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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 3/8/2007 10:37 PM (GMT -6)   

I want to start by thanking all of you that take the time to post on this site. For 3 weeks now I have been a frequent visitor and have learned a tremendous amount about PCa. The experience and information shared here has helped me tremendously. I have moved from a sort of numb fear to a growing belief that it’s going to be ok.


I have talked extensively with my Urologist and the Family doctor. Today I met with a Radiation Oncologist, the third and last Doc I plan to meet before making my decision on treatment. I have read Dr Walsh’s book and visited countless websites.


The general consensus of the Doc’s is I have four options: watchful waiting, surgery and 2 radiation options. All 3 Doc’s think that because of my younger age watchful waiting is probably not the best idea, too much time for the PCa to grow. The Urologist, Family doctor and Radiation Oncologist (surprisingly) all vote surgery as the top option.


I find myself feeling pretty psyched to get the sucker cut out. I like the idea of high tech, minimally invasive Robotic surgery. From this forum I have learned the names of the best Doc’s in the country.


But…… there’s still a little voice saying why not wait.  It’s still at an early stage, you have time. The side effects can be severe. Maybe the technology will even get better. Why not wait a few years.


Making a decision now seems more trouble than actually having PCa.


But it’s not, I’m going to have the DaVinci surgery. I’m a little scared but my gut tells me the PCa is not going to stop growing and I have to act.


But why not just wait…………..

Age: 51

PSA  Jun06  4.1  (PSA Jun05  1.2)

1st Biopsy Nov06 – Atypical cells but no cancer

2nd Biopsy Jan07 – 1 of 16 cores positive

Stage T1c   Gleason  3+3=6


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 621
   Posted 3/8/2007 10:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I can tell you why Joes! First you sound like you've researched this so well and made the best decision for you. . . . now "ON WITH IT"!!

We too were told that our numbers were low enough that time was not a factor . . .that is until the post op pathology report found a second cancer within the prostate that was an aggressive cancer and would have spread quickly had it been allowed to wait and get outside the prostate, without us ever knowing it was doing it's number.

We walked out of that doctor's office thanking God we didn't do any "watchful waiting".

Good luck Joes . . .welcome to this awesome forum . . . and please keep us posted.

;o) Linda & Bob
Bob (60) had laproscopic prostate surgery on Sept 27, 2006 - 2/12 malignant biopsy samples - gleason 3 + 3 = 6.  Follow up PSA results and pathology results received Nov 14th are NO MORE CANCER!  Gleason changed to a 3 + 4; cancer completely confined to prostate; (even a second more aggressive, previously undetected cancer)      PSA UNDETECTABLE November 2006 AND February 2007.   
Bob also takes Hydroxyurea to control Polycythemia (elevated red & white cells & platelets) has secondary condition . . Myelofibrosis) -- If anyone has experience or knowledge of these, please post us.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 3/8/2007 11:04 PM (GMT -6)   

Look at my signature line, and you can see why I'm glad I had it pulled out.  Even to the day of surgery, I wondered if I was being overly aggressive, since I had only one positive core, and that at only 5%!  When I got my post surgical report, I was shocked that I had positive margins on the other side.  Thank God for my first PSA of 0.01!!!

As far as the Da Vinci Surgery:

1.  I was out the next day - took only one pain pill at home.

2.  The catheder was far less a problem than I feared.  It was more of an annoyance and procedure to change bags/clean bags/etc.  I was walking outside with the leg bag right away, ang got up to a mile in a week.

3.  Incontinence  - So far, things have been good.  I do my Kegals, and did them before surgery.  When I go someplace, I'll put in a womens sanitary napkin to catch an occasional drip.  I was out of town today, and really didn't need it.  (Not to get into details, but the small sanitary napkin allows use of the fly.  Using a public urinal may seem like a small thing, but every step is a positive one!)

4.  The best line I can leave you with is from my surgeon as he discussed my post surgical pathology report - "At least it's in a jar of formaldehide somewhere!"

Good luck with your decision.  I am glad I chose surgery, since I know the full extent of my cancer, and if I have to do further treatments in the future, I have the hormone and radiation to fall back on.  Or, perhaps if I can keep that PSA low for years, there will be something else around the corner.


