remission? confusion

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flippin out
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 11/4/2010 5:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I am still in remission!
Means just what ?
If the PSA has risen ever so much are we considered out of remission ?
not risen at all : cured ?
risen very little : ?
I have yet to meet with a Doctor that has told me I am I am in remission! let alone cured
54Yr Cancer Detected
PSA 8.0+ Gleason 7
55Yr DaVinci City Of Hope California
57Yr Cancer rise in successive PSA's
57Yr Proton Radiation Loma Linda Medical Center California
Feb. 10 0.08 Rise showing up in sucksive PSA's ) :

Fairwind
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3887
   Posted 11/4/2010 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
If your PSA stays undetectable for 10 years, you are officially "cured"...
If your PSA stays detectable but steady you are in remission..
If your PSA number doubles every X number of months, you have active, uncontrolled cancer..
Age 68.
PSA at age 55: 3.5, DRE normal. Advice, "Keep an eye on it".
age 58: 4.5
age 61: 5.2
age 64: 7.5, DRE "Abnormal"
age 65: 8.5, " normal", biopsy, 12 core, negative...
age 66 9.0 "normal", 2ed biopsy, negative, BPH, Proscar
age 67 4.5 DRE "normal"
age 68 7.0 third biopsy positive, 4 out of 12, G-6,7, 9
RRP Sept 3 2010, pos margin, one pos vesicle nodes neg. Post Op PSA 0.9

Jerry L.
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 3072
   Posted 11/4/2010 7:30 PM (GMT -6)   
To each their own. I don't use these terms, but don't have a problem when people use them.

When people ask for my status I tend to say that "it is under control". That works for any PSA activity, it's relevant for PC, and I think it is really what most PC patients are trying to do.
Nov. 2009 Dx at Age 44
Dec. 2009 DaVinci Robotic Surgery
Jan. 2010 T3b, Gleason 9
Feb. 2010 Adjuvant Radiation

PSA History:
-----------------
Nov. 2009 4.03
Feb. 2010 <.05
May 2010 <.05
Aug. 2010 <.05

goodlife
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2692
   Posted 11/4/2010 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
In my opinion, few men are ever "cured" of prostate cancer. When you think of how many million PC cells it takes to start a rise in PSA, what are the odds that the surgeon or radiologist, or the which doctor can eliminate every single one?

It would seem that our treatment eliminates many , many PC cells. Based on the aggresiveness, it may take 10 or 15 years to grow back enough to be significant. Hence a form of remission.

For others, either the treatment didn't get it all, and larger colonbies of cells are in other places, or we have a very agressive cancer which can grow back quickly.

Just my 2 cents worth on cures.
Goodlife
 
Age 58, PSA 4.47 Biopsy - 2/12 cores , Gleason 4 + 5 = 9
Da Vinci, Cleveland Clinic  4/14/09   Nerves spared, but carved up a little.
0/23 lymph nodes involved  pT3a NO MX
Catheter and 2 stints in ureters for 2 weeks .
Neg Margins, bladder neck negative
Living the Good Life, cancer free  6 week PSA  <.03
3 month PSA <.01 (different lab)
5 month PSA <.03 (undetectable)
6 Month PSA <.01
1 pad a day, no progress on ED.  Trimix injection
No pads, 1/1/10,  9 month PSA < .01
1 year psa (364 days) .01
15 month PSA <.01

142
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7078
   Posted 11/4/2010 10:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Cured is a pretty strong word - not sure I'll ever want to use it, for fear that the next day I'm proved wrong.

Fairwind
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3887
   Posted 11/4/2010 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
You were cured when you die from something else...

F8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 3984
   Posted 11/4/2010 10:55 PM (GMT -6)   

i think death from any cause would be curative cool .

ed

 


age: 55
PSA on 12/09: 6.8
no symptoms, no prostate enlargement
12/12 cores positive....gleason 3+4 = 7
HT, BT and IGRT
received 3rd and last lupron shot 9/14/10

English Alf
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2217
   Posted 11/5/2010 2:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I found this definition at MedicineNet.com:

"Remission: Disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer or other disease. When this happens, the disease is said to be "in remission." A remission can be temporary or permanent."

