Conflicting studiess seem to be the rule. Now they are saying women should not do self exams of their breasts because it leads to unnecessary testing and biopsies. We have a 36 yr old niece who just found her own lump and it turned out to be a fast growing high grade tumor. She was very lucky that her nodes are clear but she is now undergoing chemo to shrink the tumor before surgery. I would prefer that my family and loved ones be their own advocates and get tested early. I recently encouraged my 40 year old son to get his first PSA. I don't care what some of these studies say. The problem is they may be accurate about
a large group of people, but they don't mean caca with respect to any given individual. I am an advocate for early testing for anyone who wants it, especially when there is a family history. And how many families don't have a history of some type of cancer? I was volunteer of the year at Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa a few years back and my forte was consuling new patients, mostly advanced stage melanoma, but also a variety including prostate and even breast. Imagine the irony of me having a negative biopsy with a PSA over 10 consuling a patient with prostate cancer and a PSA of 4.5 prior to surgery. One of my first lessons in dealing with cancer was to place less importance on statistics based on large groups, and fucusing instead on the fact that every individual is unique, and even some of the most advanced patients will somehow pull through. I also learned, over and over again, the value of early detection. So I am a very vocal advocate of early and routine testing (especially relatively low cost non invasive testing like PSA).
first biopsy was in 1997. Neg. Dx BPH PSA 5.4
second biopsy in 2001 neg again PSA 9.8
passed blood Feb 08 3rd biopsy positive PSA 14.6 Gleason (3+3)=6
Pre op Xrays, CT scans, bone scans all neg
Da Vinci surgery 3/3/08 no complications, nodes clear
Significant post op discomfort for approx one week
Daily improvement 2nd week, near nornal mobility, etc 4th week
Filled pads every 2 hours for first month, gradually improved to not wearing pads after 2 months. Whoopee!
Occasional small leak when sneezing or farting, haha
Total loss of erectile function so far, some loss of rectal muscle function also.
Currently back to 100% physically, working out, etc.
Some lingering attitude issues over lack of function. Anger sometimes, moderate depression sometimes. Feel good physically but lingering changes in emotions. Joi da vie not the same. Feel lucky overall, but emotionally flat. A vague sense of loss, diminished pleasure in life. Hope to rebound as time goes by. Survived melanoma in 2000, pacemaker in 2002. Three time winner? Doesn't feel that way.