Annie, I watch over my 82 year mother the way you do your father, so I can understand the worry and concerns you are having. Makes me feel better that you are helping him and learning all you can.
The "doing nothing" is just a manner of speaking, in the method of Active Surveilence, the patient still needs to have regular PSA tests, possible additional biopsies if needed, and be prepared to start an active treatment if needed.
The thing that concerns me the most out of your father's stats, is the number of Gleason 7 (4+3), and the Gleason 7 cores in general. The "4" component of those mixes is definitely a more agressive progression of cancer cells. Gleason 7 cases can be hard to predict, and if anything, they tend to act more agressive, as opposed to less agressive.
Now if your dad lived to be a 100, him being 80 would live him a lot of time for the cancer to progress, but on the other hand, would also give him a chance at standard primary treatment methods.
The scary part, can't be helped. It comes with a diagnosis of any kind of cancer. But as anyone will testify here, the best way to overcome the scary and fearful part, is to gain knowledge ,as you are attempting to do.
I hope only the best for you and your father. What you will see here, as far as treatment, or even non-treatment, we tend to support each other fully in our decisions. We are in this together.
David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Latest: 7/09 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/09 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 - out 38 days, 9/14/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl.agree to start radiation, mapping on 9/21/9, 9/24 - mtg with uro/surg, 9/29- pre-op, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - suprapubic cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - first treatment IMRT.