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confused and scared

Posts: 18
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi everyone. A little about myself. I'm 61 years old and married. My PSA has been going up slowly after remaining constant for 3 years. Over the past year it went from 2.7 to 3.3 to 3.8 last week. My doc and I deceided to have a biopsy done. I also have an enlarged prostate. I suffer from anxiety and this has my anxiety off the wall. I already have myself diagnosed with canser and dealing with the results after treatment. I guess I'm really afraid of dying in the next 5 years or so. Any info would greatly be appreciated. thank you once again. I feel kind of stupid posting here since so many here have had prostate cancer and I'm only fearing the results of my biopsy.

Posts: 931
Joined: Jan 2010

More or less I think many of us had some of that fear when we first hear our psa was elevated. Take a deep breath, and maybe a Xanax and know that your psa is not that high.

In the waiting time- go do a little research on proton therapy- just in case. Proton therapy will probably give you the fewest complications after treatment.

In fact, do as much reseach now just in case you do have a positive biopsy. having done the research now, you will be in a better position to make a decision about treatment then while the emotional impact of a positive biopsy hits you.

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 2335
Joined: Apr 2009

Trew, I know that you are an avocate of proton therapy for any man that has been diagnosed with prostate cancer... please show unbiased documentation to indicate that it is better than other treatments.

Posts: 931
Joined: Jan 2010

Take a look at the Newsletter for tose who have finsihed proton therapy at LLU. Look at the lack of serious side effects most of these men lack.

here is a lik to the current newsletter:


Other than that, what I beleive about the adventages of proton therapy is my opinion reinforced by many graduates of the program who are still shoot bullets instead of blanks, if they can even get that far. Nope not a perfect treatment, but the end results look far better to me than surgery.

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 2335
Joined: Apr 2009

who do this..........it is not independent, it is biased............additionally, your "opinion" is not based on scientific evidence, it is simply comments made by a non professional which is misleading to those who are looking for treatment.........please summit your comments , as the majority of posters on scientific facts or your own experience...........I know that you would want a man to make the best choice based on scientific evaluation, not based on your "opinion".

Also, comments based on our own experiences is worthy of posting, of which you do and is appreciated.

Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

Actually, after considerable research, I think CyberKnife (CK) is currently a better treatment for early PCa than Proton Beam Therapy (PBT). Kongo recently had CK treatment w/no complications whatsoever and I am going to have CK treatment w/in a month.

IMHO, CK is better than PBT for the following reasons:

1) CK only takes 1-2 weeks of 4-5 daily (or every other day) treatments vs 8-9 weeks of daily treatments for PBT;

2) you don't have to have to be fitted for a body cast to prevent movement during treatment for CK as you do for PBT;

3) you don't have to have a balloon inserted up your butt before each treatment for CK as you do for PBT; and

4) CK is less likely to have ED effects than PBT because it better targets the prostate and avoids the vascular bulb (which along w/nerves is critical to erectile function).

CK is a little more expensive than PBT if you have to pay for it out of pocket, but insurance coverage for CK and PBT is available, depending on your carrier. PBT has a longer track record with minimal side effects, but people do have some problems w/urinary incontinence or retention, ED and rectal bleeding w/PBT. CK may have some of the same effects over time, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it is less harmful than PBT.

So, if you're considering PBT for treatment, you should also looking into CK.

Skid Row Tom's picture
Skid Row Tom
Posts: 125
Joined: Apr 2010

Don't feel stupid. We've all gone through what you're going through. You've done the right thing to ask for input. 4.0 seems to be the magic number, however, the velocity (per cent of increase over time) is significant. It's normal to feel a sense of panic, especially before test results are known. If you have PC, it is generally slow growing. There are options available to treat it. Most on this board have had it, treated it, and continue to live "cancer free". I also thought the end was near. I felt a sense of urgency to get my affairs in order. My wife and I had a conversation about my "pending death" -- Did she want to continue to live where we are now, or move back home? What should I sell? Will my illness consume all our savings? Then, there was the gut-churning waiting. Waiting for test results. Waiting for a doctor's appointment. And then searching for the "right" answer. Seeds? Radiation? Watchful waiting? Surgery? If surgery, open or robotic?

