Anxiety over PSA test - take 2

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 7/5/2009 11:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I've received some very good input from this forum, and I appreciate it.  Another few questions.  I have a biopsy scheduled for Tuesday July 7th.  How long should I expect it to take to obtain the results?  Of course I'm hopeful for good results.  I'm planning a trip next weekend and would love to go without a care in the world about PC, but if the results show I have PC, how do I keep telling myself that life goes on, I can get through this, etc.  How did you guys all handle the emotional side of this equation?  You've probably all had good and bad days.  I'm an anxious person, on medication for anxiety, so this is especially hard for me, and I don't even have the results yet.  THANKS, have a good day, and congratulations to all of you who have successfully fought PC.

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25382
   Posted 7/5/2009 11:51 AM (GMT -6)   
When you get your results, depends on the lab and your doctor mostly. I had 3 biopsies, and it usually took mine about 3-5 days to come back and be able to talk to my doctor about the results.

If yours comes back positive, then, welcome to our club. We are here to help you, support you, and guide you where we can through the maze of choices in front of you. If it does come back positive, then please post your stats about the results, so that we can see and study them.

Yes, life goes on, with or without PC, yes, you can get through it. We think we can't,but the will to survive is a strong one with most people.

Yes, there are good days and bad days with PC, its treatments, side effects, fear, etc., but as time goes on for most men, there should be way more good days than bad days.

You anxiety med(s) may need to be adjusted if it becomes too much for you, that is between you and your doctor.

Right now, you simply have to know the results of the biopsy, even if it is positive, in most all cases, it won't require immediate on the spot action from you. You should have time to think through the treatment options, the good and bad with each of them. There are plenty of men here with experiences in all the methods, so there are plenty of people to get non-medical advice from, and to be able to compare experiences with.

I simply hope it comes back negative, that would be the best solution for you. Not a club you want to belong to, but if you do have PC, can't think of a better place to be.

Hoping for the best for you - to be cancer free

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, 5/9 .10, 6/9 .11, July 13 - meet with radiation oncologist

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 7/5/2009 11:58 AM (GMT -6)   
What great questions...
Results of a biopsy can be obtained usually within a week if you desire. I have seen it take longer, but when you go in for it, let the doctor know you are hoping for speedy results and you are OK with being notified by telephone if you are so. And let him know if you don't want to know until after your trip.

The emotional side of prostate cancer is far worse than it needs to be. When I first arrived on the scene in October of '06, I was scared of dying, I couldn't sleep well, and I was praying that the good Lord took me into His hands and saved me from this terrible diagnosis. I have come a long way since. Even though my case is advanced and quite more serious than the "garden variety", I am very calm and at peace with this journey. Education was responsible for that change. Knowing that I am not alone, that this disease can and will likely take many many years to manifest itself into anything life threatening, and staying close to my beliefs, I have also learned that worrying about this illness is far more dibilitating that the disease itself.

And today, there is no detectable cancer for me. Thank you for that congrats.

Congrats to you for taking the time to post here with your thoughts. You are asking the right questions. I hope you are not positive for this disease. But should you be, this site welcomes you and hopes that we can spread that education and support we all pretty much are able to get here for ourselves.


 Age 47 (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 (May 11, 2009): <0.1
My Journal is at Tony's Blog  

Post Edited (TC-LasVegas) : 7/6/2009 12:00:06 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 7/5/2009 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Not to be a spoilsport: it would also be good to remember that a negative biopsy report doesn't mean that you're free of prostate cancer. They do miss the stuff, some times.

The point being not to get too "up" on good news or "down" on bad. Something's gonna get every one of us, and you don't usually get to choose what or when (except indirectly, via lifestyle).

Good luck.
Larry Shick
Personal homepage incl. PCa story:
01/09: Diagnosed (age 60) biopsy PSA 4.4, free PSA 9%, T2c stage, Gleason 7 (3+4), 7 of 14 cores; 6'2", 200 lbs.
03/09: Robotic surgery (Dr. Kawachi, City of Hope) 47 gms, 10% involved, staging/Gleason unchanged (pT2cNXMX), margins clear, no ECE/sem ves involvement, fully continent from day 1, some success w/Viagra 50mg/day.
Followup: 05/09 0.006

Post Edited (CapnLarry) : 7/5/2009 12:55:44 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 7/5/2009 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Let’s start with the very reasonable possibility that you don’t have prostate cancer.
We will be happy to have you go away.

