Hypochondriac me: sorry probably long

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/23/2010 6:44 AM (GMT -6)   
So, here is just a little about me.  I am 32 years old and have a bit of a problem.  I am sorry, but I am afraid this is going to be long, however I really would love for you guys to stick with me because I am driving myself insane.  I can admit to everyone here that I am a hypochondriac.  Since I was probably 18 years old, I have convinced myself that I have had one thing after another.  It is really very sad and I wish that I weren't this way, but I have been worried about cancer or anyeurysm or heart attack or some other thing and it has led to a lot more trips to the doctor than I care to remember.  Well I am having some issues now that have been ongoing for about a year and a half and I just want you guys honest opinion here, but I just wanted you to know a little about me before I go into this.
I used to work at a place when I was 17 up until I was 20 that required a lot of moving and stacking heavy boxes.  Being a superman though, I never felt it necessary to wear a back harness or anything of that sort and I hurt my lower back several times.  I would get this "twinge" at the lowest part of my back that would make me all numb and weak all over.  Well ever since then I have been plagued with lower back problems.  Occasionally I would do some kind of work, sometimes not even very strenuous, and I would have an attack where my lower back would hurt so bad it would keep me up at night, I wouldn't be able to bend over, and it would be terrible for a few days.  Always it got better after a few days and I would be back to my old self.  This was a definite problem and not one of my imagined ones, but I have dealt with it the best that I could.  Most of the time I would be fine.  Oh, and did I mention I have horrible posture and a desk job now?  Not a good combination.  I mentioned this part because it is important to my story.
In 2006 my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 58 years old.  They went in to do surgery and found that it was very advanced and moved outside of the prostate and was growing up against his bladder.  He went through several bouts of radiation and these days is not doing so good.  He has several areas that it has metastatized (I probably mispelled that) to and although his PSA remains decently low since being on hormone therapy he pretty much lives on morphine pills to manage the pain.  about a year after my father was diagnosed with PC, my uncle (Dad's brother) was also diagnosed with it, and I want to say that he was maybe 55 at the time.  He was also treated with radiation and is on hormone therapy.  He is doing a bit better than Dad I believe though because maybe his was less advanced when they found it.  I believe both of theirs was a fairly aggressive cancer.
In mid 2008 I had some lower back pain that stuck with me and wouldn't go away.  It was in the same area that I have had problems before, but it wouldn't get better.  I had sciatica issues in my right leg and after a couple months or so I started worrying that it might be something else going on with my back.  I started worrying that it might be PC since my father also had some lower back pain when he was diagnosed.  Then I noticed that I was having to urinate more frequently that I used to.  As a matter of fact, I started noticing and worrying that I was going too often and by August of 2008 I had an urge to go all the time...or at least that is how I explain it.  I mean, just a few minutes after going I would have the feeling like I had to go again even though I didn't and couldn't get anything to come out.  I went to my doctor who did a urinalysis and a DRE and said that everything looked fine.  My prostate felt fine to him and he couldn't figure what could be causing it, but felt it might be a mild prostatitis and so he put me on some antibiotics.  Well...I also have a problem with taking some antibiotics.  Not that I am allergic, but I am scared to death of taking new kinds of medication because I am afraid of the side effects.  Yes, there is something seriously wrong with me.  I am surprised my wife hasn't divorced me by now.  Anyway, I was convinced that it wasn't mild prostatitis and that I had prostate cancer and had to get myself to a urologist right away so I scheduled an appointment and went.
The urologist did pretty much the same thing; my DRE was negative, urinalysis was negative.  He said if it was anything, probably a mild case of prostatitis and prescribed me some antibiotics and some little blue pills to help with the urge to go.  I told him about my father and uncle's issues with PC and that I was afraid that might be it and he basically said that it was highly unlikely, that I was too young for PC (I was 30 at the time, nearly 31) and he couldn't see anything that would cause him to think it could be that.  He asked if I was having to get up in the middle of the night to urinate and I wasn't.  He asked how my urine stream was and I told him that it was normal.  Long story short, I went back and forth to the urologist office several times after that when my course of antibiotics was up and I was still having the same problem and he said maybe it was a stricture and wanted to do a cytoscope.  I couldn't bring myself to do the cytoscope so I left it at that with the urologist.  He never discussed doing a PSA test but I really wanted one done for peace of mind because I was convinced that I had PC and was a nervous wreck.  I went back to my general doctor and convinced him to do a PSA test for me to ease my mind.  I was 31 years old and my PSA came back at .4 so he felt that everything was fine since the normal range is anything under 4.
I forgot to mention that in October of 2008 I was doing some serious work involving some lifting and moving of heavy stuff and I really hurt my back which had already been giving me problems.  Since then I have calf muscle cramps all of the time and constant muscle spasms in my right calf.  That has been an issue for well over a year now.  Also, I am still worried about having PC.  I still have to urinate more frequently that I think I should.  I have the urge to go more often than I should, and a few times in the past couple of weeks i have woken up at night and had to go.  I have convinced my doctor to let me have a followup PSA this week since it has been a year since my last one to see if I have had a rise in it.  I know from past experience that your mind can do very strange things to your body.  I have seen that first hand because I am truly a hypochondriac and can admit that, but it still doesn't help the fact that I have these issues going on and am having a difficult time telling if I am causing them or not.  I definitely wish that I weren't this way but I just am and it's hard for people to understand...my grandfather is the same way so I think it must be genetic...  Anyway, what do you guys think?  Is a PSA of .4 at 31 years old something to worry about?  Has anyone experienced anything like what I mentioned...about having not an urge to "go right now" to potty but just this sensation of maybe needing to go all the time?  If nothing else, if there is anyone else left reading by now I really appreciate your taking the time to listen.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 2/23/2010 7:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Brandes,
Well, Rest assured, you almost certainly don't have prostate cancer - if your doc checked you out, but sure, get a PSA
I laugh, I'm probably one of only a handful of guys on here who have been right where you are. It sounds to me as if you ruptured a disc in your back. It's happened to me twice. I'm even going to go out on a limb as say it's your L4-L5 disc. Not diagnosing it, mind you, but get to a neurosurgeon or back specialist immediately. Here is what happened to me - and happens to TONS of guys in their 30's. At some point, you did not have enough muscular support for your back when you lifted something and you squished the disc between your lower vertebrae. It swelled, as with any injury. You injured it again (probably those boxes) and the fibrous casing on the outside split, and some the gelatinous stuff inside came out. It has no where to go in that spinal column. So, it is squishing against your spinal cord - the part of your spine that controls your legs, your bladder, your bowels...everything down there. Because of the pain, muscles spasm and life is miserable. If, indeed this is what happened, Don't panic. It's a simple little surgery. One day in the hospital. I was up and walking that afternoon - pain free for the first time in ages. I went out to dinner two days later. But, get to a specialist. If you are having problems with urinating frequently, you need to go now before you permanently damage some of the nerves. But this time, tell your doc exactly what you wrote to us. Don't focus on bladder issues...focus on back injury.
I've had two spinal surgeries. If this is what it is, it is not a big fix.
www.franktalk.org ED website for PCa guys