I had surgery during August, 2006 (I was 60 at the time). On top of that, another surprise -- they found I had bladder cancer in 2007. I had surgery for PC and BCG treatments for the bladder cancer. I have been living cancer free since the treatments. Of course, I have to undergo testing periodically to see if there are any surprises.

If PC is in your cards, I would imagine you caught it early which is in your favor. In battling this monster, you can choose your team (doctors), choose the place (hospital), and choose your "weapons" (treatments). You're in control. Everything is in your favor.

Good luck and keep us informed.


lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

kimber45: Hi, Glad you posted to our forum. We are all hoping that you will not have to join our club, though of course you would be welcome.

Take a deep breath. The 'C' word is a scary word and you are doing the right thing by getting the biopsy. If you do find there is the big 'C' the good news is there are many, many ways to treat it. The best way to beat this beast is to treat it early and you are on the right path! My dad was treated for prostate cancer back in 1997....and is still with us! I was treated one year ago and doing great. So remember the key is early detection. If you do get bad news from the biopsy we are all here for you. This is a great site of guys and gals that really do care!

Larry age 55

Posts: 100
Joined: Aug 2009

Like you I had all three. Like Trew recommends, I did up my med (Clinopin ... and old friend). A year and a half later I am rolling right along with a non-detectable PSA.

I found it helped my anxiety to focus on one step at a time. First I worried about the biopsy, then I worried about the biopsy results, then based on the results I started worrying about my treatment options.

IF you have PCa(and thats not for sure), you'll most likely have plenty of time to look at your teatment options. I rushed it a bit and all I wanted was the prostate removed. Don't do this ... take your time and do your research. Many of the guys on this site can be very helpful, and welcome your questions.

Best wishes.

The Crow
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2010

Your PSA still seems pretty good. I was diagnosed in 2003 with a PSA of 38.8 and I'm still here, even though with that PSA and a Gleason score of eight, I was given a less than 50% chance of surviving morte than 5 years. Thought is energy and energy is matter. Be positive.

Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

Im a little younger than you but fear and anxiety come hand in hand with cancer or I would assume your not human. As others said take your time, research and no matter what else get a SECOND OPINION might not help but do it anyway.

Nick age 53

Posts: 230
Joined: Jun 2009

Kimber, I'm 61 myself and I had PSA of 22 and Gleason 7 in all 12 pins last year. I had radical prostatectomy March 2009 and I am still here cancer free with every PSA results of 0.008 postop :). As others have posted here, your PSA is low and could be something besides the big C. When my uro took first PSA it was 19 and he said it could be infection and gave me antibiotics first and had me come back for another PSA test. Do get biopsy and then you will know. You've got time to research and let doctors check it out.

Keep us posted, you have come to the right place to get advice and/or sympathy cause we have all been through it in our own journey with the PCa monster.


Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2010

We have all been there. Reading and sharing in this discussion group are good ways to get perspective about dealing with prostate cancer. My first advice - slow down and don't rush into decisions. Second, start learning as much as you can about pc. I see this disease in distinct stages, each with its own information and decision. After you get your biopsy results take weeks, maybe months, to understand everything about the terms and numbers in your biopsy report. Get a second opinion to interpret the results. Post your results in this forum and consider the responses.

Don't rush into a decision about further treatment, don't even consider further treatment until you feel you completely understand your biopsy report. If the report indicates you have pc, and we all hope it doesn't, you face the next decision: what to do. That opens up a whole new area of learning, asking questions, weighing options. But don't get wrapped up in those decisions and anxieties until you have to.

Good luck and keep us posted.

