after surgery, do you say....?

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Susan R
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 6/14/2011 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys-
Michael is having to fill out tons of VA paperwork and we were wondering. Are you considered in "remission" or do you not have prostate cancer at all anymore?

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4823
   Posted 6/14/2011 2:28 PM (GMT -6)   

It would depend on where he is in his journey.

If for example he had surgery and his last PSA was .01 I would call it remission.


Susan R
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 6/14/2011 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
He had his surgery in Feb and his last PSA was undetectable
Husband 39 at diagnosis 12/2010.
No symptoms, PSA 18 in 10/2010
one month antibiotic then PSA 12.6 in 11/2010
biopsy end of 11/2010 Gleason 6
Da Vinci prostatectomy 2/2/2011
1-2 pads per day
nocturnal erections within a month, and able to have sex with Levitra.
1st post-op PSA less than .05

staging: pT2aNo, Gleason 6

142
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6894
   Posted 6/14/2011 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Because PCa can travel out to the system and pop back up months or years later, I can't much see how anyone could claim to be cured, until they die of something else, at which time the point is irrelevant.
 
Since my PSA is going up, I am neither cured nor in remission, and can't say "I had" PCa.

Susan R
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 6/14/2011 2:33 PM (GMT -6)   
so if not cured, or in remission and cant say you HAD it, then what do you say?
Husband 39 at diagnosis 12/2010.
No symptoms, PSA 18 in 10/2010
one month antibiotic then PSA 12.6 in 11/2010
biopsy end of 11/2010 Gleason 6
Da Vinci prostatectomy 2/2/2011
1-2 pads per day
nocturnal erections within a month, and able to have sex with Levitra.
1st post-op PSA less than .05

staging: pT2aNo, Gleason 6

142
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6894
   Posted 6/14/2011 2:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I think you could say "remission" with an undetectable PSA.

Sleepless09
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1267
   Posted 6/14/2011 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Susan,

I'm near two years out from surgery. So far I'm <0.02 or <0.01. I'm a Kingdomality Dreamer Minstrel, so I think of myself as cured. (That's not to say I won't have my heart in my mouth next month when I phone to find out my two year PSA.) Other, more precise, medical types would probably say I was either cured, or in remission, --- it's just not known which.

But, all that isn't helpful --- just an excuse to post and say 'hello' and cheer you both on!

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
  

142
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6894
   Posted 6/14/2011 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Susan,
 
I say "I have" PCa. There is evidence that it is not gone, so... 

Piano
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 847
   Posted 6/14/2011 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I think "in remission" is a good term. With a PSA 0.4 after surgery 3 years ago, I still have PCa, but regard myself as being in remission. If my PSA was zero I would say had instead, but would still be "in remission".
No symptoms; PSA 5.7; Gleason 4+5=9; cancer in 4/12 cores
Non-nerve-sparing RRP 7 March 2008 age 63
Organ confined, neg margins. Gleason downgrade 4+4=8
Fully continent
Bimix worked well; now using just VED
PSA undetectable at first but then rose to 0.4, doubling time 7 months
Following diet change, PSA static at 0.4...

I use to be a fish
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 6/14/2011 3:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I believe you are considered "cured" if it doesn't come back after 10 years. I read it somewhere and I think it was in the Walsh book. I'd say "in remission" or "prostate cancer survivor", or "no evidence of cancer".
Husband diagnosed with Pca on 3/14/2011. Age 48. 4 out of 12 cores positive. Gleason 6 (3+3). First PSA test ever at age 47: 5.14 (1/4/10);
4.1 after 10 days of antiobiotics (2/1/10); 4.44 at doctors office (2/15/10); 2.26 (5/2010); 5.0 (11/10); 4.8 (1/11). Free PSA range 10-13%.

Reading and deciding on what course of treatment.

