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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 328
   Posted 3/11/2009 10:50 AM (GMT -6)   
I saw a couple weeks back a thread of infamous Doctor Quotes that you had heard, cant find to reply but wanted to share one that hit Home with Me and hopefully with all of us...
When I first was told by a doctor my biopsy results my Urologist was unable to meet where he was in surgery that day and I met with one of his assocaites since I wanted to know asap.
The doctor explained everything to me, where of course in shock and showed me a table based on my PSA a biopsy the chance of it being localized was 30%. I was floored.
My next visit with my Urologist to do some pre-testing (Cystogram) before my surgery I expressed my deep concern of it being only contained and I had a 30% statistical chance.
He said to me , that is a statistic and number on a table of a study that was done. Just a number and a table. Your not a statastic! Your a human being with a family a kids you need to remain positve that everything will be OK and that your in the right place to get this taken care of.
This meant alot to me that numbers are just numbers they dont reflect me at all and we as people have all individual chances of beating this!!!!
I found this and still do inspirational in my mental battle with this disease.

Age Dx 37, 7/2008
First PSA : 4.17 5/2008
Second PSA After 2 weeks of antibiotics : 3.9 6/2008
DRE: Negative 5/2008
Biopsy : 6 out 12 Postive all on right side, Gleason 7 (3+4).
Bone Scan/CAT Scan: Clear 7/2008
Cystoscope: Normal 7/2008
Prostate MRI: Normal 7/2008
Da Vinci Surgery 7/2008
PostOp: T2c (On Both sides), margins clear, seminal clear, nodes, clear. Gleason 6(3+3).
First PostOp PSA 9/2008: <0.01
2nd PSA 12/2008: <0.1 (Different Lab then 1st)
3rd PSA 3/2009

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 3/11/2009 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree 100%. Statistics are not what we need to go by. Even though mine proved true, that it was 50/50 for me to rid myself of the cancer through surgery, I still wanted to try. You and I, like many here have long life expectancy nomagrams. We were young guys diagnosed with this cancer. Even with a 50% chance of removing a G7, PSA20 and never having to deal with this again, was not very appealing but worth a shot. And we are doing well. I don't look at the stats anymore. Very depressing. Instead, I look to the future and I will stay positive.

Age 46 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8 : Surgery at The City of Hope on February 16, 2007
Geason 4+3=7, Stage pT3b, N0, Mx
Positive Margins (PM), Extra Prostatic Extension (EPE) : Bilateral Seminal vesicle invasion (SVI)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg (2 Year ADT)
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (January 13, 2009): <0.1
My Journal is at Tony's Blog  

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 3/11/2009 11:50 AM (GMT -6)   
SHU93 - You might want to see my post "High Risk Info" written about a month ago. My doctor pretty much says the same thing. His philosophy is that each case has its own statistic - and that statistic is: You are either 100% well, or not. And that's all you have to worry about. Everything else, as he would say, is crap.

Live on!
Age: 53; 52 at DX
March 2006: PSA 2.5
Dec 2007: PSA taken for insurance application. I did not see the results until late
Jan '08 - after I was rejected. Their lab said PSA 4.5.
Feb 2008: PSA 3.7.
March 2008: Biopsy. Gleason 7 (4+3) 12 cores taken. 5 on the left side were
cancerous and the 6th was suspect.
May 5, 2008: Da Vinci robotic laparoscopy at GW Hospital, Washington DC.

Post op: Gleason 9 (4+5). 15% of prostate involved. Stage: pT3a. Negative margins. Lymph node and nerve samples taken, and appeared to be cancer free.

July 2008: PSA at 7 weeks was undetectable.
August 2008: PSA at 14 weeks (3 months) was undetectable.
Nov 2008: PSA at 6 months was undetectable.
Feb 2009: PSA at 9 months was undetectable.

John T
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4237
   Posted 3/11/2009 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Even though PC is very individual I believe that stats are very helpful in determining risk reward in making treatment decisions. It's like hitting 16 in blackjack, sometimes it works out, but most of the time the odds are that you will bust.
You have to know the odds before you choose your action and accept the risks associated. In doing so you are making an informed decision.
I've found that the stats have helped me to make better decisions and order tests that provide more information. They are just another set of tools to be used in the fight against PC. In the end only you can make the decision on the type of treatment you choose.

64 years old.

I had an initial PSA test in 1999 of 4.4. PSA increased every 6 months reaching 40 in 5-08. PSA free ranged from 16% to 10%. Over this time period I had a total of 13 biopsies and an endorectal MRIS all negative and have seen doctors at Long Beach, UCLA, UCSF and UCI. DX has always been BPH and continue to get biopsies every year.

