Posted 2/26/2008 8:10 PM (GMT -6)
Hello all and let me congratulate you on a wonderful and extremely informative site. Pity about what brought me here and that I didn't find the site till after my op, but as they say "c'est la vie" My journey with this obnoxious disease began in July of 2007. I had been getting my PSA tested for a few years with the readings Jan. 05----2.9, March 06----- 3.2, March 07----4.1 with a follow up May 07-----3.9 Negative as far as DRE went. My GP suggested this was just out of range for my age of 59 and thought I should consult a urologist. I did so. Let me say at this time I was in perfect health without the slightest symptom. His opinion was there was a slight chance of prostate cancer but because of the relatively low PSA readings and lack of strong increase (in relation to prostate cancer) I could leave it for 6-12 months and redo the blood test and go from there. The other option was biopsy. I am not normally a particularly cautious person but hospitals and medical procedures don't greatly worry me so I went for the surety of the biopsy. I was so confident of a negative result I told my wife to stay at home and relax . Result-----positive to adenocarcinoma of the prostate in 4 of 10 cores with a gleeson of 4+3=7 and negative margins on the cores taken. Well blow me down. To say I was stunned is the understatement of the century. His explantion of the options available was not all that well taken in at the time but I left with a swag of reading material. Then followed the consultation with a oncology radiologist ( who agreed that given the biopsy report, surgery may be the best option leaving radiation as a follow up if required). As I guess most here have done I then really got into research on the treatment options available ( whatever would we do without the internet) and this is when I came across mention of the Da Vinci surgery. AT my next appointment with the urologist he of course asked if I had made a decision regarding treatment-----I said I had decided on surgery and asked about the Da Vinci. This is where I lost all confidence in him. Rather than providing information or saying he did not have any he dismissed this method of surgery for prostate cancer out of hand as simply a cash cow for the hospital which had had the robot, adding that he only performed open surgery but could assist one of his associates with traditional laprascopic surgery if I wished. I quickly returned to my GP and obtained a referral to a urologist with expertise in Da Vinci surgery at one of Sydney's leading hospitals. I had robotic surgery carried out August 07 and I couldn't be happier with the way the procedure went. The post-op pathology revealed a small section of Gleeson 4+4=8 within the gland which had negative margins, negative node and negative seminal vesicles involvment. I was out of the hospital in 48 hours and lost the catheter a week later. Incontinence was a real pain in the bum and although I was often disillusioned with the pace at which it improved now six months later it is not a concern. PSA Oct 07 was undectable as was Jan 08's test. Now E.D. that's another story but together with the wonderful woman who is my wife we're working on it. Just as a side note, during research, I did come across this interesting article by a local medical specialist suffering from the disease with wide spread metastatic disease and an initial PSA of 554 who is now in remission with undetectable PSA.