46 at Diagnosis.
Father died of Pca 4/07 at 86.
10/07 PSA 5.06 (Biopsy 11/07 1 of 12 with 8% involvment) (1mm)
Da Vinci surgery Jan 5, '08 at Mt. Sinai Hosp. NYC www.roboticoncology.com
Saved both nerve bundles.
Path Report: Stage T2cNxMx
-Gleason (3+3)6
Pad free on March 14 - (10 weeks.) Never a problem since.
ED - at one year, ED is fine with viagra.
Two year PSA - undetectable!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 2/23/2010 9:15 AM (GMT -6)   
I cant tell you what is going on and really this is something for the Dr to check on. By the way, there is medication for being a hypochondriac and life might be more enjoyable for you not to have to worry about every problem to the extent that you do. Check with your Dr on your symptoms and keep us posted. Be blessed my friend.
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive 4.5 psa
59 yo when diagnosed
Robotic surgery 5/09 Atlanta, Ga
Catheter out after 10 days
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than 10%
Margin slightly involved
2 pads per day, 1 depends but getting better,
8/5 1 depend at night only, now none
 started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Post op dx of neuropathy
3 months psa.01, 6 month psa.4, 6 1/2 month psa.5
Starting IMRT on 1/18/10
Great family and friends

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 2/23/2010 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Given your age and PSA, the chances of your having prostate cancer are vanishingly small. With your family history it may be prudent to include a PSA test as a part of your regular physical exam. Every man with an intact prostate is going to have some level of PSA in his blood -- the time to worry is if there is a significant and sustained rise.

If you have concerns about drug side effects -- discuss them with your doctor. I feel confident that my internist is both knowledgeable and thoughtful about such matters. If your doctor leaves you uncomfortable, then you may need to find someone in whom you have more confidence.
Age at diagnosis 66, PSA 5.5
Biopsy 12/08 12 cores, 8 positive
Gleason 3+4=7
CAT scan, Bone scan 1/09 both negative.

Robotic surgery 03/03/09 Catheter Out 03/08/09
Pathology: Lymph nodes & 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 leakage day/1 pad.
3 mo. PSA 0.0 - now light pads
6 mo. PSA 0.00 -- 1 light pad/day
9 mo. PSA 0.00 -- 1 light pad/day ED remains

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 2/23/2010 9:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome Brandes,

Can understand why you would feel so worried about PC with that much in your family. At this point, with a PSA of .4 at your age, and a negative DRE, and with what you doctor has said, highly unlikely that you don't have PC. Since it runs in your family on your father's side, at least you have an early warning, and you should continue to have a yearly PSA test in my opinion now that you have established a base line PSA.

As far as feeling anything in advance of a PC dx, many of us didn't know or feel a thing, didn't have any obvious prostate issues, and our PC diagnosis were picked up by rising PSA scores and then with Prostate Biopsies.

Glad you came aboard, hope we can give you some peace of mind.