In 10-08 I had a 25 core biopsy that showed 2 cores positive, gleason 6 at less than 5%. Surgery was recommended and I was in the process of interviewing surgeons when my wife's oncologist recommended I get a 2nd opinion from a prostate oncologist.

I saw Dr Sholtz, in Marina Del Rey, and he said that the path reports indicated no tumor, but indolant cancer clusters that didn't need any treatment. He was concerned that my PSA history indicated that I had a large amount of PC somewhere that had yet to be uncovered and put me through several more tests.

A color doppler targeted biopsy in 11-08 found a large tumor in the transition zone, gleason 6 and 7. Because of my high PSA Dr. suspected lymph node involvement, 30% chance, and sent me to Holland for a Combidex MRI, even though bone and CT scans were clear.

Combidex MRI showed clear lymph nodes and a 2,5 cm tumor in the anterior. I was his 1st patient to come up clear on the Combidex which has a 96% accuracy,

I've been on a no meat and dairy diet since 12-08 and PSA reduce to 30 while I awaited the Combidex MRI.

The location of the tumor in the anterior apex next to the urethea makes a good surgical margin very unlikely. Currently on Casodex and Proscar for 8 weeks to shrink my 60 mm prostate. Treatment will be seeds followed by 5 weeks of IMRT while continuing on Casodex and Proscar. So far no side affects from the Casodex.


Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 3/11/2009 1:13 PM (GMT -6)   
i'm with you. a statistic or a percentage is just that, a number on a piece of paper. there are just too many variables dealing with PC, from the very beginning to the end. Sometimes ,its like there is no rhyme or reason to it. Been at this site long enough, to know that stats are just a reference point, something to focus on. Each of our own bodies and our own immune systems and our own genetic makeups can give multitudes of results. And I am saying this as a lifetime accounting/finance nerd of the ninth degree, who usually lives and breathes numbers and odds. We all have to fight the best fight we can against our common enemy, PC.

David in SC
Age 56, 56 at DX, PSA 7/7 5.8, 7/8 12.3,9/8 14.5
3rd Biopsy Sept 08: Positive 7 of 7 cores, 40-90%, Gleason 7, 4+3
Open RP surgery 11/14/8, Right nerves spared, 4 days hospital, staples out 11/24/8, 5th cath out on 1/19/9
Post-surgery Pathlogy Report:Gleason 3+4=7, pT2c, 42 grm, tumor 20%, Contained in capsular, clear margins, clear lymph nodes 
First PSA Post Surgery   2/9 .05, 6 month on 5/9

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 407
   Posted 3/11/2009 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Like most other things, it's important to also balance any reports and statistics against other available information.  My internist told ma a year ago that my PSA test results and some other factors I'm not remembering indicated to him that the chances of my having prostate cancer were 56%.  The biopsy conducted afterwards confirmed his speculation, a speculation prompted by statistics. Statistics are important to consider, so don't be so quick to dismiss them. 

Age:  59 (58 at diagnosis - June, 2008)

April '08 PSA 4.8 ("free PSA" 7.9), up from 3.5 year prior

June '08 had biopsy, 2 days later told results positive but in less than 1% of sample

Gleason's 3+3=6

Developed sepsis 2 days post-biopsy, seriously ill in hospital for 3 days

Dr. recommended robotic removal using da Vinci

Surgery 9/10/08

Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL

Dr. Robert Nadler, Urologist/Surgeon

Post-op Gleason's:  3+3, Tertiary 4

Margins:  Free

Bladder & Urethral:  Free

Seminal vesicles:  Not involved

Lymphatic/Vascular Invasion:  Not involved

Tumor:  T2c; Location:  Bilateral; Volume:  20%

Catheter:  Removed 12-days after surgery

Incontinent:  Yes (getting better, though)

Combination of Cialis and MUSE (alprostadil) three times weekly started 9-27-08

Returned to work 9-29-08 (18-19 days post-op)

PSA test result, post-op, 10/08: 0.0; 12/08: 0.0


Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 655
   Posted 3/11/2009 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Greetings, all.  Statistics are a tool - they can be beneficial in helping you make the decision as to which path of treatment you are going to walk down.  They are just one bullet in the arsenal, but can be a helpful, informational, tool.  Don't just look at stats but use them to help you as you look at your overall treatment plan.  David

Age 55
Diagnosed Dec 2007 during annual routine physical
PSA doubled from previous year from 1.5 to 3.2
12 biopsies - 2 positive with 2 marginal
Gleason 3 + 3 = 6
RRP 4 Feb 08
Both nerves spared
Good pathology - no margins - all encapsulated - Gleason 4 + 3 = 7
Catheter out Feb 13 - wore pad for couple of days - pad free Feb 16
Great wife and family who take very good care of me

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