Fear and worry at your stage are emotions that everyone here can identify with. While I was undergoing diagnosis, I kept imagining that cancer was eating away at every part of me. Any ache or twinge in any part of my body was evidence of this and if I wasn’t having any real pains, my mind helped out by making some up. When I stopped to think rationally I described this as buying beer by the six-pack because I wasn’t sure I would live long enough to finish a case. I couldn’t make my fears go away, but at least I learned to talk back to them.

On July 3 I bought two cases of beer and I have no doubt that I’ll have to haul the empties back for the deposit. If you do have to hang around here you will find that the most typical pattern is to live and learn and … keep on living.
Age at diagnosis 66, PSA 5.5
Biopsy 12/08 12 cores, 8 positive
Gleason 3+4=7
CAT scan 1/09 negative, Bone scan 1/09 negative

Robotic surgery 03/03/09 Catheter Removed 03/08/09
Pathology report. Lymph nodes negative, Seminal vesicles negative
Margins positive, Capsular penetration extensive Gleason 4+3=7
6 weeks: 1 pad/day, 1 pad/night -- mostly dry at night.
10 weeks: no pad at night -- slight unpredictable leakage day/1 pad.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4241
   Posted 7/5/2009 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear arkclk:

I cannot improve on the responses from Squire David and Tony so I won't try.  I'll just wish you the best, i.e. a NEGATIVE test result and let you know that you will get plenty of help and support if it comes back the other way.

Good luck!


Age 62, Gleason 4 +3 = 7, T1C, PSA 4.2, 2 of 16 cores cancerous, 27cc
Brachytherapy December 9, 2008.  73 Iodine-125 seeds.  Procedure went great, catheter out before I went home, only minor discomfort.  Regular activities resumed, everything continues to function normally as of 7/1/09.  6 month PSA now at 1.4 and my docs are "delighted"!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 655
   Posted 7/5/2009 4:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Greetings, Arkclk.  Welcome to the forum and we will hope that your stay is a short one.  My urologist who did the biopsies said he always made 2 appointments - one for the biopsy and one for the results exactly one week later.  He said he usually had the results sooner, but sometimes he wanted to get a second reading and that allowed him time.  He also indicated he always likes to give the results in person.  Please keep us posted and we'll trust with you that the results will be good.  David
Diagnosed Dec 2007 during annual routine physical at age 55
PSA doubled from previous year from 1.5 to 3.2
12 biopsies - 2 pos; 2 marginal
Gleason 3+3; upgraded to 4+3 post surgery
RRP 4 Feb 08; both nerves spared
Good pathology - no margins - all encapsulated
Catheter out Feb 13 - pad free Feb 16
PSA every 90 days - ZERO's everytime!
Great wife and family who take very good care of me

Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2460
   Posted 7/5/2009 8:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello arkclk,
Glad you found us and hope that you get good results and never have to come back. What you are going thru is very normal. I had my biopsy on 12/30/08 and spent new year's eve worrying about the result. When my doctor told me the bad news in early Jan. I wanted to have the surgery the next day if possible but had to wait 6 weeks for that. All I could think of, is my Gleason 8 cancer spreading all over my body. Sometimes anxiety gets the worse of us. Stay positive and try not to think about.
Age: 67 at Dx on 12/30/08
PSA 9/05 1.15; 8/06 1.45; 12/07 2.41; 8/08 3.9; 11/08 3.5 free PSA 11%
2 cores out of 12 were positive Gleason (4+4) and (4+5)
Negative CT scan and bone scan done on 1/16
Robotic surgery performed 2/9/09 Dr Fagin, Austin TX
Pathology report:
Prostate weighed 57 grams size:5.2 x 5.0 x 4.9 cm
Bilateral 10-20% involved
Gleason 4+4
both nerve bundles removed,
pT3a Nx Mx, Negative margins
seminal vesicles clean, lymph nodes: not dissected
continent after 4 months
1st PSA test 4/7/09 result <0.1