Hope your father does better at some point, sorry to hear about 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: 1/10 .12
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 43 days, 1/19 - Corr Surgery #4,  Caths #11 and #12 in at the same time, 2/8-Cath #11 out - 21 days

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 966
   Posted 2/23/2010 10:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Brandes...don't have anything to offer that others haven't already said. Just wanted to say welcome here and hopefully you will gain some insight to this disease, not only for yourself, but for your family as well.

Hoping all the best for your father, late stage cancer is very difficult.
You are beating back cancer, so hold your head up with dignity
Age 58 at Diagnosis
Oct 2006 - PSA 2.6 - DRE Normal
May 2008 - PSA 4.6 - DRE Normal / TRUS normal
July 2008 - Biopsy 4 of 12 Positive 5 - 30% Involved Bilateral w/PNI - Gleason (3+3)6 Stage T1C
Robotic Surgery Sept 18, 2008
Pathology October 1, 2008 - Gleason 7 (3+4) Staged pT2c NO MX - Gland 50 cc
Seminal Vesicles and Lymph Nodes clear
Positive Margins Right Posterior Lobe
PSA 5 week Oct 2008 <.05
                   3 month Jan 2009 .06
                   6 month Apr 2009 .06
                   9 month Jul  2009 .08
                 12 month Oct 2009 .09 

Worried Guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3739
   Posted 2/23/2010 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Brandes, Welcome to HW. (I read your letter to the end.)

I don't know if this helps or hurts your hypochondria but I can tell you from my experience that even with a PSA of 23, I felt perfectly fine. I had no aches or pains, no frequency or urgency, and no performance problems in any department.

Wouldn't it be ironic if feeling healthy is a sign of PCa?
Married 34 years, DX Age 56. First routine PSA test on April 8, 09: 17.8. Start 2 weeks of Cipro to rule out protatitis. May '09 PSA: 22.6, 3 weeks later: PSA: 23.2.
Biopsy 6/10/09: 7/12 scores positive, 20%-70%, Gleason 6=3+3. Bone and C/T scans neg.
RP DaVinci -7/21/2009 @ Univ of Roch Medical Center
Left nerve gone, right partial spared.
Catheter removed - 7/31/2009 Pathology report received:
Gleason 3+4=7, Tumor size: 2.5 x 1.8 cm, location: both lobes and apex.
Extraprostatic extension present; Perineural invasion: present, extensive.
No Malignancy in Seminal Vesicle, vasa deferentia, lymph nodes 0/13
Prostate mass 56 grams. Pathologic Stage: pT3aN0MX
Post Surgery Status:
Potency - 12/11 5 months, Still no activity, zip. Using pump daily since 11/11. No effect with 20 mg of Cialis or 100 mg of Viagra. Shots, See Uro 1/22/10 Trimix unsuccessful.
Incontinence - 8/20 4 full pads per day
.. 9/7 3-4 full pads per day (Try cutting down on fluids. Bad idea. I know.)
11/14 4 months: Still 3 pads per day. 420ml/day, 91 um leak.
12/11 5 months: Still 3 pads per day. 400-450ml/day
1/11/10 6 months: Still 3 pads but leak is now 320 ml (5 day avg.)
Post Surgery PSA - 9/3 6 weeks - 0.05; 10/13 3 months - 0.04, 1/14 6 months - 0.05.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7269
   Posted 2/24/2010 1:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I would strongly suggest you get referred to a P/T (physical therapist) for the back issues (I also have chronic back problems).
PC is extremely unlikely given your age and excellent PSA numbers.

63 years old . PSA-- 3/08--2.90; 8/09--4.01; 11/09--4.19 (Free PSA 24%),  after 45 days on cipro! DREs have always been normal. PCA-3

Biopsy on 11/30/09. 5 out of 12 cores positive. Gleason 4+3. 2 cores were 3+3 (one 5% and the other 30%) on one side. On  other side:2 cores are 4+3 (5%)--1 core 3+4 (30%) no peri-neural invasion. prostate is 45 grams. Stage: T1C.  

Surgery with Dr. Menon at Ford Hospital, 1/26/10. He says all looked good. Spared nerves. Unfortunately: Pathology Report: G 4+3 (65%-35%). Cancer in 15% of gland. Lymph Nodes: Clear.  Perineural Invasion: yes. Seminal Vessical Involvement: No.  Extraprostatic Extension: yes.  Positive Margin: Yes-- focal-- 1 spot .5mm. Final Weight is 52.7 gms. 

 Incontinence: joined that club-- definite leaks—1 pad/day. Night is dry, was  using 1 pad at night for security, but pretty much dispensed with that most nights.

Next Event: First post-op PSA on 3/1/10

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/24/2010 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I want to say thanks to every single person who read through my lengthy message and I really appreciate those who responded.  It has been hard seeing my family suffer because of this disease and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.  My father tells me that there are no treatments for his metastasized cancer aside from chemo and radiation for the pain (cancer that is in his bone) and he refuses to do chemo.  He had his prostate radiated and his on hormone therapy, but he doesn't want to do radiation for what has spread to his bones because he says they would have to shoot the beam through his lung to get to it and he doesn't want to risk it.  Truthfuly I don't blame him.  Thanks again.
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