USA. It's in clinical trials here, due to be approved later in 2010, the doctor in Denver in charge of clinical trials is advising people with statistics like you have - to wait until it's approved and be treated.

My husband went to Puerto Vallarta and had it done by an American doctor who flies down there with his nurse, anesthiesologist & certified mechanic on the weekends to treat men, he's been doing this for 6 years. It cost $25,000. and worth every penny. It's a 2 hour procedure, no pain, no hospital stay, no side effects. He was treated over a year ago, his PSA is perfect today and we are so happy.

I'm happy to elaborate and answer any questions.

If the cancer comes back after HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) they can still do surgery or radiation ~ or they can do HIFU again.

Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

I had similiar stats except for 1 major thing. I had 5 out of 6 cores positive for cancer. My psa also rose to around 6 from 5 in a year.

I choose Davinci because I didnt want radiation and couldnt afford HIFU or go out of this country to get it.I wanted the cancer out and if had to later radiation was and is still an option. If you choose radiation now you cant do radiation again if cancer returns.

My age was a big factor in my decision too. I am 52. there are side effects but I have and have not had any incontinence at all. Ed is still an issue but like everything else we are all different and it might not be for you.

Before you make any decision if you havent yet,get a second opinion. I sent my slides to Dr. Epstein at John Hopkins in Baltimore Maryland. My insurance covered the second opinion but was told if insurance didnt it would cost me 250.00 a small price to be sure.

If you choose Davinci or open make sure you get a doctor with loads of experience as in this type of surgery it makes a lot of difference.

My first post surgery PSA was .05 and was told this is good because most tests dont read zero . Next PSA test is in february hoping it still is low.

Good luck on your decision as it is a tough one to make and make it for your own reasons. Take opinions from others but you have to live with your final decision.

Prayers to you .....Nick

Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2009

Joining the club. I am 52 years old and within the past month found out I too have Prostate Cancer. PSA of 9.2 which jumped incredibly over the year before. Gleason is a 4+5 /9. The good news is only one out of six cores at 17%. My urologist has stated that surgery is not a good option the chance of getting all in surgery is only about 60% in my case. I am looking at hormonal therapy, Brachytherapy and Low beam radiation therapy over the course of the next 9 months. I have also completed bone scan and PET scans which did come back negative.
It's amazing how just in one short month how much you need to learn along with the stress of trying to make the right decisions. What I have found is that as the stats show thre are many men that have and/or are dealing with prostate cancer. The support and information has been extraordinary.

Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2009

I have a follow-up visit with my Urologist tomorrow morning. Plan to ask about surgery options (open, robotic, etc.). Good sign that your bone and PET scans have come back negative. The funny thing about me is that I had no symptoms of the cancer. My PSA for the last 3 years has been 1.1, 1.6 and 2.4. My urologist stated to me at 20% of all prostate cancers will show a normal PSA. I guess I qualify as part of the 20%. I have a list of questions that I plan to ask and will try to make a decision sometime in January.

Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2009

I was diagnosed in July and had my surgery on Oct 6th. I chose the surgery due to my age (57) and the fact that surgery would get the cancer out of my body. My PSA went from 3.6 to 6.0 in a year and my biopsy came back with 3/12 all 3+3. I chose an experienced surgeon and he was able to save both nerves. The cancer was all contained and came back 4+3. I’ve had some minor incontinence and some recovery in erections with Levitra every other day. I chose the surgery because I could always go back to radiation if it returns. Find a good Doc, which is the important thing. I wanted DaVinci and interviewed four Docs before I chose the one who did my surgery. Stay positive and get support from friends and family. Here’s hoping you have excellent results and a speedy recovery.

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