Prostate Cancer Calls

Once I turned 50, my doctor and I talked about my prostate and how best to monitor my health. We both decided that the digital exam was best and decided not to have the PSA test. The consequences of a high PSA number almost requires a biopsy and treatment if the biopsy reveals abnormalities. Then when I turned 62 we decided to have a PSA test. My first test was in June of 2006 and I tested a 5.2. That is on the higher end and the doctor suggested a biopsy. I decided that we had no baseline, that I would prefer to be tested in six months. I recognized that if the PSA was signaling a rapidly growing cancer, I could be in serious trouble in six months, but I decided to take the chance.

I recently had the second PSA test and it came back as a 6.2. No arguments from me. When can we schedule the biopsy? Last Wednesday I went for the procedure. The doc took 10 samples and today we discussed the results. Two of the ten came back as 3-3. I have Prostate Cancer.

The BIG C. Chevrolet Cranberries, Chocolate Chowder, Carborundum Chanticleer, Carpathian Corruption, Chinese Chop Suey, Capitalistic Carnivale, Commission Charlie! The “C” is just a letter, but one that brings dread. I’m okay so far, however my wife and I will have to decide on the correct treatment over the next 30 days. The choices are: monitor and do nothing for six months or a year, then another biopsy; radiation, either external or with implanted radioactive seeds or remove the prostate entirely. All have risks of incontinence and loss of sexual function and a variety of side effects.

Prostate cancer is becoming common in men my age. What has been your experience and what was your decision? Lastly, how are you doing today?

Prostate Cancer PSA Prostate Biopsy Mover Mike

9 Responses to “Prostate Cancer Calls”

  1. Mike,

    Having never had any medical issues in my life…..Lucy and I will keep you in our prayers as you set about a plan to make things right.

  2. Technology has come far and every day, options become better. Keep your head up, and know that many of us are praying for you. You can beat this!

    There is prostate cancer in my family so when I “come of age” I know I will be getting regular exams. I just hope digital imaging becomes better by then, so I can avoid the “digital exam”.

  3. Gosh, Mike, I’m so sorry to hear about your upcoming adventure with the Big C. I’ve been more fortunate than I deserve, but I’ve had my share of family members with health challenges, including a stepsister who’s, so far, survived a very rare and very virulent type of cancer over in London. They have the socialized medicine system over there, but she’s fortunate that her company pays for private insurance, so she had access to the best of the best. So, that’s what you do … you get the best doctor you possibly can … and then you follow their advice, keep your chin up and pray like crazy.

    As many have said … you can either live with cancer or you can die from it … it’s all in the attitude. I think you’ll end up just fine, but my prayers are with you.

    Keep us updated, K?

  4. Oh, heck, I’m so sorry to read this.

    Being female, obviously I have no personal experience. But prostate cancer runs on my mother’s side of the family and two of my older male relatives did not get early treatment and died hard when it spread. Believe me, it is better to fight a one-front war against cancer. Also, they had to deal with the side effects of treatment anyway when the cancer grew, so they didn’t gain anything by avoiding treatment.

    My understanding is that treatment for prostate cancer has greatly improved since then. Every cancer is different, but I have known people who had excellent results from radiation. I would encourage you to get treatment, but to explore all treatment options first with doctors. Cancers are quite different and based on the biopsy findings they should be able to give you targeted recommendations.

    Just from reading this blog I can tell you have a lot of life and fun left in you. Remember when you went hiking? Keep that feeling of the burn in your muscles and the surge of life in your body with you. You are live-minded; you have many happy and interested years in front of you if you deal with this.

    From a female POV, please don’t worry about the side effects. Women don’t care, as long as they have their husband. Also, the earlier you get treatment the more minor the side effects are likely to be.

    I’ll keep you in my prayers. I know this sucks big time. Please think of your wife and your life and get treatment; I think you are just too young for the watchful waiting bit.

    With much respect and considerable experience of the medical mill, MaxedOutMama.

  5. TF, The Cheezer, HMIL, Maxedoutmama and Michael Hall: Thanks so much for your kind words and prayers. Your comments mean a lot to me. Right now you are taking this much more seriously than I am. I don’t know if I have the right to say, “I have cancer!” It seems like it can be easily excized and there is no chemo involved. We caught it in time. In addition, saying I have cancer gives the cancer too much power over our minds and emotions. I would prefer to say and affirm, “I am a cancer survivor.”

    There are others out there, like my driving buddy, Mick and his wife Jenny, who were, as of Friday, awaiting the call from doctors about a time for exploratory surgery and biopsy of a mass in her nether region. This is her second cancer go-around in seven years. Please offer a prayer for them.

  6. All things considered, Mike, while you don’t have to let it rule your every thought, you *do* need to take it seriously. And I agree with the Mama … be sure to think of your family … I’m sure they would prefer to have you around for as long as possible … in my family that would include “because they get so much enjoyment from picking on me” (they never know what I’ll say or how I’ll react and how goofy it will be). It’s your duty to provide those stories for years to come, right?

    But I must say this … your positive outlook has a *lot* to say about how you’ll come through this. As I said, you can live with it or die from it. You’ll live with it and beat the crap out of it, I’m guessin’ … 🙂

  7. I was diagnosed w/ prostate cancer in September 2006 after my PSA spiked to 4.4 from a baseline around 1. Of 12 probes in my biopsy, only 1 had cancer. My physician offered three options: (1) laproscopic (robotic) surgery to remove the prostate, (2) radiation seed therapy; and (3) traditional radiation therapy (not recommended at my age). After discussing with him and doing research on the internet, my wife and I decided that the laproscopic surgery was the way to go. Reasons were that I am young enough to come through the surgery okay, and that it would not have the potential side effects of radiation therapy. I had the surgery on December 15 and, although incontenence was a bit of a problem at first, I am doing okay now and my first two post-surgery PSA tests have come back 0.0. Please feel free to e-mail me if you would like to discuss further.

    Best wishes,

    Jed

  8. HI Mover,

    I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 6 years ago. It really took the wind out of my sails, but it reminded me that life is a battle and sometimes that calls for an all out assault on those things that want to take you out. I considered the basic three options: 1. general radiation, 2. surgery, and 3. seed implants.

    However, I found that Virginia Mason in Seattle was trying a new procedure that had a lot of promise. They could not guarantee me a cure rate because the numbers were not there like they are in the basic three. As a matter of fact, I was to be #12 of their initial 40 patient study. I could tell that they thought I was a good canditate because of my relative youth (50)and health. So, after much prayer between my wife and I, we agreed. The procedure is called SHARP (Stereotactic Hypofractionated Accurate Radiotherapy of the Prostate). They went in and marked my prostate with gold markers, then prior to each radiation treatment they were able to zero in on the exact location by using XRAY’s. This allowed them to turn up the power of the beam. The treatment consisted of several, sometimes 10, short bursts of high dose radiation all from different angles and all zeroed in on precisely the target. We did that for 5 days.

    That was in October of 2001. Collateral damage was minimal. We monitor my PSA count regularly and it has behaved.

    As they explained, this treatment was first used on certain types of brain tumors where collateral damage is a huge issue.

    When I decided to go this route, I reasoned that I have been accused of having my brains down there anyway, so it seemed appropriate.

    It is worth checking out!

  9. Hi, I had this problem with my prostate and I think the best remedy that you can get is the natural medicine treatment. If you are looking for information about natural medicine, prostate cancer, prostate health and free remedies, I found this website on the internet. Check it and read it. http://www.prostate-breastcancer.com .

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