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First post-surgery PSA- not good news

Posts: 37
Joined: Aug 2012

We finally got hubby's first post-surgery PSA results today. It's 3.8.

Doctor has ordered another bone and ct scan for next Wed. And we'll have an appointment with him scheduled soon- probably next Friday. He'll start hubby on hormone depravation therapy then, too (don't know which one yet- hubby didn't say). Right now both hubby and I are leaning against radiation treatments- have heard too many horor stories. But I'll be doing more research and hoping to hear from all of you who have faced this.

Ah well.... More to learn and deal with. Not a great start to Thanksgiving- but better than it might have been.

Old-timer's picture
Posts: 178
Joined: Apr 2011

I have not read or do not remember specifics about your husband's PC story, so my comments will be limited. Radiation was not a pleasant experience for me, but that does not mean that it is not right for others.

Hormone therapy has worked extremely well for me, but, again, that does not mean that it will necessarily work for others. Not only has HT worked, the side effects have been more or less OK.

I am struggling to figure out how to say this: I realize that dealing with PC is tougher for you young folks than it is for people my age (86). Nevertheless, you can and must cope. Keep your spirits up and remain happy to the extent that you can. I smile and laugh alot and keep telling my wife of 63 years that I am happy. That's the truth, I am. We love one another oddles, and, believe it or not, we are able to hug more lovingly than we did before I began HT. That's my perspective, of course, but I believe she agrees.

That's more than a few comments. Hope it is helpful.

I wish you the best.


VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 2546
Joined: Nov 2010

Jerry is saying it right. Treatments do not work equally in similar cases and some experience mild side effects.
In my case, after surgery the PSA was also high. The status of recurrence was declared just 6 months post op and needed a salvage treatment. In Hubby’s case hormonal therapy may be his best shot at the moment.
Radiation is typically used when surgery has not done the job properly but in cases of high PSA post op, with previous negative image studies, cancer may have the form of spread micrometastases (small colonies) which are hard to “catch” in the pictures and by the rays. Micrometastases lead my case to RT failure and the need of HT, at a later date.

I wonder what was found in his prostate specimens. Do you have a copy of the pathologist report?
What was his path stage?

I wish him full recovery from the surgery and better results with the continuing treatment.
Peace of mind to you.


Posts: 37
Joined: Aug 2012

I keep forgetting that my husband's details do not show up here for some reason. I've listed them below.

In addition to the below, I will be pushing him to get an appointment with a medical oncologist as soon as possible. For some reason hubby has convinced himself that "it's just some cells in the blood and hormone treatment will kill it". At the same time he is also convinced that he is going to die within the year. His temper is already boiling over at the least little thing. I dread what it will be on hormone therapy.

Husband's details-
8/27/12 PSA 81
8/30/12 Gleason 5+4=9 8/8 cores positive
9/5/12 bone scan and ct negative
DaVinci surgery Oct. 9, 2012
Final stats- G 4+5=9 T3a N 0 M x tumor in both lobes, 3.3x3.2x2.6x tumor size , positive margins
extensive perineural invasion, extracapsular extension- yes
no lymph node involvement, no seminal vessical involvement
Scans to be repeated on 11/28/12. To meet with urologist on 12/7/12 to start HDT and discuss other option.

Posts: 194
Joined: Aug 2006

With these pre-surgical notes it is clear that this man had no chance of success with surgery alone. If the surgeon recommended de-bulking as the first in a series of treatments and was honest in his presentation that a chronic disease course was to follow, then the patient had an opportunity to reflect and consider how much insult to inflict on himself. If anything less than this conversation occurred the doctor was dishonest.
I think a move to a medical oncologist, the best you can find and afford is clearly the best next step. Age of patient is important at this step.

Posts: 351
Joined: Jan 2011

Attitude makes all the difference in the world. Your husband needs to try some theraphy to treat his attitude. Half this battle is a positive attitude. Next comes diet and exercise. Diet is key. Give up red meat, and get into fresh vegetables. This is like a game of chess, but the results can kill you. I am beginning to believe that healthy eating is 70-80 per cent of beating cancer. I have several friends who are proving this to me and our other friends. Another thing about natural foods is they seem to chill you out. You become more laid back. Really helps. This battle is mostly about attitude. The less stress you put on yourself the better you are. Do not take this to mean that this alone might cure him, but it might work well with treatments to prevent recurrence. I have had every treatment they have and I am still here, but my radiologist/onc told me after my treatments that five years is about it. No one really knows, but you can not fear what you do not know.
As far as knowing he will die in a year, I am sure most members on this board felt the same way, that is part of the depression this diagnosis causes. Get with his GP and get him medication, ifhe needs it.

Good luck,


laserlight's picture
Posts: 165
Joined: May 2012

Treatment methods, what works for one person might not work for the next. Prostate cancer is one big monster to fight. At this point in time the second opinion becomes necessary.

Every treatment has side effects, these will vary from person to person. But the side effects need to be looked at real close.

Prostate cancer is a difficult journey and there are no guarantees on the outcome.

I have for the most part started to live a day at a time. My doctor informed me that he could not guarantee a cure.

You have done a lot of researching and this is good.

In the end treatment is what you and your hubby feel is the best.

Now there are life style changes that we as cancer surviors can make and I for one have started down this path, will this guarantee a cure who knows.

I do know that since I modified my diet it has helped, so I will continue.

Take care and hang in there.


Posts: 210
Joined: Oct 2011

sorry to see high psa numbers post surgery. however, your hubby needs to know that the average life expectancy on a failed RP is 8 years and 13 on a re-occurence, so he has a good amount of time left if everything goes wrong.you are at the begining of a new journey and the road will have bumps. attitude is the best defense. everyday he needs to realize is a gift. that was the same before his surgery but now he cannot deny it. look into hopkins for clinical trial as well. they are having some great success with there. good luck and stay strong.

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