In March 2005 I had a DRE (Digital Rectal Examination) - the doctor found a hard place - and PSA test (I am 66). My urologist called to say I had prostate cancer and he would set up a couple of tests to see if it has spread before deciding how to proceed (after doing a lot of research I strongly question whether those tests were a waste of money).
Both the CT scan and bone scan were negative. When I met with the urologist he was ready to do surgery but said I was also a candidate for brachytherapy.
After doing much more reading and study I decided to go for another opinion, gathered all my records and sent them to another doctor, who called me and recommended on the basis of my tests (PSA only 2.14, only 1 of 12 biopsies positive, etc.) that I wait until Fall and have another bioposy and decide how to proceed then. So, I'm waiting and will update this in the Fall when that is done.
Thanks to everyone who has shared on this site. I think I've read them all and the information gained has been invaluable.
I had another PSA in October '05 (1.7 ng/ml) and March '06 (2.05 ng/ml). Since my PSA has remained low my urologist agreed we could wait until October, have another PSA and then consider whether to do another biopsy.
I continue active surveillance or watchful waiting, whichever it is called. My general doctor (and now my urologist) both agree with my decision to keep on this path for now. I go every six months to have a DRE (digital rectal exam) and PSA. In April '07 the PSA was 2.1 so it is staying very level.
I am just so glad I didn't jump in and immediately have surgery (or the other option he recommended--seeding) when the biopsy showed malignancy (only in 1 of 12 samples and only 5% of that sample).
October 2007--Had a checkup with urologist. My PSA is up from 2.1 in the Spring to 2.5 in October. I will continue Active Surveillance and go back to the urologist in the Spring. If the PSA has risen again I may have to think about other options.
I went back to my urologist in October for my semi-annual check. My PSA continues to remain stable, this time being 2.2. It has stayed between 2 and 3 since diagnosis. My urologist who first urged me to have surgery or consider radiation seeding, now seems comfortable with the waiting.
I've now had four years since the initial diagnosis of prostate cancer. My young urologist who wanted to go for immediate surgery has seen that my PSA has stayed rather stable since diagnosis (between 2.2 and 2.8). I think my case has educated him into seeing that active surveillance is definitely an option depending on the tests.
I remain thankful that I didn't jump into quick action with the accompanying side effects. Hopefully, if and when I do need to take action even more improvements will have been made in the treatment and I'll have better options.
For now, I'll continue to have PSAs every 6 months or so.
My PSA has risen slightly, now between 2.7 and 3.1 . I go back for my 6 months checkup in March.
Last visit was in October of 2010 and my urologist said if the PSA remained stable, I may go to annual checks.
I remain very thankful that I didn't follow his initial plan and have surgery immediately but took time to do research and on that basis, decided that immediate action was not necessary.
In March 2012 I went to my urologist for my 6 months checkup. PSA was 3.3. It has now been 6 years since I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer (only 1 core out of 12 samples and that core only 5%). My urologist now agrees that my decision just to wait and watch was the correct one rather than the surgery or radiation seeding he strongly recommended then.
I will now have annual checkups and keep watching for signs that the cancer is growing. Meanwhile, I've had 6 years without the side effects I would have had had I immediately followed his recommendations.
My PSA remains stable and since 2005 has ranged from 1.17 to 4.1 the current PSA being 3.12. So rather than the immediate surgery or radiation recommended, I continue with active surveillance and now just have my PSA checked yearly.
March 2014 - PSA still stable at 3.71. I go for an annual checkup. My age now is 75 so I'm hopeful now that I won't have to have treatment. Or if I eventually do, maybe there will be better options than the almost 10 years ago that I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
My PSA has stayed stable since diagnosis 10 years ago. I am 76 now and being followed by my regular MD who supports my decision to do active surveillance since I only had cancer in one of 12 core samples and only 5% in that one core.
I am still doing Watchful Waiting. Since my diagnosis in 2005 my PSA has varied from around 2 to 4.7 on 10/15. I am in excellent health and feeling great so I will just keep having regular PSA tests and watching to see if I need to take more action.
H's e-mail address is: carolraulston123 AT gmail.com (replace "AT" with "@")