To start out, my father died of prostate cancer at the age of 83. Overall my family has a history of cancer, thus, the concern of my doctor when my PSA went from a 10 year status of 2.0, to 3.7, in August 2010. To me this was not to alarming, no problem with urination, no sexual issues, however, with the fluctuation of the PSA test, who knows??
So off I went for a biopsy, on October 21, 2010, with the local urologist. then after twelve samples, one turns up with cancer. The urologist informs me that "I will die from something other than this", but recommends surgery. I, at this point am in a daze with this comment, so off I go for a second opinion.
I go to the University of Michigan for a second opinion and get confirmation of the biopsy, and, get the "active surveillance option" which my wife is quite interested in!!!! I return to the urologist, who is quite upset with the second opinion, reiterates the surgery option. I tell him I am not mentally ready for surgery during the holiday season and would like to have another PSA test taken in February 2011 and a second biopsy done in March 2011. He was not receptive to this and handed me my file and sent me to the receptionist. My son and I found this attitude to a bit alarming!!!
I say all of this after visiting the YANA website and reading several of the experiences of contributors, as well as the website creator. I have scheduled a PSA test in February 2011, with the urologist. My plan is to have the biopsy done at the University of Michigan. My next decision will depend on the results of the biopsy.
I thought the meeting would be with the urologist, to my surprise (although not too surprising), I meet with the nurse practitioner.
The PSA level was at 3.3 and the creatine count at 0.9. both at a stable status, and the DRE was no change. Based on all the research of the last four months, this seems to validate my decision to the active surveillance path.
My next PSA review is the middle of May. I am postponing the biopsy until this next review.
As far as any physical changes, there are none. I am still planning for the surgery option, but I am entertaining the other options, maybe!!!! A side note, I asked the "NP' about "proton treatment", she did not know anything about this treatment?? A bit alarming considering that the local hospital has spent $3.0+ million dollars putting in this equipment.
PSA level 3.0 - no other negative symptoms. Following the same game plan as designed back in November 2010.
Scheduled a second 12 point biopsy for June 17 2011. We will see what the results are to determine the next course of action.
Right now the "AS" treatment option is the game plan.
PSA levels have ranged from a high of 3.7 to as low as 3.0, the last 2 at 3.2 and 3.4 , since 7/29/2012.
Second biopsy, basically no change 3+3=6 T1C 12 core sample, 1 core positive 20%, less than first biopsy.
Second opinion from University of Michigan surgeons, no need for treatment (surgery), unless I felt the need. Their opinion is to stay away from treatment as long as the PSA stays at the same level and the cancer is a "low aggressive" type and I am OK with the uncertainty. U of M doctors suggested next biopsy one to two years apart, depending on my comfort level. 3rd biopsy scheduled for 6/8/2012.
I am feeling fine, no urinary problems, seems like life as usual, the difficulty here is just knowing that I have cancer, but I have learned to not worry. Stay away from the stress of worrying and go on with life.
Watching my diet like a hawk!!!!
June 8, 2012, this was my third biopsy. last one done June 2011. Results of this one, basically "no change": Gleason 6, T1c. same as the previous two. My urologist and my second opinion from the University of Michigan agree with continuing the active surveillance option. The "watch" at this time, is the PSA level.
The U of M suggested a templar biopsy, for the next go around, in two years or so. I think by that time, at the age of 65, I will go for some kind of treatment??? I continue to go for the robotic surgery option.
At this time, no signs of serious problems, so on we go, life as usual, enjoy the grandkids, and quote "crocodile dundee" no worries!!!!!!! stay positive, stay alert!!!!
Next milestone December 2012, PSA check!!
Last biopsy done in June 2012, no change from the previous biopsies.
Continuing AS, as long as PSA stays around 4.0.
Next biopsy June 2014.
As of 6/30/2014, the date of my latest biopsy, no change. The cancer is still the same as the first biopsy in September 2010. I have conferred with a number guys I know that haven't waited like I have. So the surgery option is looking to be scheduled soon, within a year.
Game plan is the same, watchful waiting. Surgery within the near future, 2 to 4 years from this date.
I have been under active surveillance since October 2010. I have made a decision to have surgery to remove the cancer. I am scheduled to meet a surgeon from the University of Michigan in April, to set a surgery date. I am planning to retire sometime in 2018, and want to get this behind me!
Ron's e-mail address is: ronjohn AT frontiernet.net (replace "AT" with "@")