On Friday March 22, 2002 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. And like everyone else, from what I've been reading, the news was like a "ton of bricks falling on me". My urologist went into explicit detail as to the options I had. After taking Proscar for six months, the biopsy showed 5% of tissue contained abnormal cells which were classed as T1c. The urologist stated that I really should consider surgery since my "numbers" indicated that the prospect for "cure" was very high!!!
He went on to state that he has performed almost 400 of these surgeries. Given my mental makeup, radiation was not high on my list because the cancer would still be in me and I felt that the "beast" within had to come out. The only hesitancy was that the urologist said that the surgery would take 2 to 4 hours!! I told the urologist that I wanted to speak with a Radiologist in addition to getting a second opinion. Here is where I got "lucky"'……… I got a second opinion on Friday, March 29, 2002.
After reviewing my case, the doctor felt that surgery was the best road to "cure", and after reviewing work / technique, the surgery would take approximately 2 hours; major difference!!!!!!!!!!!!! Another major difference is that this doctor has performed thousands of radical prostatectomies, basically this is all he does. I felt "comfortable" for the first time that I found the right surgeon and if "cure" was a high level of probability, then he is the guy to make it happen. He scheduled the surgery for Monday morning, May 20.
Prior to the surgery I continued to exercise, take vitamins, make sure I didn't catch a cold and basically kept myself as healthy as possible. On Monday morning, May 20 the surgery took place, using the retropubic approach and my wife says that it took 1.5 hours. Monday evening I had liquid foods. On Tuesday morning the Doctor visited me and asked if I wanted to go home that afternoon. I told him that I would stick with my game plan of going home on Wednesday morning, May 22, which I did = and at 3:00 pm Wednesday afternoon I was walking up and down the block for exercise. The catheter was removed on Thursday, May 30.
Three weeks after surgery. Monday June 10, 2002 I went back to work full time!!!! On Father's Day, Sunday June 16 I attended the prostate cancer rally in Central Park and participated in the 1.6 mile walk. I completed the walk in 25 minutes. Feeling good!!!!!!! If anybody has any questions I will be glad to answer them and help anybody who has to make a decision as to course of treatment based on my own experiences.
It has been almost two years since surgery.
The first year after surgery I was required to have an Ultrasensitive PSA test every three months. Each of the test results came back less than 0.04, which is below the detectable limit of the test. This year I was required to have an Ultrasensitive PSA test every six months and so far the test results have been below detectable limit of the test; i.e.,less than 0.04.
This May, I have my two year after surgery doctors appointment.. I will have to take an Ultrasensitive PSA test. If the result is the same as the previous test results I believe that he will pronounce me "cured".
I feel that I have been very, very lucky.. The cancer was found early enough and the doctor was extemely skilled.
I exercise every day.. walk two miles @ 3.5 miles/hour and lift weights every other day for 30 -45 minutes.
Well, it has been two years since radical surgery... It was time for the two year post surgery ultra sensitive PSA test. The result came back... less than 0.04, i.e., below the detectable limit of the test!!!!
Needless to say I was VERY please... I was also informed by the doctor that there was no need to visit with him! ! ! ! All I have to do now is take an ultra sensitive PSA test yearly... April 7 was my 65th birthday and the test result was the best present I could have received............ I firmly believe that the key to overcoming prostate cancer is EARLY detection and a VERY competent surgeon.
Well, it has been almost three (3) years since diagnosis.. and I've just received the result of my yearly PSA test... I'm pleased to learn that the result is still below the detectable limit of the PSA test.. That is the result was less than 0.10 ng/ml......
The PSA test was performed using the Beckman Access Immunoassay.
Aside from the occasional cold my health has been quite good... I still go to the gym every day and lift weights.. I try to keep my weight quite steady and I have no problem with incontinence.
Basically, all is well!!!
Well, I've just had my fourth year, following radical prostatectomy surgery, PSA test and the result is less than 0.01ng/ml which is undetectable, i.e., the lower limit of accuracy. The test was performed using the DPC Immulite 2000 method.
I am still going to the gym every day. I feel that exercise is a key ingredient to achieving and maintaining a low PSA result.
Feeling good and life is GREAT.
Well, May 20, 2007 was the fifth anniversary of my radical prostatectomy.
I'm very pleased to report that my fifth year post radical prostatectomy PSA test result is less than 0.01 ng/ml using the DPC IMMULITE 2000 test method.
Feeling fine, exercise every day and just go about my normal daily life.
I know that I have been very lucky due to two aspects:
First: Early detection and
Second: a very experienced surgeon and very good post operative care.
It is now six years after radical prostatectomy surgery and my current PSA level is less than 0.01 ng/ml... This test was performed using the DPC IMMULITE 2000 method...
I am very active and do alot of traveling. I still go the gym just about everyday to workout.
The key to success is early detection!!!
Well, it is now the end of seven years after surgery and my PSA reading is below the detectable limit of the test.
The PSA test was performed using the DPC IMMULITE 2000 method and the result is less than 0.01 ng/ml. Needless to say I'm VERY, VERY please as I go into my 8th year after surgery.
Wishing the BEST to all of you!!!
Things are going well!! I have taken my 9 year post-prostatectomy and the test result is less than 0.01, i.e.; this result is below the detectable range of the test and therefore, cannot be accurately measured.
Needless to say that I'm very pleased. The test was performed using the DPC IMMULITE 2000 method.
Early detection is the key to beating this beast!!!
Well, this is my tenth year after surgery and cancer free!!
My tenth year PSA test result, using the Siemens IMMULITE 2000 method is <0.02 ng/ml.
This is the lower limit of accurate quantification for this assay.
Needless to say I'm quite pleased. I continue to exercise at least 3 to 4 times a week. I believe that exercise is a key factor in the out come after surgery.
It is now eleven and a half years since detection and a radical prostatectomy ! ! All is well and I remain active.
My post radical prostatectomy PSA is <0.02 ng/ml and was obtained using the Beckman Coulter DxI method.
I remain continent... and I workout at the gym, which I believe helps greatly.
Life is good and I'm pleased that I selected a radical prostatectomy which set me free of the cancer..
Occasionally I have some (very small amount) leakage when I get really tired (physically) but otherwise it's no problem.
Well, thankfully another year has gone by and due to my laziness I have not updated my story.
My last PSA test result (taken in June 2014) is less than 0.02 ng/ml. This value cannot be accurately measured. This test was performed using the Beckman Coulter Dx1 method.
I am very, very thankful that I selected surgery as a treatment. I know of a few men who had selected radiation treatment and the cancer is reoccurred. They have found that there is little to be done in these cases.
I'm pleased to report that based upon the result of my current ultra sensitive PSA test I have been prostate cancer free for 14 years.
The ultra sensitive PSA test was performed using the Beckman Coulter DxI method. The lower limit of accurate quantification for this assay is 0.02 ng/ml. PSA values less than 0.02 cannot be accurately measured and are reported as less than 0.02 ng/ml.
Needless to say I'm quite pleased that I selected to have a prostatectomy (surgery) than some other course of treatment.
I believe that early detection is the key and that a yearly PSA test is a prime part in early detection and treatment.
All the BEST........
Ralph's e-mail address is: rbesnoy AT aol.com (replace "AT" with "@")