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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/19/2010 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I just found out that my father has prostate cancer. He is at stage 9 and getting a bone scan tomorrow. I am mentally preparing myself for the test results, but I am really wondering what kind of hope there is. I don't know if this is something that can be managed and if there is hope for him. I want to support him in any way that I can, but I don't really know what to say. The doctor's have not given him a "timeline" or anything like that and his diagnosis was just a few days ago. I wonder in my worried state of mind if he is going to have the chance to "recover" or at least be able to manage this for a significant period of time. My dad is 67 years old and could be in better overall health, but is not suffering from any other health issues. Will he be able to handle treatment/surgery? I hope someone can give me some advice. I am a very worried son.

Don K.
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 10/19/2010 10:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Just spotted your post from a few hours ago.
Please stay tuned because soon, a bunch of people will reply with help and encouragement.
All I can say is that I sure can understand how you feel right now. I think that what you meant was that he has a Gleason score of nine.
Plenty of folks here have a G9 score and are still kicking. So don't give up too soon.
...Don K...

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 10/19/2010 10:36 PM (GMT -6)   
 I'm sorry to hear the news. My own Father fought the good fight and made it to 72, Read what you can and ask questions. People are here for support on the net and family is most important right now. Good luck with helping your Father through this. Take time with you and yours. Hindsight tells me that I wish I had spent a little more time with my dad in my later years.
Age 48 w/diagnosed
10/25/06 PSA 3.0
11/13/06 PSA FREE 0.5
11/13/06 PSA % FREE 13.2
10/25/07 PSA 3.4
12/18/07 Biopsy-neg
1/7/09 PSA 4.6
6/18/09 psa 5.8
2/9/10 psa 8.7
7/19/10 PSA 10.8
8/19/2010 3rd Needle core biopsy- single focus of prostatic adenocarcinoma, GG 3+3=6, Tumor involves one of eight cores -2%, Prostate 78 (big)
LRP scheduled for Oct 22

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 847
   Posted 10/20/2010 1:31 AM (GMT -6)   
A bone scan is a precautionary measure and often turns out negative. Of course if the scan does show cancer, that will rule out some treatment options such as surgery.

Gleason 9 is serious, but the cancer may still be organ confined, as it was in my case. For sure it will need some kind of treatment, and if your dad is not well enough for surgery, then some combination of radiation and hormone treatment would still be possible. A "cure" might not be possible but there is still then the chance to stave off the beast until something else gets him. So a relatively normal life.

A cancer diagnosis is a shock and we immediately fear the worst. However usually things turn out better than we first think.
Age 63 at diagnosis, now 65.
No symptoms; PSA 5.7; Gleason 4+5=9; cancer in 4 of 12 cores.
Non-nerve-sparing open surgery on 7 March 2008.
Two nights in hospital; catheter out after 7 days.
Continent; no pads needed from the get-go.
Pathology showed organ confined and negative margins. Gleason downgraded to 4+4=8.
6-week : <0.05
7-month: <0.05
13-month: 0.07 (start of a trend?)
19-month: 0.09 (maybe)
25-month: 0.2 (yes, bummer)
27-month: 0.2 (not up; glad about that)
After a learning curve, Bimix injections (0.2ml) worked well. From 14 months, occasional nocturnal erections. At 18 months, "graduated" to just the pump.

Worried Guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3742
   Posted 10/20/2010 5:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HealingWell. You are already helping your dad by learning about the disease and making connections with others.

Within the month you will learn more about testing results, what they mean, and how they apply to your dad - and you. I can't give you advice yet as there are simply too many unknowns. PSA?, Has it metastasized?, etc.
Talk to your own doc and if you haven't already, get a PSA test done on yourself.

There are many men here with Gleason 9 and they are doing fine.
At this point you should be in learning and information gathering mode.
Don't start spending the inheritance.
Good luck to both of you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1804
   Posted 10/20/2010 6:07 AM (GMT -6)   
October, so sorry to hear about your dad. Your post doesn't provide any other information such as what his PSA was at diagnosis, what led to the diagnosis (was this caught during a routine physical), etc. A bone scan is usually (note usually) done at diagnosis if the PSA is high (I can't remember the exact number but I think it's 20 or higher). In your dad's case, the doctor may be ordering the bone scan simply because of the Gleason 9.

