Dad's biopsy tomorrow......

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Barry's daughter
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 11/10/2010 3:59 PM (GMT -6)   
My dad is due to go for his biopsy tomorrow 11/11 @ 11am! lol.
Just wondering what we should be expecting? we came away from our initial meeting with urologist last week feeling fairly positive, and that the biopsy was just to confirm that it was prostate cancer. Looking on this sight and the internet however, it appears that this is to confirm and 'scale' his cancer telling us also how aggressive the cancer is. Does this mean that we may hear it is worse than they thought or is it as said just for conformation?? So worried that we will be dealt a cruel second blow. I am aware of 'gleason score' TNM and PSA's (although at the moment my head is still spinning and it doesn't make much sense) though I'm sure they will become clear and very much part of my everyday volcabualry soon enough!
I know we won't get the results tomorrow as we have an appointment for the 19th for this. Also we are not seeing an oncoligist at all but dealing with a member of the urology team. Is this right or should we be seeing both?  
Sorry to bombard a whole load of questions at once! 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1100
   Posted 11/10/2010 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I seem to recall from another post that your dad's cancer is already metastatic.  If that is right, then -- while it is appropriate for a urologist to do the biopsy -- your dad will want to see a medical oncologist for treatment advice. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1267
   Posted 11/10/2010 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lisa, well, one thing: 11/11/11 just has to be a good omen! My mother's cousin was awarded the VC in WWI and tomorrow at 11 I'll be saluting his memory --- and I'll add your dad to my 11/11/11 prayer list, although it seems we are many time zones away from each other.

I'm sorry you and your family are having to face this. My dad, at about 62, also was diagnosed with PCa that was too far along to be treated with surgery. He wound up on HT and died many years later --- of heart disease. His urologist said the PCa would have killed him, but he'd have had to have lived to 125 before it got him.

Last week I had my 15/16 month PSA following surgery and it's hard not to be somewhat concerned that I again pull a zero. However, I also know that what should really be worrying me isn't the PCa. That's being looked after. And, if it pops back up the docs will know ASAP and start attacking it with some of their magic stuff like radiation, or drugs. What should be worrying me is the cancer I might have that no one knows about, or the heart artery that's silently blocking, or the vien in my brain that might be getting ready to pop.

I don't want to downplay the seriousness of your dad's cancer, especially at the young age of 62. (I'm 68 and look back on 62 with fond memories of the 'goog old days.') However, there is also some perspective to put it in and at the top of that list is that as late as it is, it has been found, it will be treated, and how lucky he is to have a hip needing replacing so he got the work up!

Once you have the results from the biopsy you'll have some numbers to work with and the wise ones here will be able to give you great advice, and support.

In the meantime I know it's silly to say don't worry, it is worrysome, but at the same time try to also take some comfort in knowing it has been discovered, that it is being treated, and that there are likely options, good options, open and available.

Sheldon AKA Sleepless
Age 67 in Apil '09 at news of 4 of 12 cores positive T2B and Gleason 3 + 3 and 5% to 25% PSA 1.5
Re-read of slides in June said Gleason 3 + 4 same four cores 5% to 15%
June 29 daVinci prostatectomy, Dr. Eric Estey, at Royal Alexandra Hospital Edmonton one night stay
From "knock out" to wake up in recovery less than two hours.  Actual surgery 70 minutes
Flew home to Winnipeg on July 3 after 5 nights in Ramada Inn  ---  perfect recovery spot!
Catheter out July 9
Final pathology is 3 + 4 Gleason 7, clear margins, clear nodes, T2C, sugeron says report is "excellent"
Oct 1st 09 -- dry at night, during day some stress issues.
Oct 31st padless 24/7 
First post op PSA Sept 09  less than 0.02
PSA on Oct 23, 2009 less than 0.02
PSA on Jan 8, 2010  less than 0.02
PSA on April 9, 2010 less than 0.02 
PSA on July 9, 2010 (one year) less than 0.02

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/11/2010 12:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Barry's Daugher:

Your concerns are valid. I went through this process in March 2009. PSA was 17, so it should have not been any surprise during the biopsy consult that I had cancer. However, the conversation was somewhat morbid because it was conducted in what I would describe as a grieving room (soft furniture with plenty of Kleenex).

