father diagnosed

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 8/15/2008 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
My father's psa numbers were 17 and his biopsy came back 8 out of 10. He is having a ct and bone scane Monday. From what I've read it has probably spread beyond the prosate. Hoping to have any feed back and would like it even if it's blunt.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 8/15/2008 7:58 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello mmllr,

Sorry to hear of your father's diagnosis. First thing is to stay calm. I was diagnosed on April 10, 2008 and I am in the midst of radiation treatment. (IMRT/IGRT) You can see from my signature that your father and I are fairly close in numbers. PSA 21.5 vs 17 and Gleason 7 (some 8 according to a second opinion) vs 8. My scans all came back negative except for some suspect lymph nodes in the pelvic area. For that reason I chose the radiation and have just completed the "full pelvic" portion and have 18 more focused on the prostate only. I am also on hormones (lupron depot 4 month). My PSA prior to beginning radiation and after 8 weeks on hormone had dropped to .82. So don't take a pass on the hormones if recommended.

You are correct that your father's numbers would indicate probability of spread. Look up "Parton Tables" at the John Hopkins site and you can input the information to get the range of probability.

Get all the facts on your father's case and do some independent research before deciding on a course of action. There are a lot of good resources National Institute of Health is a good one. Prostate Cancer Research Institute has a huge amount of data and information. A simple web search for "prostate cancer" will turn up many sites. American Cancer Society is also a good source. Do beware of the quacks promising a quick fix. This site is a good source of "been there done that" information as well as resources for other information. I have found it to be quite helpful in my decision making process. Another support site is prostatepointers.org. Good patient to patient as well as patient to physician resource. Do not be afraid to question your physicians and have a list of questions ready. Bring a notebook or tape recorder to the meetings to help keep your facts straight.

Keep a positive attitude and try not to dwell on the negative stuff too much. There is a lot of good medicine for curing and/or stalling this disease.

Take care and let us know how you and your father are doing.


Diagnosed 04/10/08
Age 58
PSA 21.5 (first and only test resulted from follow up visit to emergency room for kidney stone. first time for kidney stone too)
Gleason 4 + 3
DRE palpable tumor on left side
100% of 12 cores positive for PCa range 35% to 85%
Bone scan clear
Chest x ray clear
CT scan shows potential lymph node involvement in pelvic region
Started Casodex on May 2 and stopped on June 1, 2008
Lupron injection on May 15 and every four months for next two years
Started IMRT/IGRT on July 10, 2008. 45 treatments scheduled
First 25 to be full pelvic for a total dose of 45 Gray to lymph nodes.
Last 20 to prostate only. Total dose to prostate 81 Gray.

James C.
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 8/15/2008 8:14 PM (GMT -6)   
                                                        tongue    Hi ~mmllr and Loved Ones,


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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 8/15/2008 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you, I will keep you updated.

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 8/15/2008 8:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome mmllr.  I'd suggest to just wait and see what the scans and tests reveal before getting too deep into treatments and prognosis.  It may very well be that it is contained and nothing is outside the gland itself.  It's all iffy until further tests are done, so take a few deep breaths and wait to see what they say before dwelling on probabilities.  There may be no need for further longterm concern.  I do hope that is the case. 

James C.
Co-Moderator- Prostate Cancer Forum

Age 61
4/19/07 PSA 7.6, referred to Urologist, recheck 6.7
7/11/07 Biopsy- 16 core samples, size of gland around 76 cc. Staging pT2c
7/17/07 Path report: 3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe , GS 3/3:6.
9/24/07 (open) Retropubic Radical Prostatectomy performed
9/26/07 Post-op Path Report: GS 3+3=6 Staging pT2c, 110gms, margins clear
10/15/07 ED- begin 50mg Viagra and Vacurect pump nightly, Fully continent
1/14/08 Caverject started/stopped, aching. 2/24/08 .5ml Bimix started-success
7/31/08 ED- Viagra, pump continues, no response- Trimix .10ml x 2 weekly continues
Post Surgery PSA's:  3 mts-0, 6 mts.-0, 9 mts.-0.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 8/15/2008 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   


I agree with James, don't look to far ahead. 

