I don't know enough about
your case to offer my opinion. You may have co-morbidities, like a heart condition, diabetes, etc. that shortens your life expectancy. In that case, the prostate cancer may be the least of your concerns. In that case, he is right, based on your favorable intermediate risk cancer, that it is likely to be a slow growing one that you can comfortably monitor it with the right tools, and treat palliatively with hormones if it advances.
If you are otherwise healthy, you can continue with active surveillance, provided the VA has the right tools. With the next annual biopsy, you may want an mpMRI to help detect any higher grade cancer and any progression.
Or you can decide to definitively treat it. If you are a healthy 71 year old, surgery may still be an option. Other equally good options are brachytherapy (seeds or temporary) or SBRT (5 external beam treatments). Your choices may be limited at the VA, but Medicare may cover it elsewhere.
Allen - not an MD
•PSA=7.3, prostate volume=55cc, 8/17 cores G6 5-35% involvement
•SBRT 7 year results
treated 10/2010 at age 57 at UCLA
•PSA since treatment:
1/11:3.9 5/11:3.0 8/11:3.7 5/12:1.2 9/12:1.3 5/13:0.4 6/14:0.5
• SEs of treatment:
after 2 wks: mild urinary & rectal - last 1 wk
1 yr after: mild urinary