While a Gleason 9 is serious (denotes a more aggressive disease), there are so many other factors involved. His biopsy should show how many samples (cores) were taken (should be at least 10 cores) and what % of cancer cells were found in each (the higher the percentage, the more extensive the disease). You should hear shortly from some of our more seasoned members who will provide lots more about what you and your dad need to know before making any treatment decisions. Also, what stage is the doctor assigning him...there are 4 stages (I, II, III and IV). If the cancer was found through a routine PSA test, he's considered a I. If the doctor felt something during a DRE (digital rectal exam), he's a II. If the doctor thinks the cancer has escaped the prostate capsule (a thin membrane that surrounds the prostate gland), he is considered a III. A stage IV means that the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body (such as the bones).

Until you have all these pieces, there really are no decisions that you and dad can or should make about the "future". I do hope that you get answers soon as the waiting for information is one of the toughest parts of dealing with PCa (prostate cancer).

Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2461
   Posted 10/20/2010 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
The number 9 that you mentioned is the Gleason score which is a way of describing how abnormal the cancer cells are when compared to normal prostate cells. A 9 is certainly not a good prognosis but as Sephie mentioned, the cancer may be confined to the prostate and may also be small. So based on what the doctors know they will choose a treatment. If they think the cancer is confined to the prostate, they may choose surgery and or radiation. If the cancer has spread beyond the prostate, then hormone therapy (ADT) may be the choice. In any case, this doesn't mean the end. There are a lot of men who live a long time.
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
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 in circumference.
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 5 months
2 months 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
11 months PSA test 1/21/10 result 0.004
14 months PSA test 4/19/10 result 0.005

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 10/20/2010 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed in 2005 with a Gleason score of 9 and been through a variety of treatments.  Most with no significant side effects (none that dramatically effected my life)  and my life has been mostly normal and happy.  I continue with treatments and follow my oncologists instructions.
I am sorry to hear of your dads diagnosis.  I was surounded with positive people who kept me encouraged and happy through it all.  I believe this is the best you and your family can do for him.  I am optomistic about my own recovery and hope the same for your dad.  My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
2005 PSA 34  GLE 4.5 + 4.5   Prostate removed
Hormone treatment 2005 to 2010. (PSA remains below 1 to this day)
April 2010 PSA tumor discovered.    CHemo 4/2010 to 8/2010
Radiation 8/2010 through 9/2010
Oct 19 started Jevtana (newly aproved chemo treatment)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3149
   Posted 10/20/2010 9:11 AM (GMT -6)   
You need to get a copy of his records, pathology report in detail would be helpful the Gleason 9 is only part of these nomogram puzzles on PCa stats for comparing to others based upon averages found in the PCa patients. His volume of PCa and psa level could even have more significance than a Gleason 9 by itself. Lots of ways to fight PCa and at his age, radiation methods (various choices) or drug protocols for control with many choices. Might not be wonderful to undergo surgery as to side effects and age issues, but that is your choice to maybe look at. Get second opinions on this huge decision up coming is a suggestion, lots of sales tactics and bias exist in this and you might learn the hard way, but I hope you don't.
Chances are he can do fairly well even with found bad stats, as many people are doing and that includes me.
Dx-2002 total urinary blockage, bPsa 46.6 12/12 biopsies all loaded 75-95% vol.; Gleasons scores 7,8,9's (2-sets), gland size 35, ct and bone scans look clear- ADT3 5 months prior to radiations neutron/photon 2-machines, cont'd. ADT3, quit after 2 yrs. switched to DES 1-mg, off 1+ yr., controlled well, resumed, used intermittently, resumed useage

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2218
   Posted 10/20/2010 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to what we all think of the Forum that nobody wants to join.

A full set of stats will give a better indication of where your dad is on this journey, and it will be a journey. But there is a lot that can be done to control things even if it turns out it is not at a stage where it can be cured.

Born Jun ‘60
Apr 09 PSA 8.6
DRE neg
Biop 2 of 12 pos
Gleason 3+3
29 Jul 09 DaVinci AVL-NKI Amsterdam
6 Aug 09 Cath out
PostOp Gleason 3+4 Bladder neck & Left SVI -T3b
No perin’l No vasc invasion Clear margins
Dry at night
21 Sep 09 No pads daytime
17 Nov 09 PSA 0.1
17 Mar 10 PSA 0.4 sent to RT
13 Apr 10 CT
28 Apr 10 start RT 66Gy
11 Jun 10 end RT
BMs weird
14 Sep 10 PSA <0.1
Erections OK

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 487
   Posted 10/20/2010 12:28 PM (GMT -6)   
October77; If you can get a copy of your fathers pathology report, please post as much of that information as possible. There is a tremendous amount of good solid information within the members of this forum. Also, many of the members here possess wisdom and experiences that you will never find in a doctors office. If you share the pathology information, you will receive a lot of guidance and suggestions. These guys will not make your decisions for you, but will arm you with solid information that you can use to make the right decisions for your dad.

