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First PSA Test Came Back Elevated

hhughes3
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2018

Ok, so I was having problems with painful urination and discomfort in my groin area. As a result, my PCP ordered a PSA and it came back at 5.11.

Now, he has referred me to a Urologist that I can't see until late December. Also, he wants me to do a urinalysis. 

I have been very active this year and dropped almost 70 lbs. I didn't know not to exercise or do other things prior to the PSA test.

 

I am just really worried because I just lost my wife to leukemia last October. I just turned 50 years old last month.

 

I am just looking for some advice I guess. I understand I am in the grey area between 4-10 and that 75% of men in this area don't have prostate cancer.

 

Any advice would be helpful.  

 

 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3309
Joined: May 2012

Welcome to you, hhughes.

Your wait until December is not an issue. Prostate cancer (PCa), which you may well not even have, moves very slowly.  It is nothing at all like having leukemia; I had advanced Lymphoma a few years ago, which is a sister disease to leukemia, and learned a lot about them at that time (both are cancers of the white blood cells).

Your urologist will most likely recommend a biopsy, which is a fast, outpatient proceedure, and then proceed from there. As medical proceedures go, it is relatively inexpensive.  There are some forms of scanning that can give information in cases of advanced disease, but it would be backward to do those before even knowing that you have PCa. 

So basically, there is no cause for panic or worry over the delay. PCa is nothing like the fast-killer cancers, forms like lung, colorectal, pancreatic, brain, that take people fast, if they are latter stage, at least.  We have guys here who, even with metastatic PCa, are living good lives almost 20 years after diagnosis.

Please continue to update and ask any and all questions as necessary,

max

hhughes3
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2018

Thank you for the advice!

Darjank
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2018

I was in a very similar situation. Last year my PSA went from 1.6 to 2.6. Then in January 3.1, in April 4.1 and in June 5.96. In July I had a  biopsy. Turned out to be positive. Had three options: active surveillance, prostatectomy or radiation. After much research and second opinions decided for prostatectomy. Didn’t want to live with cancer in my body. I am only 54 and have many years ahead. 

Just had prostatectomy on Sept 27 and still have catheter. On Friday the doctor told me that I indeed had cancer but it was contained within the prostate. it did not spread. Yay!!! This was the best decision I made. 

In any case, this is a very slow growing cancer. December appt is fine. It will not grow much till then. Good you caught it early. even if it’s cancer you have excellent chances for complete cure. 

Hope me this helps. 

hhughes3
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2018

I am worried about ED and incontinence. Also, was your surgery robotic?

Georges Calvez
Posts: 297
Joined: Sep 2018

Hi there,

These are tricky ones, most men will manage to crack the incontinence one but the time taken varies from weeks to months and the final result varies from bone dry to light leakage. Some never really achieve it and need further surgery.
ED is even harder with some men getting erections quite quickly and others finding it a lot harder.
Orgasms are dry, the prostate which supplies the bulk of the ejaculate is no longer there, some men find them pretty good and others are distinctly underwhelmed.
Priority one, no more cancer you have the number one get out of jail card, two you stop peeing unless you want to, three hope for the best on ED, penis length, orgasms, etc.
Most younger men in good heath come out OK but it does not get better!

Best wishes,

Georges

Darjank
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2018

Yes, my surgery was robotic. I also had an excellent and very experienced surgeon. Regarding ED, if everything worked well before the surgery the chances are that everything will work well after. Four days after my surgery I woke up at night with erection. I was shocked, to say the least.  It was a painful experience because of the catheter but I rejoiced nonetheless. :-) Since then (today is two weeks since my surgery) I had erections just about every night. Normally I would not wake up but the catheter makes it painful. When I told my surgeon about it he was very happy. He said that the ability to have erections is linked to continence. So I have a chance to be dry within the next few weeks, fingers crossed. I guess ED has a lot to do with age. The younger you are the better chances of full recovery. I am 54 and looking forward to many years of great sex.