ProfWagstaff's picture
Posts: 98
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Kimber
Don't get ahead of the process. Any number of things can cause an elevated PSA score - including an enlargement of the prostate. Let your Uro get the biopsy and get it analyzed. The overwhelming number of prostate biopsies taken each year come back negative.
My barber has had 4 biopsies done over the years and all came back negative. I wasn't as lucky. If yours comes back positive, we'll all be glad to share what comes next but let the process play itself out. PCa is a formidible foe but there are any number of weapons available - especially when caught before capsule penetration. Keep us posted.

Kongo's picture
Posts: 1166
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi, Kimber. We all understand your anxiety but I really wouldn't bo losing sleep over worrying about dying in the next few years...at least not from prostate cancer. PSA naturally increases with age and the BPH you described with your enlarged prostate is the most likely cause of an elevation. Frankly, I think your urologist is being overly cautious in moving forward with a biopsy. Besides, even if the biopsy comes back negative, it doesn't mean you don't have cancer...it just means that the needle missed it. From a urologist point of view I know many doctors want to err on the side of caution and it certainly helps their business development program as he is likely going to bill your insurance company about $5K for the procedure.

Even if they do find cancer it will most likely be the early stage cancer that is treatable by many options that all have 90%+ liklihood of getting it.

If you do decide to have a biopsy, you may want to look at having it done via the perineum instead of transrectally and the pain will be less and the probability of infection almost nil. Transrectally is easier for the doctor and it can be done in his office but, in my case at least, I found it very painful (even with a local sedative), and there was blood in my urine for about a week and in my ejaculate for about six weeks. Other than that, recover is pretty quick provided there isn't an infection but you'll be taking anti-biotics for that so it's not that big a deal.

Odds are very much in your favor that the biopsy will be negative and that your PSA is caused by an enlarged prostate which can be treated in a variety of ways,

Keep us posted.

Posts: 18
Joined: Aug 2010

thanks to all for your support.These time are hard enough, but when one suffers from anxiety attacks- it sure doesn't help to have more stress added to your plate. Thanks for your support. It really did help lower my anxiety somewhat. I'll keep you guys posted and good luck to all of you.

Posts: 22
Joined: Apr 2010

I can certainly understand where your mind is at this moment. While it may seem stressful, you have the odds on your side.

I would recommend Dr Patrick Walsh's book "Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer".

After my biopsy results came back positive my head was swimming with what do I do now. I spent a great deal of time searching the net only to become more confussed with advice and articles promoting one option over all others. I came across Dr Walsh's book by accident and found it to be very well written and covers all stages from basic understanding PC to positive biopsy and what do I do now. It will help you understand where you are now and what you could expect along with many statistics. Surprisingly, a small number of men with above average PSA have positive biopsies. Of course, over time, the figures are much higher with 1 in 6 men getting PC during their lifetime.

Best of luck to you. You are not alone.

ProfWagstaff's picture
Posts: 98
Joined: Jun 2010

Dr. Walsh's book is a must have. I'll echo mtguy's recommendation heartily. The best feature is that there are chapter summaries at the start of each chapter so you can get quick answers to most questions and then read the "meat" of the chapters at your leisure. I found it very helpful.

Kimber, I understand where you're coming from. I'm the most laid-back guy I know. I'm so laid back that I make Perry Como look like he's on PCP but my diagnosis even kept ME up nights. It's easy to say "relax" but harder to do. Please remember that we're all here for you and this IS very survivable. Key step is early detection - and you're right where you need to be. Keep us posted when the biopsy results come back. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you're one of the 12 out of 13 biopsies that comes back negative.

Posts: 52
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi, kimber45. I'll third ProfWagstaff's recommendation. Be sure you have the newest edition; last year it was the 2nd, c2007. I'll add a much smaller "PC 101 survey course:" 100 Questions and Answers about Prostate Cancer, 2nd ed., which my urologist gave me. Again, there may be an updated version. But my hopes are, of course, that you won't have to crack either book. John in Seattle.

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