Thank you to those that replied. I'm not trying to put the cart before the horse, since I have not been diagnosed with PCA. I always hope for the best but try to prepare for the worst. Traveling "down South" for appointments complicates things. My low % free PSA really bugs me, the urologist says my PSA is definitely too high for age and pprostate size. He had me on a course of antibiotics before biopsy #1 and ibuprofin before biopsy #2, my PSA actually increased a little after each med.
Doting Daughter- thanks for the information on your Dad's experience at Virginia Mason. I've been pretty impressed there so far. I know they see a lot of patients each day but I've never felt like it was an assembly line at my appts. The Doc has been good, and the nurses' level of experience and professionalism makes an unpleasant experience a lot more tolerable. I hope your Dad continues to improve.
John T- I read Dr. Strum's book recently, I think I learned more from it than any other book I've read on the subject. Should things go south and a biopsy comes back positive, I'll definitely do my best to get an appt with Dr. Strum. I have relatives in Grants Pass, about 50 miles from Ashland. I've followed your posts for awhile, they have opened my eyes to thinking that you have to be responsible for getting as much info as possible on your particular situation to make an informed decision and not rely on general categories a doctor may put you in. This is a little off the subject, but as I recall did you have your IMRT study and plan done in Seattle and your actual IMRT sessions at a different location? I've always wondered if that is an option for people.
Amy 41- thanks for sharing the info about your experience with SCCA. In my case, both Ketchikan and Juneau are served by traveling urologists that come up from the Puget Sound area for about 3 days each month. I found you usually see a different one each appt, and they enter the room reading your chart for the first time. I had my first biopsy scheduled with one in Ketchikan last fall, at the appt I was told their dinosaur of an ultrasound was broken and they were not planning to fix it. The urologist offered to do a finger-guided biopsy but I said no thanks. A half-hour office visit with the traveling urologist was running $475, when I see the doc at Virginia Mason it runs $160 (No prefered providers here or Juneau). My insurance picks up the cost for it, although I pay a lot out of pocket for the expense of traveling to Seattle I feel I get better treatment. I know that SCCA - Fred Hutch Center has produced some amazing miracles in the treatment of other cancers, things that are considered routine treatments now. Here's hoping that tomorrow's advancement will be just what your husband needs.
PSA 6/2003 1.5
PSA 7/2/2008 4.8, % free PSA 8
PSA 7/14/2008 5.2, % free PSA 8
3 weeks Levaquin
PSA 9/2008 5.8, % free PSA 7
Biopsy 10/08 10-core all neg, no sign of PCa, told prostate was enlarged
PSA 12/2008 5.2, % free PSA 7
PSA 2/2009 4.7, % free PSA 8
PSA 5/2009 5.2, % free PSA 8
Biopsy 6/2009 12-core all neg, no sign of PCa, prostate "slightly enlarged".