Tomorrow I will have my catheter removed. I had to have it longer than a week (normal time) because of some complications. Apart from cancer my prostate grew into the bladder and the surgeon had problems separating the two. He said that this was an unusual situation. As a result, after the removal of the prostate he had to do more careful stitching and I got stuck with the catheter for two weeks. Tomorrow I will find out if his stitching worked. I suspect so, because I am healing very well. 

In your case, I hope it is not cancer. But if it is, life will go on and never again you will have to worry about prostate cancer. Although I don't like the idea that I had (notice the past tense :-)) cancer, I am super grateful it was caught early and removed.  Personally, I know three people who died of prostate cancer which metastasized. I will not be one of them.  

Be of good cheer. :-) 

 

1958wins
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2018

Hey hhughes! During my annual physical on July 3rd, I had a PSA of 1.4, but my GP felt some abnormalitity during a digital exam and referred me. It was cancer on both sides of my prostate, but very early and totally isolated. I'm 59 and I've never really had too many health issues before. My doc recommended DaVinci RP and I had the same two worries that you shared. I spoke with one of his older partners that put my mind at ease. The older partner gave me some perspective that my doc couldn't. He remembered the days before DaVinci and explained that my chances for recovery to normalcy are much better these days. The bottom line for me was that I didn't want cancer in my body.  I went forward with the surgery the day after Labor Day.

43 days later and I'm getting things back together. For me, the incontinence hasn't been too bad, but I'm still seeing some minor leakage while I'm at work.  Mainly at a desk nowadays, so I try to get up and walk, take a leak about every 45 minutes. That works pretty well. As for the ED, I didn't even want to think about that during my post-op appointment when they removed my catheter, but after 6 weeks I decided (with advice from some folks on this board) to start exploring what's in store for me on that front. My doc has prescribed some ED meds from a compounding pharmacy that will customize my dosage and he says the cost will be less than my local pharmacies.

I believe most all of us shared your anxiety at some level, but I'd suggest looking for some perspective in the hand that you've been dealt and hopefully it will help make your decisions a little easier to accept. Hang in there and I wish you the best.

Darjank
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2018

Sorry to hear about your wife. 

Sw1218's picture
Sw1218
Posts: 55
Joined: Jan 2016

hi,

i had an elevated PSA, 5.5 turned out all i had was BPH and prostatitis. what i'm trying to say is elevated psa doesn't ALWAYS mean cancer. it only means you need to have your prostate looked at by a specialist.  if a biopsy is recommended, ask about a 3T MRI. this way your prostate will be scanned. if there are any lesions seen, then your doctor will know exactly where to look. 

lighterwood67's picture
lighterwood67
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2018

This is an excellent forum that is very capable of providing you with advice.  When my PSA rose to 4.72, on a routine blood test my GP doctor sent me to an urologist.  You need to find out what is causing the pain (urinating and groin) and why is your PSA elevated.  The urologist will put you on a path to find that out.  Please ask your questions.  Let us know what your results of tests are if possible.  We are not doctors, but can ceratinly give you the experiences that we have had on our journeys.

Georges Calvez
Posts: 297
Joined: Sep 2018

Hi there,

There is a low probability that you have prostate cancer, even if you do it is highly likely that you can be treated without too many ill effects and you can recover completely.
Do not worry about the delays in treatment, prostate cancer is very slow burning, a few months makes no difference at all.

Best wishes,

Georges

hhughes3
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2018

I really appreciate everyone's comments. I am so glad I could reach out to all of you. I will keep you updated. With the one year anniversary of my wife's death coming up, i really didn't need this at this time. 

Darjank
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2018

Just got home from medical appointments. The cystogram showed that there is no leaks and my catheter was removed. Two weeks of discomfort but it was worth it to get the good news. Looks like my bladder neck muscle healed very well. My surgeon was really worried about it but he did an excellent job stitching it.  Again, mine was an unusual situation, according to him, one per several hundred.  Normally, it is a routine thing to connect the urethra with the bladder. 

It is now more than 2h since the catheter was removed and I am still dry. I hope I will be among the 30% that are dry right away. I am pretty sure though that occasionally I will have accidents. :-)

Hhughes3, hopefully in your case it is not cancer. But I had one and I am on the other side now and doing well. Life will go on. Next week I plan to return to work. 

All the best. 

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