Annual physical in August 2009 showed high PSA of 9.6. Verification PSA in February 2010 showed even higher PSA of 14.0.
Visited urologist who performed DRE (Digital Rectal Examination) and felt nothing. Scheduled biopsy for April 15, 2010. Biopsy showed two tumors rated 5 and 6 on right and left sides of prostate. [In January 2010, announcements were made in the United States that significant changes had been agreed by the International Society of Urological Pathology in the way in which prostate cancer tumours were graded internationally. In terms of these, Gleason Score 6 would be the entry point of a prostate cancer diagnosis. It is important to have Gleason Grades check by an expert pathologist] Received X-Ray, Cat Scan and Bone scan. All showed no metastases. Urologist/Oncologist offered all options as open.
Encouraged getting second opinion. I was leaning toward brachytherapy due to success rate and low level of after radiation difficulties. Decided to take advantage of my location and made an appointment at a world renowned cancer research hospital that's just two hours away in New York City. Went yesterday and spoke with two urologists specializing in laparoscopic and robotic surgery. They confirmed my choices and staging level. Their problem is that when the biopsy was taken the samples were only labeled left and right, not the precise locations.
I've been scheduled for an MRI of my prostate in another five days in hopes of getting more information about the exact location of the tumors in relation to the nerve bundles prior to making any further decisions. That's where I stand right now.
Well my last update was several months ago.
To pick up where I left off the results from the MRI revealed that the tumors were actually larger than expected, but appeared to be completely contained in the prostate. Made my decision to just get rid of the cancer completely.
On July 22 I went to Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital and had my prostate removed using the robotic technique. I was released three days after surgery. I had a small problem with walking the day after the surgery. They told me I might have had the femoral nerves compressed during surgery that could have caused the leg problems. [It is quite common to have some small problems like this after robotic surgery because the man's body is placed in a position where he is 'standing on his head' to make it easier to access the gland.] I was informed that when the prostate was removed both nerve bundles had been saved with good margins and it didn't appear that the tumors had broken out of the capsule of the prostate.
I returned 11 days later to have a drain and catheter removed. I was then given the pathology report that confirmed that there was no sign of cancer anywhere outside the capsule. Both tumors were rated now as T2a disease [This is the Pathological Staging] with Gleason Scores of 7. I just went this past Wednesday for my 6 week PSA test. The score came back as less than 0.05 which I'm assuming is unmeasurable.
Right now I'm just taking it easy until the end of the month. I'm still avoiding lifting, and want to get back to exercising again. I'm doing a lot of walking, but not lifting anything more than 10 lbs is difficult to follow through on. One other thing I'd like to recommend here. Early on I picked up a book, "Surviving Prostate Cancer: Second Edition" by Dr Patrick Walsh. Dr Walsh created the nerve sparing radical prostatectomy, the procedure is named for him. It's been an invaluable resource through all of the stages of this ordeal. Right now I'm feeling better and better everyday. I was lucky and ended up being one of the three percent who didn't experience any real incontinence. A drip or two here and there. The book told me what Kegel exercises were so I started them before surgery. Whatever it was it worked.
I was also put on Cialis as soon as the catheter was removed. Erections were back right away, and back to normal after 2 to 3 weeks. Well that's where I stand right now. It's been a hectic 6 months. Right now I'm all caught up and my next PSA test is scheduled for 6 months from now.
I'm due for another PSA test in about 3 weeks. I expect it to be as low as the last 3 or 4 so I'm simply waiting until after the next test before updating.
Thank you for your website. I've sent several people to the site who have gotten a bad diagnosis, and they really are thankful to find that they are not alone.
Had another PSA test a few months ago. Still hovering in the undetectable ranges. I've actually seen some improvement two years after in the ED realm. With medication or extreme stimulus erection was always possible after the surgery, I attributed minor problems to the surgery and old age. Lately I've been needing even less arousal, and it's without medication. I'm taking it as good news.
Just keeping watch. Still going for annual PSA test and measuring down around 0. See you next year.
Still just sustaining and going for annual blood work. Show levels too low to measure, <.01.
Still just going for yearly PSA readings. All's well.
Chris's e-mail address is: di11igaff AT yahoo.com (replace "AT" with "@")