My primary care physician and friend had suggested a visit to a Urologist over 2.5 years ago when my PSA went from 4.5 to 5 in an 18 month period. So the PSA was rising over the past few years but I felt great and candidly was afraid to see a Urologist (plus I thought I was too young)!
After a visit to an internist for a complete physical, September of last year my PSA was 6.1 and he strongly recommended it was time to see a specialist. He didn't notice anything abnormal in his rectal exam, but told me based on the increases in the PSA it was time to go and recommended a Urologist in Raleigh.
By the way - No issues to speak of besides slower flow (most of my buddies all complained about this as well). No problems sexually and I was sleeping though the nights never had to get up for the bathroom at night, unless I drank too much.
Met the Urologist and after a much more detailed rectal exam, (he noticed an enlarged prostate but no irregularities). However based on the PSA, and age, he suggested I needle biopsy. It wasn't as bad as I expected it to be, and besides blood in the urine and semen afterwards it wasn't an issue (for those of you just starting your research these are normal side effects). I was thinking positive, but had a bad feeling and anxiously waited for the phone call with my results (this waiting was very hard). The call came and they found cancer in two cores 3+3=6 "ok - no problem for now", then the second one 3+4=7 "WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THAT ONE"! I felt numb, like I was hit by a brick in the head. After the reality set in my wife and I dug in and I spent the next week doing research and talking to 6 people that had gone though this before, (very helpful). By the time my wife and I had the consult with the Dr. I felt prepared and it was really just a confirmation of what I wanted to do.
Based on the size of my prostate seed therapy was not an option, I was afraid of the radiation and the treatments were everyday. I was in excellent health relatively young and decided I would opt for the Da Vinci surgery. As it turns out my Dr. (Mark Jalkut) had done more robotic Prostate surgery than anyone in the area (780) in the past 10 years and was also teaching the technique. I went to Duke Cancer Center for a second opinion, (GREAT FACILITY, and DOCTORS), at the end of the day I had made the decision and liked the original Dr. and moved forward.
Surgery 1/21/2015 - 2:00pm lasted 2.5 hours. One night in the hospital and home by noon the next day. Surgery was a success (nerve sparing), clean margins, cancer was contained to the organ and impact was about 10% cancer! Catheter was pain, but better than I thought and coming out wasn't bad either (6 days after surgery).
Pads for 1 week, but they were actually dry after a few days, so I stopped using them (Do your Kegel exercises I believe this helped). Dr. didn't want me to engage in sex but he did send me home with Viagra, two weeks later couldn't wait anymore and what relief to find out I wasn't impotent. So I go back for my first follow up in two weeks and hope to be cleared for exercise and golf again.
I feel blessed to have had a great Docter; a loving wife & family and great friends to support me. Good luck to anyone that is out there reading this! Do your research, make your decision and don't look back!
It's been almost 1.5 years since my surgery and in retrospect I truly believe surgery was the right call at the right time.
I have had no incontinence issues at all (even right after surgery). While sexual activity is not back to 100% I am able to achieve an erection without the use of any drugs, although I would say it is probably at 75% vs 100% full. I am still able to achieve penetration and achieve pleasurable orgasms without the use of Viagra. Obviously it's better with Viagra or generic, but it's not always easy to plan in advance...I still find it odd there is no semen and that does somewhat diminish the pleasure but it also has advantages.
I have follow up visit every 6 months but no side effects, or restrictions from a travel, work or exercise standpoint. I am glad we opted to remove the prostate "VS" treat it with an alternative option, in addition I am glad we waited longer to make the decision.
It's been a little over a year since my last update. I continue to visit my Dr. every 6 months, still no issues or side effects. Not much has changed since my last update, I'm moving forward and no regrets at all about my choice. No incontinence, and no need for Viagra over the past year.
Dave's e-mail address is: david.singer AT fpcraleigh.com (replace "AT" with "@")