PSA 4.7 (up from 3.2 one year ago)
Biopsy November 8, 2006
1 of 10 cores positive 5% LEFT Side
2 others questionable (small gland proliferation)
Gleason 3+3
Robotic surgery January 19, 2007
Post Surgery Pathology
     Stage T3a, Gleason 3+4, positive margins and
     capsular penetration RIGHT Side
Post Surgery PSA:  March 5:  0.01

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 3/8/2007 11:32 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi  ~ Joes411 & Loved Ones,


               A   “Special”  Warm Welcome  to  You!   yeah  


We know ~ we can “all” make "Your Journey" smoother just by being here for you! 

This is truly a great forum!!! ~ You have joined! You are now part our forum family ~ a group of wonderful individuals who are so willing to share their journey with you! 


It helps “all of us” ~ to help you ~ if we know where you are on your path.

So ~ Please stay with us and take our hand when you need it!  Keep posting.... OKAY!!   

We are all here to help you travel the path with prostate cancer.  Thank you for allowing us to walk with you.



KNOWLEDGE IS POWER... and POWER conquers fear


~ and ~

Your decision will be the right decision for you!!!



We invite you to visit our personal thread in the signature area below.

Our thoughts and prayers will be with you as you move forward.


In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy


“God Bless You”


It's a little prayer  ~  "God Bless You"

...but it means so much each day,

It means may angels guard you

and guide you on your way.



(Direct Link ~ just click on the title below and a new window will open!  

Reminder … click on the REFRESH icon once you get there)

Helpful Hints for New Members... Hope this helps you! :) 

mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

Link to our personal journey…>>>     Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

2nd PSA 02-06-2007 Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1464
   Posted 3/9/2007 12:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Joes,

You have done the research, heard from us who had surgery, those who chose the radiation options and now
its time to get the program started. Chose and don't look back. Each of made the best choice, for US.

Once the decision is made, the doubt and fear will subside. That is important in getting ready for the procedure no matter what it is. Become a cheer leader for you medical team, get in the best physical shape you can manage and have lots of sex and you will be ready.

Good luck and please stay with us. We all need your input....

Age 72. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2B Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Pathological stage: T2B. Gleason 3+4. Cancer confined to prostate.
PSA on 1/3/07 - 0.04.  Next PSA on 4/4/07.
 "Cancer feeds on fear - starve it to death."

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 3/9/2007 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi There Joes,

You speak about technology and how it effects those with PCa. Unfortunately the technology has not achieved a level where the urologist can tell you exactly where the cancer is in your prostate. While the biopsy might tell you for sure that it is where that small needle sampled the tissue it cannot tell you where else it is and is not. The scary part for me at the decision making stage was that I did not know if the cancer was near a margin or already there. Waiting longer was enticing but what price to pay if it got out when it could have been confined. In hindsight I could have probably gone a couple of more years as the post path analysis was that it was a small single tumor that was right in the middle of my prostate. But then again, what quality of life is it to be worrying all that time. Just some thoughts to share with you.

Diagnosed 7/6/06
1 of 10 core samples, 40%
Stage T1c, Gleason 3+3
Da Vinci on 11/01/06
Catheter out on 11/13/06
56 Years Old
Post Op Path
Gleason 3+3
Approx. 5% of prostate involved
Prostate Confined, margins clear
Undetectable PSA on 12/18/06
No more pads as of 1/13/07

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 3/9/2007 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   


Thanks everyone, I have my head on straight again.  I'm going to start calling the Doc's I researched for Robotic surgery and make the arrangements.



Age: 51

PSA  Jun06  4.1  (PSA Jun05  1.2)