Having said that, and assuming that your "stage nine" actually means a Gleason of 9, then I'm here to tell you that a Gleason 9 is not the kiss of death. No, it's not a good thing, but I am also a G9, I had a Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy three months ago, and I feel really good with two successive psa's of "non-detect." I have no idea what the future holds for me, or how long I will remain in the "Zero" club, but at this point, I plan to live life, as if I have another 30 years. Who knows? Maybe I do.

For starters the following would be helpful:

1. Gleason score
2. psa prior to biopsy
3. % volume of cancer,
4. How many total biopsy cores?
5. How many cores had cancer?
6. Is your dad height/weight proportioned?
7. What treatments has he had, and what is planned?

This would be just starter information. You can check out several of the "signature lines" for more guidance in this regard. Knowing where the other guy "is", often tells us what his bigger concerns might be.

God Bless you and your dad, and please return to this forum with as much of your dads data as possible.
Age 57 at Dx
5/09 PSA 2.26
6/2010 PSA 3.07 FPSA 18% DRE +
6/2010 Bipsy, 7 of 12+, >60%, 4+5=9
7/21/2010 - RRP
Nodes neg,Ves neg
tumor in capsule, still 4+5=9
pni extensive
8/5, 2010 cath out
9/3, 2010 PSA - 0.04 whew!
9/3/2010, I'm 99% continent - only stress incontinence
10/14/10, PSA still 0.04, and lupron #1, 99.9% continent
Total ED, 3 caverject failed, pump sux

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 10/20/2010 1:22 PM (GMT -6)   
You have gotten some good advice. While a Gleason 9 is said to be aggressive, that means aggressive for prostate cancer. So, as others have said, lots of guys with 9's hang around for a long time.

Your father's age is about the same as mine when I was treated. I was about 25 pounds overweight and on meds for high blood pressure and cholesterol. I was back at work (desk job) two weeks after surgery and have had no trouble resuming my normal life. (Well, now I eat less and exercise more but that is the new normal)

Everyone here, and our families, has known the fear that a cancer diagnosis causes. At this site we believe that more information is the best way to fight both cancer and fear.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/20/2010 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   

Don't have anything to add. Those with much more experience have commented. Take their advice and good luck.
Late 07 PSA UP/Early 08 First Biopsy - Neg
Late 08 PSA Higher/Early 09 Second Biopsy - Neg
Early 10 PSA UP/Early 10 Third Biopsy - Positive
26 Cores...4 positive
8/23/10 RP Gleason 6+ 5% of Prostate Cancerous Wide Margins
Nodes negative/Vesicles negative
Tumor contained in capsule
NO post surgery PSA test as of yet.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1382
   Posted 10/20/2010 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I would also like to say that I am sorry to hear the news. On a positive note I too am a gleason 9 that was already spread to the lymph nodes. I went through radiation and ADT3 and I am doing great. Exercising daily and living life large so do not buy into this being the end. There are plenty of options available to you. Keep us posted please we all care about you.

peace and love
My PSA at diagnosis was 16.3
age 47 (current)

My gleason score from prostate was 4+5=9 and from the lymph nodes (3 positive) was 4+4=8
I had 44 IMRT's
I was on Lupron, Casodex, and Avodart for two years with my last shot March 2009. I am currently (7-22-2010) not on any medication.
My Oncology hospital is The Cancer Treatment Center of America in Zion IL
PSA July of 2007 was 16.4
PSA May of 2008 was.11
PSA July 24th, 2008 is 0.04
PSA Dec 16th, 2008 is .016
PSA Mar 30th, 2009 is .02
PSA July 28th 2009 is .01
PSA OCt 15th 2009 is .11
PSA Jan 15th 2010 is .13
PSA April 16th of 2010 is .16
PSA July 22nd of 2010 is .71
Testosterone keeps rising, the current number is 156, up from 57 in May

T level dropped to 37 Mar 30th, 2009
cancer in 4 of 6 cores
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