First, ask away, from all of of us. There is no such thing as too many questions here, no such thing as a dumb question. I can't take credit for this quote, I picked it up here, but the best way to overcome fear with PC, is with knowledge.
Second, I am not a dr nor have any qualifications, I am answering based on how my team of doctors answered me in my case.
Thirdly, a positive margin does not mean you will have reoccurance, but it can. And we have men without positive margins, that do have reoccurance. That is the annoying thing about PC, it doesn't follow the rules of fairness or consistency.
Fourth, you asked if you have a psa reoccurance after surgery, does that mean chances of cure are gone. No way to know or answer that precisely. The great unknown in that situation is the reoccurance local, i.e. to the prostate bed or general region, or has it metasizied elsewhere in the body, or also, it can be both at the same time.
With our present technology and testing, and please someone step in if I am wrong on this point, there is no accurate fool proof way to know the difference.
With some men, let's say they have surgery, and it fails like mine did, and then they have radiation, and for all reasonable purposes, they are "cured". With other men, even the radiation can fail. If the radiation fails as a salvage, then the PC is said to be no longer curative.
Its not like I am beating around the bush, or other posters here, but PC again, has its own rhyme and reason. If we only knew from the start whether our cancer was indolent (not likely to ever turn agressive in our lifetime), or agressive, and just waiting to get you, we would be so much better off after we get our diagnosis. We have men that have surgeries that are never needed, and men that have surgeries that are destined to fail, and men that have surgeries that work. And not just surgeries, but whatever primary treatment they choose would have the same choices of outcomes.
I am glad your dad has you. Can't remember seeing your name, so not sure if you are a son or daughter, but I am so glad that my adult age children live close to me, and all take an active role in keeping a close eye on the old man. Bless you for that.
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
Post SRT PSA:
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 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 in place