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 375
   Posted 7/5/2009 9:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Deja Vu, for me on this issue for sure. After my PSA jumped in one year I had first biopsy in March'08, questionable for ca, told to repeat in 3-4 months. As it would be i had already booked plane tickets and hotel reservations for big time vacation to San Francisco,wine country at the same time as the second biopsy. I really couldn't afford to cancel all my plans and lose mega money. I scheduled my second biopsy for 3 days before my dream vacation to California so that I wouldn't have the results in time to ruin my vacation. I had a great vacation, although it was always in the back of my mind that I had to come back and face the music at the end. But that was easier than mess up a wonderful time with wife in California. Don't let this disease control your life, work your life around psa testing and biopsies, that's what I did.............
my age=52 when all this happened,
PSA went from 1.9 to 2.85 in one year, urologist ordered biopsy,
First biopsy on 03/08, "suspicious for cancer but not diagnostic"
Second biopsy on 08/14/08, 2/12 cores positive on R side, 1 core=5% Ca, other core = 25% Ca, Gleason Score= 6 both cores,
Clinical Stage T1C
Bilateral nerve sparing Robotic Surgery on 09/11/08, pathological stage T2A at surgery
No signs of spread, organ contained,
3 0's in a row now, 9 months out
Incontinence gone in early December '08,
ED remains,  still taking daily viagra for penile rehab, uro said try oral meds and then trimix for sex only now, Peyronie's Disease a problem now

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 133
   Posted 7/5/2009 10:36 PM (GMT -6)   


These guys said it all but as with each of us, we know the feelings and anxiety that you are facing. It starts in Chapter 1:PSA readings of concern, followed by Chapter 2: Biopsy, which we probably all resisted in our minds and questioned "why?" Chapter 3 is the waiting period leading to the results and the meeting with the doc to discuss them. It is a period of moderate stress and lots of hope. Hopefully your journey will end there. If not however, if you do get news that there were positive readings, Chapter 4  is where the highest anxiety was for many of us. Here's why: we are in denial and we don't know anything about this subject at all. The anxiety of knowing that you are afflicted with something "that only happens to others" and you don't know who to turn to is intense. After the shock which will take days or weeks to sink in, you must do research on your own regarding the nature of the diagnosis, choices about who, where and what typ of treatment to get. Chapter 4 was the worst part for me. Once I decided what and where and who, I could relax somewhat and Chapter 5 began...waiting for the procedure. Sure there were times when I crawled in my cave but having decided, I was ready to get it over with. That's enough for now but I recall all of my friends reminding me that PCa is very treatable and the treatments have a high success rate. Take that consolation for now.

Hoping you get good results,


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....

DS Can
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 195
   Posted 7/5/2009 10:44 PM (GMT -6)   

ark, I continue to hope that you are one of the guys that never has to experience PC.  enjoy next weekend as best as you can.


PSA 01/07 was 1.2, PSA 01/08 was 1.9, PSA 01/09 was 2.5.
BIOPSY 02/24/09, adenocarcinoma DX at age 52
 Right:GS 3+3=6, tumor 3/6 cores, 10% involvement,PNI-Yes
 Left: GS 3+3=6, tumor 1/7 cores, <5% involvement,PNI-No
LARP 04/09/09,nerve sparing. Final pathology:
 GS 3+4=7, Margins uninvolved, 2 lymph nodes negative.
Catheter removed on 04/17. First no-pad day was 05/03.
ED treatment is 25 mg Viagra nightly.
First followup PSA results on 05/28/09: <0.1,undetectable!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 7/6/2009 12:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey arkclk,

As many have said, your feelings are quite normal and quite "mortal." Regardless of what we say, who have gone through these ups and downs, you will go through them in your own way. I think those emotions and working through them is an essential part of our private therapy.

I think you're doing great and asking all the right questions.

You've had great advice on this thread. After the normal spurts of anxiety you will experience, try to remember that regardless of the outcome of the test, if the rest of your body is healthy, you likely have a lot of life ahead of you (as Tony said)!

We're all hoping your biopsy is negative and for now and my doctor told me it is best to assume the best results... a "glass is half full" attitude.

I wish you all the best,

Da Vinci LRP July 31, 2007… 54 on surgery day
PSA 4.3 Gleason 3+3=6 T2a Confined to Prostate
6th PSA 06/09 still less than 0.1

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