It's more or less official I've been moved from semi annual checkups to annual. My urologist's and VA PSA's the last year have bounced around from .24 to .32 to .24 It will be 3 years next month that I had my TFT but I always consider the start of the clinical study to be the 3D saturation mapping biopsy that I had to pass, to become a TFT patient in Feb 2008 as the real start.
For those who don't know what TFT is it's Targeted Focal Therapy. It's like a lumpectomy in breast cancer where only the cancer is removed not the entire breast. TFT is similar as it just targets the cancer in the prostate. Mine was done via cryotherapy but now my doctor is doing it with a laser. too. Bottom line a much less invasive procedure than a prostatectomy with far less effects, because you still have a functioning somewhat smaller prostate than you had before. The only effects I have are a +- 60% loss of seminal fluid volume and some penile shrinkage. Which hits me somewhat hard for at 6"3 with size 14EE shoes and xxl golf gloves I am no longer in proportion as I was, but I digress.
I was first diagnosed in 11/2007 and I was in the usual daze most of us are early on. I found this site a few weeks later and unlike many who came here back then and were convinced that radical surgery really was the gold standard and did it. I came here leaning towards robotic radical surgery only to be scared away from it by some of the posters here and their effect and loss of quality of life. Some for lengthy times. I then began to lean towards brachytherapy especially after my sister contacted my cousin who had it done a couple of years earlier. We hadn't spoke in years plus he's 11 years older than I am. But he had few side effects and to brachytherapy I was likely headed.
A problem I had back then and kept thinking of more and more was I felt fine I had no symptoms and felt I was taking all this on faith. Was I really in danger of dying the next few years? WT.F was going on I just went in for a physical and my GP kind of felt a soft lump during my DRE. Now my life was supposed to be turned upside down and inside out. When early on many are in panic I knew I had to learn more before any decision. Not to mention the more I read the more I began to agree with then a small minority that this PCA was possibly being way over treated and just as may be looked back on as the lobotomy days are now. At least for all those thousands of men with low risk PCa that were obviously becoming a steady cash cow for many urologists who were experiencing a gold rush via the PSA tests that were thrust on the scene back in 1988.
While still leaning towards brachytherapy, AS was rarely being brought up as a viable option in late 2007 I caught a major stroke of luck. For in December 2007 a local TV newsman put together a 3 part special chronicling his PCA that he had reported on that year. I didn't watch that station so I didn't know about
this until about
every person who knew of my dx called and told me to watch the entire reports and wrap up being broadcast that saturday. I did and I found links to it later online. I had posted them here for it's not only about
TFT but all options of treatments along with a good explanation of the superiority of saturation biopsies too. I was surprised to find the links now on you tube for channel 7 took them down over a year ago. Below they are and can much better explain the TFT than I can writing about
it. The newsmans PCa and mine were very similar according to our doctors . Mike Landess' doctor was Dr Crawford but Dr Barqawi did the procedures on him. He's the director of research at CU Med Ctr and he was my primary doctor. So do watch these interesting reports and put Ziggy in Mikes place for our procedures and tumor were nearly identical. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq8aTk4H7z8&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lS8vPzcAkw&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwWol_sxmz4&feature=related
For those who watch those videos maybe will later understand why sometimes I can be very strident in my recommending to new men here with low risk PCA to take their time deciding. I did and I may well be the most successfully treated PCa survivor here. I don't mean that as a boast but of all treated men here it's had the least impact on my life. I'm no different than any man here, I feared dying, I feared going into surgery a vibrant middle aged man and waking up elderly. I knew side effects can last weeks to forever. The only thing I had going for me to avoiding all that and reaching this outcome was amazing timing and geographical luck. The fact that I not only knew of TFT, but it was available locally.
One thing I never really did understand were some reactions here to my volunteering for the clinical study. Some thought I was foolish or risking so much. I never saw it that way quite the opposite. Others praised my "bravery" which to me was ridiculous, I was far more fearful of incontinence and possibly living as an old man in diapers much more. Why wouldn't any man offered that not do it, was always my reaction. Now that it's later I can see some men going with AS now instead maybe I would too. But back then I knew after a few months of taking some time to better educate myself realizing that I had low risk PCA and even if TFT failed I would still be closely monitored, and have all treatment options
open. It was almost a nobrainer IMHO.
To sum it all up. MY PCa worse expereinces: I had a total of 5 days with a catheter which like all I loathed. I've undergone four biopsies 3 normal 12 core, and one 45 core saturation biospies. While bioipsies aren't any fun I can never forget a couple of guys here who stated they couldn't do additional AS biopsies and would much rather just do radical removal of their entire prostate. Now those are statements I'll never understand and that's coming from a 4 timer.
Diagnosed 11/08/07 - Age: 58 - 3 of 12 @5%
Psa: 2.3 - 3+3=6 - Size: 34g -T-2-A
2/22/08 - 3D Mapping Saturation Biopsy - 1 of 45 @2% - Psa:2.1 - 3+3=6 - 28g after taking Avodart - Catheter for 1 day -Good Candidate for TFT(Targeted Focal Therapy) Cryosurgery(Ice Balls) - Clinical Research Study
4/22/08 - TFT performed at University of Colorado Medical Center - Catheter for 4 days - Slight soreness for 2 weeks but afterward life returns as normal
7/30/08 - Psa: .32
11/10/08 - Psa.62 -
April 2009 12 of 12 Negative Biopsy
2/16/10 12 of 12 Negative Biopsy
Post Edited (Ziggy9) : 3/10/2011 8:07:45 PM (GMT-7)