You might want to read my story www.gleasonscore10.com.  There were comments that sound like those your making and now things are looking very good for me.

The best to you.


Retired USAF Richard & Debbie on The Shores of Toledo Bend Lake Louisiana
Biospy 1/10/08 Gleason 10, Stage T1C  8 of 12 samples positive all Less Than 5% 
Suspected lymph node involvement
Lupron & Casodek May 08 for 2 years
Completed 25 IMRT and 17 PBRT U of Florida Proton Therapy Institute 7/24/08
PSA .21, free PSA .08, Percent free PSA 38.1, testosterone 14.6
Turn Stumbling Blocks into Steping Stones and Keep Smiling
Our Journey is on WWW.GLEASON10.COM

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 8/17/2008 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   
""My father's psa numbers were 17 and his biopsy came back 8 out of 10. He is having a ct and bone scane Monday. From what I've read it has probably spread beyond the prosate. Hoping to have any feed back and would like it even if it's blunt""
You need to retain a print out of the biopsy reports as they contain a lot of  information in addition to the Gleason score that can be difficult to recall later, like the number samples taken,  the number of positive samples, % of cancer in each one etc.
Unfortunately there are a lot of grey areas with PC diagnosis. For example scans will not necessarily show up small early stage mets or bone involvement. Regardless of what your additional tests indicate, Gleason 8 PC indicates an agressive high risk category cancer.
Biopsy readings are also  subjective, and what looks like Gleason 8 to one person often looks like something different to another: if you havn't already done so, the first thing to do is to have the boipsy slides sent to an expert pathologist for a 2nd reading to confirm where you stand.
There are a lot of good books on PC but it's best to read one relevant to your situation.  For someone potentially dealing with high risk PC I always suggest the book by Dr Charles Myers, " Beating Prostate Cancer: Hormonal Therapy & Diet" or Lee Nelson's publication "Prostatr Cancer Prevention and Cure".
Both authors had to deal with their own high risk PC some years ago, and provide a lot of details on their own treatment along with various other treatment options. Dr Myers has treated many patients with high risk and advanced PC since his own diagnosis 9 years ago.
I have two friends who have used hormone therapy for the past couple of years. They did not undertake  any additional local treatment because they already had bone involvement when diagnosed. Both have remained active and are doing well with few side effects. One originally had leg pain and hot spots on his bone scans, all of which has since gone, with his recent scan all clear.
The other friend had PSA of 50 and Gleason 9 when diagnosed. His latest PSA reading was .06 and he's doing well at 91 years.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 187
   Posted 8/17/2008 5:59 PM (GMT -6)   

Just to add...

Don't jump to conclusions on any of this stuff --- its just too easy to do.  My PSA was 39, and the biopsy was 8 of 12.  I was CONVINCED it had spread prior to the bone/ct scan.  I hadn't.  I'm more than 2 years post-diagonosis and have a decent string of undectables as my signature lines tell.

PCa is a "hurry up and wait" game.    First your dad needs to get those scans, then decide on treatment.  If you do surgery, you wait for the pathology report, thne wait several weeks for a meaningful PSA reading post-treatment.

Stay cool... and good luck!


Age 47 - pre-surgery PSA 39
Open Radical Prostatectomy 6/9/2006
Pathological Stage T3a, Positive Surgical Margin
Gleason 3+4
PSA rose to .24 in November of 2006
6 month hormone therapy initiated December 1. 2006
36 sessions of IMRT Ended Feb 1, 2007
PSA as of May 25, 2007 undetectable
PSA as of November 29, 2007 undetectable
PSA as of May 14, 2008 undetectable
Next PSA November of 2008

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 8/17/2008 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi mmllr,

My father's PSA was only 10.6 but his Gleason score was 5+5=10 (very aggressive). His pathology showed that there was a very high percentage in all cores. By all reasoning he should have metastasized, but it was contained in the prostate. He had brachy therapy (AKA radioactive seed therapy) and had great results.