There is also a relevant article at:
ezinearticles.com/?Cancer-Remission:-What-Is-It-Exactly?&id=242550
from which this quote:
"Many people seem to have a distorted and incorrect definition of the word "remission," as it is used in relation to cancer patients. Most commonly people seem to believe that going into remission means that the patient is successfully treated and safe.

However, according to the American Cancer Society, cancer remission is a "period of time when the cancer is responding to treatment or is under control. In a complete cancer remission, all the signs and symptoms of the disease disappear...Complete cancer remissions may continue for several years and be considered cures."

So, someone who goes into cancer remission is not showing signs or symptoms of the cancer. It doesn't matter how many cancer cells are still going strong and growing in the body of the patient, for any time frame that it isn't causing "signs and symptoms," the patient is said to be in remission."


There is another definition at:
cancer.about.com/od/newlydiagnosed/f/cancerremission.htm

"Cancer remission is often thought to mean that the cancer has been cured. However, this is not always true.
There are different classifications of remission - complete and partial remission.
Complete remission means that there are no signs or symptoms of cancer. This can mean the cancer has been cured, or cancer may still be present in the body.
Partial remission refers to the point when few signs and symptoms of cancer remain, however there is a noticeable decrease of cancer cells."



So after treatment, if you have low stable <0.1 PSA then you are in remission. But it does not mean you will stay in remission. (at some point in the future you may have to say "I was in temporary remission") The passage of time (years) is required before you can talk in terms of being "cured".

So technically I am in remission and the "Zero Club" members are all in remission, but who nows if we are cured so Cancer Limbo is what it feels like for me right now.

Alf

Casey59
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 11/5/2010 7:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Alf, thanks for looking those terms up and reporting them back here. I have not been using the word "remission" in my own description, but may start including it now.

You all probably experience the same thing that I do...the example of a friend that I haven't seen in perhaps several months or more approaches and says "How ARE you doing?" I know inside that they are asking about how my cancer is doing; it can be a moment of awkwardness.

My responses haven't always rolled off the tongue smoothly. Usually I say something closely resembling "The surgery I had should cure me forever, but I have to keep testing annually just to make sure."

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 11/5/2010 8:27 AM (GMT -6)   
not convinced there is a cure for anyone. many have lifetime remission until they die of something else other than PC. i consider my PC an ongoing event at this time. i have never stayed near zero long enough at a time to feel any comfort at this point. and we have seen cases of guys being zeros for 15-20 years, and then its back again in their lives.

david
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

English Alf
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2217
   Posted 11/5/2010 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah. I hate the "How are you?" out of the blue from people you haven't told anything or everything to. (Had one today - I just do a sort of mime where I make a face and shrug my shoulders and imply that it's just life in general that's getting me down. It sucks. I think I'd like to be able to tell all folk how I feel.)
There is however a closer group I do keep up to date, but even they don't really get to hear how I am. I mean how do you tell anyone about peeing/crapping in your pants, having ED or at best problems with your sex life - who are you going to talk to about dry orgasms?! - and as for telling them about being scarred about my future! The only time it seems to work is when it turns out that the other person has gone through or is going through something bad of their own, then it tends to pour out.

It also makes it just about impossible to make new friends.

Alf - doing his best to keep going

flippin out
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 11/5/2010 12:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Okay then Thanks as I thought "responding to treatment or is under control". pretty much like a Marriage until Death do you part.
I have NEVER shown Signs of illness every trip to the Oncologist of choice has been at the hast of another Doctors advise it would seem this PC is a cancer of a different animal it can lay dormant for years , "enough years for one to have passed from other causes" the treatments are varied and most successful each in there own right it would seem the work in developing a CURE is continuing of course a cure would make other options obsolete therefore making the gazillions of dollars invested in a wide array treatment useless? huh I wonder? I suppose in this case one does not fit all.
54Yr Cancer Detected
PSA 8.0+ Gleason 7
55Yr DaVinci City Of Hope California
57Yr Cancer rise in successive PSA's
57Yr Proton Radiation Loma Linda Medical Center California
59Yr Feb. 10 - Oct 0.08 0.16 Rise showing up in sucksive PSA's ) :

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 11/5/2010 2:34 PM (GMT -6)   
alf, i agree, most non PC people, really wouldnt want to know what we deal with. i usually, if forced, simply say i am dealing with prostate cancer and let it go at that. if i really wanted to gross out someone, i could show them my new stoma for laughs
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10
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