Sagittarian
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 546
   Posted 6/14/2011 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
May I ask why he is filling out VA paperwork ?
Glenn-AGE-53,NJ, PSA-4.2, FPSA-7%
4/09/2011 - Biopsy, 8 NEG, 4 POS (left), 2(3+3), 2(3+4)
5/23/2011 - Da-Vinci Surgery, Right Nerves Spared, Partial Left
5/25/2011 - PATH, pT2c, 4+3, 25% cancer,Confined, Margin-Lymph-Seminal NEG
5/31/2011 - Catheter Removed
6/01/2011 - UTI, CIPRO 500mg 2 a day for 10 Days
6/10/2011 - No ED, Stress Incontinence
7/12/2011 - First Post Surg-PSA test

Susan R
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 6/14/2011 3:14 PM (GMT -6)   
He is just retiring from Active Army and having his VA rating appts, they gave him a huge stack of paperwork to fill out
Husband 39 at diagnosis 12/2010.
No symptoms, PSA 18 in 10/2010
one month antibiotic then PSA 12.6 in 11/2010
biopsy end of 11/2010 Gleason 6
Da Vinci prostatectomy 2/2/2011
1-2 pads per day
nocturnal erections within a month, and able to have sex with Levitra.
1st post-op PSA less than .05

staging: pT2aNo, Gleason 6

RCS
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 1244
   Posted 6/14/2011 3:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Susan,
 
For purposes of the retirement papers (and disabilty compensation upon retirement as well as VA medical coverage (even though you should have Tricare)), I would tend to go with the option of "having cancer", and require the Army (or VA doctors after retirement) to decide if you husband meets the criteria for "remission".

ralfinaz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 735
   Posted 6/14/2011 3:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Susan,
Hopefully he will not need anymore treatment for his cancer. As side effects of treatment he should mention everything related to his recovery. Incontinence, frequent urination, impotence and any of the things that changed after surgery. As he will depend in part on the VA for health care, mentioning everything "defective" now can be helpful down the road.

Once we have a cancer diagnosis, we hope to be on remission for the rest of our lives. Remission is a good description after mentioning all possible side effects of treatment. Wish you and hubby the best possible outcome.

RalphV
Phoenix, Arizona
Surviving prostate cancer since 1992 at age 58. RP; Orchiectomy; GS (4 + 2); bilateral seminal vesicle invasion; tumor attached to rectal wall; Stage T4; Last PSA September, 2010: <0.1 ng/ml
Laughter is still the best medicine!
www.pcainaz.org/phpBB304

Sagittarian
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 546
   Posted 6/14/2011 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
The reason I asked is that I also retired from the military in 2010.
My PSA's were above 3 for that last 5 years of service.
I wounder if I can apply and say I had it while I was in.  My urologist
said I should had a biopsy years ago. It wasn't until it passed
4 that I had a biopsy done, the rest is history.
Glenn-AGE-53,NJ, PSA-4.2, FPSA-7%
4/09/2011 - Biopsy, 8 NEG, 4 POS (left), 2(3+3), 2(3+4)
5/23/2011 - Da-Vinci Surgery, Right Nerves Spared, Partial Left
5/25/2011 - PATH, pT2c, 4+3, 25% cancer,Confined, Margin-Lymph-Seminal NEG
5/31/2011 - Catheter Removed
6/01/2011 - UTI, CIPRO 500mg 2 a day for 10 Days
6/10/2011 - No ED, Stress Incontinence
7/12/2011 - First Post Surg-PSA test

142
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6894
   Posted 6/14/2011 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
RCS made a really good point.
Really Good Point.
I have VA battles in the family that date back 60 years. I try not to think about that.

Susan R
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 6/14/2011 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
He is claiming EVERYTHING possible, which is why he was handed a huge amount of paperwork, each issue has its own pile.

Sagittarian - If Michaels PSA had been under a 3 he wouldnt even been referred to the URO, in which case they wouldnt have done the biopsy. I think the 3 and under is pretty standard in the Army for not needing a biopsy, so I am not sure they would service connect the PCa. Of course, you can always try!!!
Husband 39 at diagnosis 12/2010.
No symptoms, PSA 18 in 10/2010
one month antibiotic then PSA 12.6 in 11/2010
biopsy end of 11/2010 Gleason 6
Da Vinci prostatectomy 2/2/2011
1-2 pads per day
nocturnal erections within a month, and able to have sex with Levitra.
1st post-op PSA less than .05

staging: pT2aNo, Gleason 6

GTOdave
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 6/14/2011 4:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Susan, how about "treated successfully for prostate cancer, currently symptom free"?

Good luck to you both!