Until you know that you have something to worry about, you have to live in a sort of denial. As far as you know right now there was no spread of the PCa to anywhere else. Hold on to that until you know for certain that it is not true. Hang in there!

I am age 47 - Father, Paternal Uncle and Maternal Grandfather had/have Prostate Cancer.
Father 74 years old, PSA = 10.6 Gleason = 5 + 5 = 10 (very aggressive) and high involvement in all cores. Seed therapy is the only option. Father died cancer free.
06/04/08 - At physical DRE normal, PSA test returns 4.4
06/20/08 - First Urologist visit. DRE and ultrasound finds nothing conclusive. Doctor says biopsy is the only safe way to go. Prostate volume is 40 grams.
07/11/08 - PSA test returns 4.1. Scheduled the Stereotactic Transperineal Prostate Biopsy for 7/21
07/21/08 - Had the biopsy.  Not so bad but sore on day 2. Back to work tomorrow
07/23/08 - Pathology comes back NO CANCER DETECTED!
08/01/08 - Urologist calls and says High Grade Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia ("PIN") was found in my biopsy (read pre-cancerous leisions)

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 8/17/2008 10:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi mmllr,
Aside from the great advice already given, I lend my hand in support also. My numbers were close to your fathers. And while my PSA was 19.8, Gleason 7, and after surgery revealed that my disease had spread beyond the prostate, I am doing well, and have managed to maintain a 17 month remission so far. I have become a student in this disease and over the last couple years I have experienced quite a bit with it, too. Your father may have contained disease, and that is what we all hope for. The most important thing is that you keep reading and learning, and hopefully he is learning about it as well. Learning as much as possible will help make whatever decision he makes about treatment easier and with good commitment to it. You have my prayers that it's contained and defeated. Stay positive!

Age 46 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007 @ The City of Hope
Post-Op Pathology: Gleason 4+3=7, positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (May 9 '08): <0.1
I will continue HT until May '09. 
Years in Remission (3/23/07): 1
Visit my Journey at:
And at:

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 8/18/2008 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   
As with what others said, don't jump to conclusions. My father had a psa of 75!! and gleason 8, but there were no indications of spreading, so we went ahead with surgery (12 days ago) and the post-surgical path report showed no lymph spread and all negative margins. So, don't let the numbers fool you.

Doting Daughter
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1064
   Posted 8/20/2008 9:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow! What a lot of incredible advice. I agree with what others have said, "don't jump to conclusions". I was on the opposite side of your situation, and believed that based on my father's numbers that he shouldn't have had any spread and was devastated by the pathology report which showed lymph node involvement. As Aus stated, PCa is very gray. You have to take one test at a time and base your decisions on the information you have. Don't look back. Do what you have to do and know that you are making the best decision with the information given. Best wishes!
Father's Age 62 (now 63)
Original Gleason 3+4=7, Post-Op Gleason- 4+3=7,
DaVinci Surgery Aug 31, 2007
Focally Positive Right Margin, One positive node. T3a N1 M0.
Bone Scan/CT Negative (Sept. 10, 2007)
Oct. 17 PSA 0.07
Nov. 13 PSA 0.05
Casodex adm. Nov 07, Lupron beg. Dec 03, 2007 2 yrs
Radiation March 03-April 22, 2008- 8 weeks 5x a week
July 2, 08 PSA <.02
Praying for a cured dad.

Co-Moderator Prostate Cancer Forum

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/21/2008 4:41 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband was diagnosed with Stage one prostate cancer in July of 2000. After going through the radiation treatments, he went into remission for three yrs and even with 3 month psa tests, his cancer reached a stage 4 in 2003. Because he had the radiation treatments, he was unable to have surgery to remove the prostate because he was advised the dangers were too great with all the scar tissue and burning around the prostate. We opted for the surgery to freeze the cancer cells. That put him in remission for another three yrs. At this time, he has advanced prostate cancer and is now taking lupron depot (hormone treatments). We pray this will do the trick for a while longer. He does go to a support group and it has helped his depression. I was advised of this site by my daughter and thought I would check it out. Thanks for listening.
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