I am a Taurus. Give me the facts. Let me process. BUT, what I have come to learn (16 months post radical prostatectomy and still non detectable PSA) is that cancer messes with your mind. It affects your conscious and subconscious mind. Other than persistent and complete ED, this is what has had the greater affect on me.

My fatherly advice to you, be with your dad tomorrow. CAT scans, biopsies and PSA's pale in comparison to the therapeutic effect of love - especially from a child. Also, remain in touch with this forum.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 1406
   Posted 11/11/2010 3:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Barry's Daughter ~ I wish your Dad the very best with this surgery.  Once you get the pathologist's report, you'll have more information and some suggestions to deal with.
Airborne gives good advice.  I know how concerned you are, and he will appreciate that.  Please come back with an update.  God bless your father.
Husband Ron, age 63
4/1/10 PSA 5.5 Prostate size = 50 cc.
Biopsy on 4/20/10 12 samples... Adenocarcinoma: 3 positive on right side, one core left base (5% ` 0.5 mm) - two cores of left lateral mid
(20% ~ 2mm, 10%, 10% ~ 1mm) - No Perineural Invasion
Gleason 6 (3+3)
Bone Scan/CT Negative (2 lesions on liver)
8/18/10 - Da Vinci Prostatectomy
Post Op: Gleason 7 (3+4)
Negative surgical margins and lymph nodes
Both nerve bundles spared
Catheter - 13 days
ED / Day time incontinence.
Post Surgery PSA 8 weeks - .01

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2218
   Posted 11/11/2010 3:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Wishing you well for tomorrow (today in fact)

As your dad already has mets diagnosed I don't think the biopsy results will actually give you "bad" news. This will be a rubbish analogy but imagine a piece of furniture has woodworm, well the biopsy is sort of the equivalent of being told how big the woodworm are or what species they are.

I'll be thinking of you at 11 11 11
(My dad was sitting with his men on a cold wet muddy roadside in Belgium on 11th Nov 1918: I think a biospy will be easier. and I do mean my dad, have a look at my blog about him if you want to: his letter written on the First Armistice Day is the last one on that page)

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 Oct 2010
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 11/11/2010 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   

I wish you and your dad all the best. You will be in my prayers today.

You know, when I had my biopsy done this past August, I was praying for it to come back "Negative". It didn't. Looking back I feel lucky that the urologist DID hit two specimens. Otherwise I would have gone home thinking I beat the odds. I don't want to speculate what may have happened had that occurred.

July 1, '10
PSA 3.88
Gleason 3+3=6
2 out of 12 samples positive

DaVinci Oct 1 '10, UNC Chapel Hill
Cath/JP Drain out Oct.16, '10

Personal Statistics:
Age: 54
Weight: 184 lbs.
Height: 6 feet


Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2461
   Posted 11/11/2010 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
As other posters have indicated, the biopsy today is simply a way of putting a Gleason number on your Dad's PSA. Generally, the biopsy itself is not painful so he should be fine afterwards. Once you know the Gleason score, you Dad should consult with a PCa oncologist on what treatment to have. Good luck and best of wishes.
Age: 67 at Dx on 12/30/08 PSA 3.8
2 cores out of 12 were positive Gleason (4+4)
Davinci surgery 2/9/09 Gleason 4+4 EPE,
Margins clear, nerve bundles removed
Prostate weighed 57 grams 10-20% involved
all PSA tests since (2, 5, 8, 11, 15, 18 months) undetectable
Latest PSA test (21 months) .005

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 2680
   Posted 11/11/2010 10:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Here's hoping your father's biopsy wasn't painful and that he finds some good options for treatment.

English Alf, I read your blog. Thanks for sharing that. I thought you might be interested in my grandfather's WWI journal. I don't see any reason why this link would be any sort of violation:
Age 65
Dx in June 2010.
PSA gradually rising for 3 years to 6.2
Biopsy confirmed cancer in 6 of 12 cores, all on left side
Gleason 7 (3 + 4)
Bone scan, CT scan, rib x-rays all negative.
DaVinci surgery late August at Advocate Condell, Libertyville IL
Negative margins; negative seminal vesicles
Smooth recovery; 18 holes of golf at 4 weeks.
Continence OK after 7 weeks. ED continues
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