Just Starting Need Advice

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/20/2009 7:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Just starting this process.  PSA historically alwayw one's now three weeks ago got two readings of PSA16.  last PSA two years ago.  COmpleted biopsy yesterday & get results soon; high probability of cancer.  Need advice re: treatment options: surger? seed implants? standard radiation? or new proton radiation?  Any comparative studies? personal experiences with proton radiation?  thank you

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 133
   Posted 11/20/2009 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   


Not to panic. Go to a book store and pick up one of several very good books about the subject. Your request is so broad and there are so many variables that having a broader undestanding of everything from PSA readings, biopsy results and treatment options is the first stop on the journey.


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....

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 11/20/2009 9:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Jerry, when you get your biopsy results, and if confirmed you have PC, then bring it back here, and we can help you sort it all out. What options you have would depend on the severity of your diagonosis, if you do have PC.

This is a great site to find and be a part of if you need us.

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
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out  38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - began IMRT SRT - 39 sess/72 gys cath #8 33 days, 11/2- SP Cath #9 in place

Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2461
   Posted 11/20/2009 9:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Jerry, I concur with what David said. Once you get the result of your biopsy make sure you get a copy of the results on include in your signature. Until then no one can help. In the mean time you van get some books like the one by Dr Walsh and educate yourself about the various treatments out there.
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
Posterior lateral lesions measuring 1.5 x 1.4 x 1.0 cm showing focal capsular penetration over a distance of 3mm.
Prostatic adenocarciroma accounts for approx. 10-20% of the hemisphere.
Gleason 4+4
both nerve bundles removed,
pT3a Nx Mx, Negative margins
seminal vesicles clean, lymph nodes: not dissected
continent after 4 months
8 weeks PSA test 4/7/09 result <0.1
5 months PSA test 7/9/09 result <0.1
8 months PSA test 10/9/09 result <0.1

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 311
   Posted 11/20/2009 9:58 PM (GMT -6)   

Of all the information I reviewed while considering my course of action (and also consulting three surgeons, a radiation oncologist, and a general medical oncologist) the referenced study and article below from the New England Journal of Medicine (March 2008 issue) was by far the most helpful to me.


The study followed 1200+ men and their partners for two years.  Interviews were conducted before surgery, and at 2, 6, 12, and 24 months.  Respondents were asked to guage their "degree of satisfaction" with "Changes in Quality of Life After Primary Care Treatment" in five areas, including Sexual Satisfaction and Urinary Incontinence.  The results are graphed out nicely in Figure 1 in the article referenced below;  you can keep clicking on Figure 1 it to get it to readable size.


I found the results more than interesting, and not that surprising from what I had learned anecdotally on this Board and other locations. 


For example, the men undergoing Prostatectomy were divided into Nerve-Sparing and Non- Nerve Sparing groups.  After two years, 40% of the Nerve-Sparing group reported they were sexually satisfied; only around 20% of the Non-Sparing group reported satisfaction.  The two groups were much closer on satisfaction levels with urinary continenece, roughly 80% and 70% were satisfied.


My personal choices, because of my situation, came down to Non- Nerve Sparing Prostatectomy (one bundle removed)  or a combination of Radiotherapy + NHT (hormones) for six months.  Surprisingly (at least to me), the Radiotherapy + NHT group reported about the same level of sexual satisfaction as the Non- Nerve Sparing prostatactomy group (roughly 20%) after two years.  That helped tilt things for me towards surgery as I decided radiation had its own problems, and that I would still be leaving behind a diseased, albiet now "burnt" organ. 


Also, I have tried to keep in mind that as unpleasant as these consequences can be, the primary, indeed overriding goal, is to get rid of the cancer. 


Here is the artilce from March 2008, New England Journal of Medicne.





NewsPaper Lover


Age 66

PSA:  6.0  on 07/31/09 having risen from 4.2 on 12/02/08.  Free PSA 23.5%.Other PSA History: 4.3 on 05/01/08; 3.3 on 11/15/07; 3.1 on 05/20/07; 4.0 on 11/30/06; 3.40 on 09/01/05.


Biopsy:  09/04/09  13 snips;  two positive.  Right Mid  4+3 = 7 and 15% of the total volume.   Right Lateral Mid 4+3 = 7 and 20% of the total volume.


DaVinci robotic surgery:  11/05/09.  Post surgery pathology:  margins clean, no invasion of seminal vessels, no upgrade of the Gleason scores, no evidence of cancer outside the prostate capsule.


