I love it, Chuck! You got the 3 monther and then told to wait for what would be basically an annual checkup. I have no issue with an annual...this checking so often only months apart seems to be potentially a lot of overkill very similar to the bone scan we went through. I read the odds of cancer spreading to bone in many cases with numbers like ours is less than 1% yet most of us are sent off for the scan.
The issue any of us could face is "micro metastasis". That is the "ooooooh" moment where fear takes hold when they tell you that some teeny tiny cancerous cell escapes the prostate and settles elsewhere. That could've happened to any of us. Fortunately, if my understanding is correct, the lower the Gleason the better the chance that the cancer was confined to the capsule. That was one of the reasons I was so happy my Gleason was downgraded from 7 to 6. Hopefully, that is a good sign no micro metastasis took place.
Johns Hopkins did a study, a number of years ago, which involved 17,000 Gleason 6 patients who underwent RRP -- these were TRUE G 6's that remained a 6 in the pathology reports. Out of 17,000, the incidents of metastasis was exactly zero. So it really is HIGHLY unlikely that there would be any spreading.
Even as such, my local uro, who did my biopsy, still sent me in for a bone scan and abdominal CT -- while telling me in advance that the results would be clear. My uro/surgeon at Mayo said he did not know why my local uro even bothered to order those tests.
For many uros, it is standard procedure to order these tests, if for any other reason just to establish baseline readings.
But another thought just hit me -- perhaps those tests are valuable in the unlikely event that there IS high risk PC that was not detected by the biopsy that could have spread. Getting a G6 clinical report from a biopsy, while unnerving, is much preferable to higher scores, there still is that 20+% of biopsies that only reach the G6's and happen to miss more aggressive tumors.
So, I guess in that one perspective, it doesn't hurt to do those scans even with low risk clinical reports.
Resident of Highland, Indiana just outside of Chicago, IL.
July 2011 local PSA lab reading 6.41 (from 4.1 in 2009). Mayo Clinic PSA Sept. 2011 was 5.7.
Local urologist DRE revealed significant BPH, but no lumps.
PCa Dx Aug. 2011 at age of 61.
Biopsy revealed adenocarcinoma in 3 of 20 cores (one 5%, two 20%). T2C.
Gleason score 3+3=6.
CT of abdomen, bone scan both negative.
DaVinci prostatectomy 11/1/11 at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), nerve sparing, age 62.
My surgeon was Dr. Matthew Tollefson, who I highly recommend.
Final pathology shows tumor confined to prostate.
5 lymph nodes, seminal vesicles, extraprostatic soft tissue all negative.
1.0 x 0.6 x 0.6 cm mass involving right posterior inferior,
right posterior apex & left mid posterior prostate.
Right posterior apex margin involved by tumor over a 0.2 cm length, doctor says this is insignificant.
Pathology showed Gleason 3 + 3, pT2c, N0, MX, R1
adenocarcinoma of the prostate.
Prostate 98.3 grams, tumor 2 grams. Prostate size 5.0 x 4.7 x 4.5 cm.
Abdominal drain removed the morning after surgery.
Catheter out in 7 days. No incontinence, occasional minor dripping.
Post-op exams 2/13/12, 9/10/12, 9/9/13 PSA <0.1. PSA tests now annual.
Firm erections now briefly happening in early mornings, 2 years post-op.