Dave
52 yr old, PSA 3.5, Gleason 6 with 3 of 4 top nodes (0%;1%;10%;1%) cancerous. Bottom 2 floors are clean.

PSA 7/08: 2.2; 7/09: 2.9; 7/10: 4.1; 11/10: 3.5

First post-op PSA =.00! 7 weeks after operation

DaVinci surgery at Yale 3/4/11. Dr. John Coleberg THE BEST!!!

45 gram gland weight
Gl 3+3
PT2C
margins clear
no metastasis
5% of gland adenocarcinoma

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25364
   Posted 6/14/2011 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I also think the term "in remission" at this time is appropriate for your husband
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 margin
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, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81, 6/11 5.8
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 9/10

Sunbird
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 140
   Posted 6/14/2011 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Susan,

If you have not done so, a great site to visit with your "service connected" questions is the Veterans Benefits Network. (google it) This site was created a number of years ago by veterans who wished to exchange information with other veterans navigating the VA maze. This site has no connection with the Government except for a number of retired Veterans Administration Employees who field questions with their expertise and knowledge. I've been a member for a number of years, and the information I've gleaned from this site has been very helpful to me.

Tim G
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2287
   Posted 6/14/2011 9:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Susan,

A way of describing prostate cancer in terms sometimes used by health care providers is "No recurrence, no further treatment". This does not imply cure, but it indicates that based on post-treatment PSA testing there is no evidence that cancer is present and no treatment is being given.

Susan R
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 6/15/2011 11:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Great info and input, thanks so much. I knew I could count on you guys!!

Hey, If I dont get a chance

HAPPY FATHERS DAY to all of you that are Dad's
Husband 39 at diagnosis 12/2010.
No symptoms, PSA 18 in 10/2010
one month antibiotic then PSA 12.6 in 11/2010
biopsy end of 11/2010 Gleason 6
Da Vinci prostatectomy 2/2/2011
1-2 pads per day
nocturnal erections within a month, and able to have sex with Levitra.
1st post-op PSA less than .05

staging: pT2aNo, Gleason 6

ChrisR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 814
   Posted 6/15/2011 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Susan,
 
Dr. Epstien at Johns Hopkins said and I quote "for the rare organ confinged Gleason 6 prostate cancer,  99.6% are cured."  He used the word "cured" I did not.  He is probably the most respected pathologist in the world.  Only problem is that neither he or anybody else can tell you if you are in the 99.6% or .4% and guarantee it.  Patient follow up was 1 to 22 years.  Oh, nobody died of PCa or even developed systematic spread of the cancer.  Even the in .4% group.  So, I don't know at least you can probably bet remission for 22 years......
 
Gleason 6 (50 Point Biopsy) (6 Cores positive - Small Focus Each)
PSA 2.76
42 years old (PSA at 38 years old 2.4)
open RP 10/08  Johns Hopkins  Dr. Partin
pT2 Organ Confined Gleason 6 (tertiary score 0)
PSA Since Surgery
1/15/2009 (3 Month) <.1
10/15/2009 (1 Year) <.1
10/15/2010 (2 Year) <0.03
02/11/2011 (2.3 Year) <0.03 (Impromptu done by GP at a physical)
10/15/2011 (3 Year) -

Post Edited (ChrisR) : 6/15/2011 7:51:32 PM (GMT-6)


Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 6/15/2011 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Remission is the correct term. It means there is a diagnosis but currently no clinical signs of the cancer are present. Sequelae is the aftermath, the side effects of treatment. Urinary incontinence, urinary leakage, erectile dysfunction and so on....these are the "sequelae." I like to use cool words medical evaluators understand. 
 
Swim

az4peaks
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 6/16/2011 2:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Susan R, = If monitoring PSA's remain at LESS THAN 0.1 ng/ml (<0.1) after surgery, it is considered, clinically, "PCa Free" at the time. If it eventually goes above 0.2 ng/ml and is rising, you would be classified as having a PCa recurrence. If you have a measurable PSA of 0.1 or 0.2 ng/ml, but it remains stable at that level, you are considered temporarily "in remission". However, individual Physicians and Medical Centers often vary in the use and meaning of these terms. - John@newPCa (aka) az4peaks
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