Cathether removed one week later:  11/12/09.  Very minor dribbles for two days.  Stopped using pads after three days.  No pads or incontinence either by day or at night.   

Cajun Jeff
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4119
   Posted 11/21/2009 12:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Jerry, Others have posted exactly what I was going to post. Get yourself educated. Read info. With results many here will chime in.

Best of Luck

Jeff T
Cajun Country
Jeff T Age 57

9/08 PSA 5.4, referred to Urologist
9/08 Biopsy: GS 3/4=7
10/08 Nerve sparing open RRP- Path Report: GS 3+3=7 Stg. pT2c, margins clear
3 mts: PSA .05 undetectable

10th month PSA <0.01
1year psa <0.01
ED- 5 mg Cialis daily, pump daily, going to try MUSE next. Next step injections.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 1858
   Posted 11/21/2009 3:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I think you'll find this well worth a read. Straight forward and easy to read.
1/05 PSA----2.9 3/06-----3.2 3/07-------4.1 5/07------3.9 All negative DREs
Aged 59 when diagnosed
Biopsy 6/07
4 of 10 cores positive for Adenocarcinoma-------bummer!
Core 1 <5%, core 2----50%, core 3----60%, core 4----50%
Biopsy Pathologist's comment:
Gleason 4+3=7 (80% grade 4) Stage T2c
Neither extracapsular nor perineural invasion is identified
CT scan and Bone scan show no evidence of metastases
Da Vinci RP Aug 10th 2007
Post-op pathology:
Positive for perineural invasion and 1 small focal extension
Negative at surgical margins, negative node and negative vesicle involvement
Some 4+4=8 identified ........upgraded to Gleason 8
PSA Oct 07 <0.1 undetectable
PSA Jan 08 <0.1 undetectable
PSA April 08 <0.001 undetectable (disregarded due to lab "misreporting")
PSA August 08 <0.001 undetectable (disregarded due to lab "misreporting")
Post-op pathology rechecked by new lab:
Gleason downgraded to 4+3=7
Focal extension comprised of grade 3 cells
PSA September 08 <0.01 (new lab)
PSA February 09 <0.01
PSA August 09 (2 year mark), <0.01

My Journey: www.yananow.net/Mentors/BillM2.htm

Post Edited (BillyMac) : 11/21/2009 1:51:02 AM (GMT-7)

John T
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4268
   Posted 11/22/2009 11:44 PM (GMT -6)   
The Prostate Cancer Research Institute website has some excellent informaton and as BillyMac mentoned the YANANOW web site. There are a lot of reasons for a high psa so until you get the biopsy results the only thing you can do is start to research.

64 years old.

PSA rising for 10 years to 40, free psa 10-15. Had 5 urologists, 12 biopsies and MRIS all neg. Doctors DXed BPH and continue to get biopsies yearly. 13th biopsy positive in 10-08, 2 cores of 25, G6 less than 5%. Scheduled for surgery as recommended by Urological Oncologist.

2nd Opinion from Dr Sholtz, a Prostate Oncologist, said DX wrong, pathology shows indolant cancer, but psa history indicates large cancer or metastasis. Futher tests and Color Doppler confirmed large transition zone tumor that 13 biopsies and MRIS missed. G7, 4+3, approx 16mmX18mm.

Combidex MRI in Holland eliminated lymphnode mets. Casodex and Proscar reduced psa to 0.6 and prostate from 60mm to 32mm. Changed diet, no meat and dairy. All staging tests indicate that tumor is local and non agressive. (PAP, PCA3, MRIS, Color Doppler, Combidex, tumor reaction to diet and Casodex, and tumor location in transition zone). Surgery a poor option because tumor is located next to the urethea and positive margin is very likely; permanent incontenance is also high probability with surgery.

Seed implants on 5-19-09, 3 hours door to door, no pain, minor side affects are frequency and urgency; very controlable with Flowmax and lasted 4 weeks. Daily activities resumed day after implants with no restrictions. Gold markers implanted with seeds to guide IMRT.

25 treatments of IMRT 6 weeks after seed implants. No side affects at all.

PSA at end of treatment 0.02 mostly the result of Casodex. When I stop Casodex next week expect PSA to rise. Next PSA in November. Treatments and side affects have greatly exceeded my expectations. Glad to have this 11 year journey finally conclude.


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