We were all freaked out when we heard that our PSA went up and our heads were spinning too. We really understand. I say this often to new members (or possible members) of this club: you must do some research to get a context for all of the info that gets thrown at you. Just trying to understand the numbers can be mind numbing. There are many good websites hosted by institutions like John Hopkins, Sloan-Kettering, etc. There is also alot of junk on the internet so you have to sort through a lot. My wife bought Dr. Patrick Walsh's book "Guide to Surviving prostrate cancer" which gives alot of info and is well written so that one can understand and then feel informed enough to make decisions. In general our wives were the backbone to our experience and it is very important to have someone close to you to share and compare notes.
The guys on this forum have experienced almost every aspect of this disease and every treatment, including some not approved in the U.S. We can be helpful, but you must develop your own basis of information so you can filter what you hear from where ever you hear it.
This process, it seems to me, happens in Chapters:
1) PSA results indicating an issue (and hearing the "C" word.) Freaking out. You are here;
2)Biopsy/Results: If good, you may be invited to do it again in a few months if PSA still high; if positive-freaking out some more;
3) Figuring out what to do with information: what type of treatment, who should do it, where, when. This is where the real heavy psychological lifting was for me. Once I knew enough to trust my judgement, I made the decision and then calmed down.
4) The treatment itself;
5) Post-treatment recovery;
6) Getting plumbing systems under control;
7) The rest of your life
Having said all that, based on the numbers (PSA and fPSA) there is little doubt that you will hear a strong suggestion for a biopsy. If so, park your modesty at the door and do it.
We all wish you the best and feel free to call on us for support. We understand "freaking out."
Age 55, two teens, very fit cyclist (avg 2000+ miles per year) and weight, diet, etc. consistent with good habits. Stressful job as attorney; very supporting wife who is helping me through every stage of this war.
2006 PSA - 1.5
2007 PSA - 2.3
2008 PSA - 5.3 (18 mos.)
2009 Jan. 20 - Biopsy 12 samples
Feb 3 Dx 2/12 samples positive, low volume (5% and 7-10%)
Gleason 3+4, later downgraded by second opinion at Johns-Hopkins to 3+3, but "it's still PCa" as my Doc said.
Laproscopic surgery April 9, University of KY Medical Center, Lexington, 3 days in hospital, catheter removal April 21.
Pathology: clear margins, no cancer in prostate: told that this is very rare and Doc has only seen it in 3 out of over 1400 cases; I rearched the concept of "vanishing cancer" and found a tumor classification of tP0 and asked Doc if it applied to me. He said that it was unlikely because if a pathologist had done a much more detailed analysis of the tissue, he would likely find more foci somewhere, and biopsy found "needle in the haystack as opposed to the tip of the iceberg"; Nevertheless, it is a blessing;
Regardless of the science, my family says "miracle."
Now working w/ post-surgery issues....