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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 1/20/2008 12:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I have a 70 year old friend who stills works every day. about 5 weeks he found out he has prostate. His
Doctor told him he was too old for the DaVinci method. He is a pretty agile and energetic individual and like I said is very active. I don't think 70 is too old but what do I know. Uncle Dan
Age 67
DRE negative, 10 - 06 PSA 5.44, 01 - 07 PSA 6.47
5 - 07 CT and Bone scans negative, 05 - 07 Biopsies, 2 of 6 positive
Gleason Score (3+4) 7 Stage T1c
08 - 14 Da Vinci RAP, five hours surgery
Some right nerve and all left nerve removed,
8 -16 Negative margins, Encapsulated, 50% left side
Lymph nodes 2 R & 1 L - Negative, R & L seminal vesicles - Negative
Gleason changed (4+3) 7 closer to 8 than 6
9 - 26 1st PSA 0.00 11 - 28 2nd PSA 0.00 Some stress drips

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1464
   Posted 1/20/2008 12:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Uncledan,

I was 72 when I had open surgery. Came through it fine. Lots of docs use a phony age cut-off. Tell your friend to look around for another opinion if he wants surgery. We have to take charge of our recovery...

Age 73. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2C Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Catheter out on 12/13/06.  Dry on 12/14/06.
Pathological stage: T2C N0 MX. Gleason 3+4.
PSAs from  1/3/07 - 1/17/08 0.00. 
Next PSA test on 7/17/08
"Patience is essential, attitude is everything."

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 1/20/2008 1:24 AM (GMT -6)   
It's not necessarily too old:
With improved surgical techniques a good surgeon can have his patient through surgery with few side effects, the main issues are the diagnosis and condition of the patient.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 218
   Posted 1/20/2008 7:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I think the question was asked about the Davinci only. You should know that patient is placed in a head down position for the DaVinci to help move things out of the way. This can be hard on a person. A second opinion would still ne a good idea or have your friend ask his doctor to gice a few details.
Tell your friend that the open surgery is still a very good way to go and a lot of us had that operation.
12/06/07 DaVinci and LRP

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 1/20/2008 9:09 AM (GMT -6)   
My father had open surgery at the age of 67 and came through it just fine. Yes, it three years short of 70 but it's close enough.
Diagnosed: March 25, 2007. Age 49
Biopsy: Gleason 6. Five of twelve samples positive with <5% each. No perineural invasion seen.
Surgery: May 21, 2007
Post-op Pathology: Upgraded to Gleason 7 (3+4), negative margins, negative capsular penetration, negative seminal vesicles, lymph nodes left intact, multifocal perinural invasion, 15% of prosate involving cancer in both lobes. T2c
Continence: Out of pads at five weeks. Seven months post-op I'm fully continent.
Erections: Yes! With the assistance of Cialis.
Post Surgery PSA: Three tests, all <0.1
Family history: Great-great grandfather died from PC. My Father had his prostate removed at age 67 in 1997 and has had an undetectable PSA ever since. I was diagnosed at a much earlier age and had a more agressive cancer than my father. Go figure.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1211
   Posted 1/20/2008 1:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had my open prostatectomy when I was 70. Now, about a year later I'm doing just fine and hope to continue to do so.
All the best to your friend.

Born Sept., 1936
PSA 7.9
Stage T1C
-ve DRE
Gleason's Score 3+4=7
2 of 8 positive
Open RP 28 Nov 06
Post op staging T3
Gleasons still 3+4=7
Seminal vesicles and lymph nodes clear
Catheter out 15 Dec 06
Dry since 11 Feb 07
All PSA tests in 2007 (4) = 0

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2362
   Posted 1/20/2008 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   
As Satchel Paige famously remarked, "Age is mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter" Seriously, age is relative and for surgical purposes it is more a matter of physical condition rather than age.

I am surprised at the arbitrary cutoff of age 70 for Da Vinci, but as one reply states, the open surgery may be an option. For example, the famous heart transplant cardiologist, Michael De Bakey, had major heart surgery at age 98.

I'd get 2nd--or 3rd--opinions before writing off the surgical option.

Age 59 PSA 2.6 PSA velocity quadrupled in 1 yr 
1 of 12 biopsy cores positive Open RP 6/21/06  Gleason 5
Cancer confined to prostate  Post-op PSA's non-detectable

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 444
   Posted 1/20/2008 11:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Uncle Dan
Normally doctors don't recommend surgery at age 70 or older because some of the potential side effects can be more pronounced for older men.  Nevertheless, if your friend really wants robotic surgery, he should pursue it with other surgeons until he gets the answer he wants.  I was recently put in contact with a gentlemen who is 75, apparently in great health and he elected robotic surgery notwithstanding some of the negatives I pointed out to him. The key is for your friend to explore all options and then decide which option he feels is right for him.  Have him read my thread on proton therapy if he hasn't explored this option.  As we all know well today, if you are in good health and lead an active life, age is only a statistic.  Best of luck and good wishes to you friend.
-69 years young!
-29 core biopsy 9/27/06 at age 68
-PSA 7.1, Stage T1c, Gleason 7 (3+4) [less than 20% in one area], Gleason 6 [less than 5% in two other areas], Negative DRE, bone scan and Endorectal MRI. 
-Completed 39 Proton radiation treatments 2/22/07-4/18/07.   
-PSA History: 7.1 pre-treatment; post treatment: 2.1 (3 mo.), 2.4 (6 mo.).  Radiation oncologist said the 3-mo. drop of 70% exceeded expectations and the slight 6-mo. movement upwards is not a
cause for concern.
-The following is a link to My Journey With Prostate Cancer -- Proton RadiationTherapy.  

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 1/23/2008 10:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I gave my friend Dr Walsh's book to read and suggested several times for him to get on but I wasn't aware that he does not have a computer or I would have let him use mine or suggested the library if he wanted some privacy. Consequently he has opted for and started with another treatment. It appears a case where the Uro is skilled in the procedure he recommends. The same doctor suggested open surgery or freezing for me, but when I told him I wanted the DaVinci procedure he referred me to the doctor I used. Appears like another case where either a long practicing, or older doctors, or those in small towns where the machine is not available and the equipment price is prohibitive so they just won't recommend a different procedure. Uncle Dan
Age 68
DRE negative, 10 - 06 PSA 5.44, 01 - 07 PSA 6.47
5 - 07 CT and Bone scans negative, 05 - 07 Biopsies, 2 of 6 positive
Gleason Score (3+4) 7 Stage T1c
08 - 14 Da Vinci RAP, five hours surgery
Some right nerve and all left nerve removed,
8 -16 Negative margins, Encapsulated, 50% left side
Lymph nodes 2 R & 1 L - Negative, R & L seminal vesicles - Negative
Gleason changed (4+3) 7 so it was closer to 8 than 6
Sixth month PSA 0.04 Previous PSA 0.00 Occasional stress drip
Results are improving while using pump. Pills no help

Post Edited (uncledan) : 3/9/2008 10:32:51 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 1/24/2008 3:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Uncle Dan

I'm 68 and I am having the Davinci procedure at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans. No one said I was too old. This hospital is the only teaching hospital on the Gulf Coast for the Davinci procedure,--and only one of six teaching facilities for this new method,---in the world.

Incidently, my Dr ,--Richard Vangendendonck operated on our Famous Sheriff Harry Lee, and he was in his mid seventies,--and weighed at least 360 lbs.

Siberian (ken)
age 68
diag 10/07/2007
Gleason 3+3=6
prostate 66gm
13biopsies, 3pos.
Have selected the Davinci proedure, to be done in Feb. 2008


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