1st Biopsy Nov06 – Atypical cells but no cancer

2nd Biopsy Jan07 – 1 of 16 cores positive

Stage T1c   Gleason  3+3=6


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 3/9/2007 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Joes and welcome,
I second and third the motions of Hawkfan and Tamu. This little monster does not go away. And it is tricky. As you can see from my signature, the post-op pathology report showed cancer in both of my lobes (T2c, but luckily without getting out to the margins and staying at the same Gleason score), whereas the biopsy showed it in only the top part of the right lobe (T1c). The post-op pathology showed "definite neurovascular bundle invasion", while the biopsy report said no neurovascular invasion.  I am an unashamed worrier, and I wanted the beast out Yesterday! The data that cinched it for me for Da Vinci Surgery were the following:
1.  Surgery was presented to me as having a 91% cure rate. Any kind of radiation only had a 75% cure rate. A no-brainer to me in statistical terms.
2. DaVinci surgery had a lower co-morbidity rate, and a higher degree of sensitivity for getting out all of the cancer (and leaving in healthy tissue).
3. Through my research, I came to the conclusion, that once prostate cancer was detected, the whole prostate is no longer your friend and not to be trusted in the least bit.  So, this is the reason not to wait.  Any healthy prostate tissue can transform to be cancerous from then on.  Any healthy prostate tissue cannot be trusted not to be harboring microscopic clusters of cancerous cells that cannot be detected unless examined microscopically after being completely removed.  That is why they take part of the bladder neck during the surgery to make sure not one prostate gland cell is left (also to make sure the cancer hasn't crept up and invaded the bladder).
The surgery turned out to be minimally traumatic.  The pain was unexpectedly minimal (at most, a 4 out of 10, where 10 is the worst) and handleable with Tylenol (I had never had surgery before, and was expecting excruciating pain, especially in that sensitive part of the body).
At six months, I am continent, but still waiting for Mr. Happy to wake up, since the doc had to take out part of the one affected neurovascular bundle. But I have seen some progress there, too.  The main thing is the first post-op PSA in November that was >0.008.  Due for another check on it next week, and praying it'll still be down.
My opinion is don't wait.  Even the latest medical journal articles are not so pro this anymore.
All the best to you, and please stay in touch.
dj's stats:
PSA (10/04): 2.9; PSA (2/06):4.4, on Androgel (serum T about 450) at age 56; negative DRE, no symptoms.
PSA (5/06):5.7 with a free PSA% of 8, OFF Androgel (serum T 163). 
Biopsy (5/06): 4/12 samples positive; postitive samples only on right side; max Gleason 4+3=7 (in 2 of the 4 -from area nearest bladder.
DaVinci robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy + bladder lift + Right nerve plastic surgery (8/23/06).
Catheter out 4 weeks postop, due to internal pinhole leak at bladder-urethra junction.
Final pathology report:T2c-both sides,but in capsule; neg. margins, neg. lymph nodes, neg. seminal vesicles; final max Gleason still 4+3=7.
Follow-up PSA (11/06): <0.008; serum T: 195 OFF Androgel (at present).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 3/9/2007 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Joe - Some time ago I found this and when I read the last sentence of your post "But why not just wait………….."
it immediately came to mind. It's worth the read for anyone:

I wish you all the best with whatever decision you make, Joe

Husband Diagnosed 11/17/05 Age: 63 No Symptoms
PSA: 7.96, Positive DRE
Biopsy Right: 6 of 6 Cores Positive Biopsy Left: 1 of 6 Cores Positive
Gleason: 4+3 = 7 Stage: T2B N0 MX
2/09/06: LRP Restage: T3A NX MX
3 mo. PSA Post Surgery: 11.8, 12.9, 13.9 Bone scan, CT scan, Endorectal MRI, Chest XR - neg.
9/06/06: 6 mo. PSA: 18.8 CT shows lymph node involvement Start HT Lupron 3 mo. shots
12/06/06: PSA 0.8
03/07/07 - PSA 0.3

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 3/9/2007 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Susan, that article was right on the money. A must read for anybody considering Watchful Waiting.


Age: 51

PSA  Jun06  4.1  (PSA Jun05  1.2)

1st Biopsy Nov06 – Atypical cells but no cancer

2nd Biopsy Jan07 – 1 of 16 cores positive

Stage T1c   Gleason  3+3=6


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 444
   Posted 3/9/2007 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Joes

You are to be commended on your research and analytical approach to deciding on your treatment for PC. Watchful waiting is like playing "Russian Roulette" with your life. Once you get to Gleason 6, you don't want to wait for Gleason 7 to appear. No one can guess how fast the cancer is growing in their prostate. At your very young age, the sooner you get treated the better. It lessens the chance that the pathology of the prostate, after removal, will be worse than diagnosed before surgery. I have noted so many cases on this website of men finding that their post-surgery pathology was worse than their pre-surgery pathology. Getting treated at the earliest stage of PC is a wise decision and may well be a life-saving decision. It also decreases the chance of the cancer recurring.

I think your choice of robotic surgery at your age makes a lot of sense. The younger guys, in particular, seem to do very well with robotic surgery for the most part and are able to eventually overcome both incontinence and impotence. Find the best surgeon to do the job. Best of luck and good wishes.

68, Biopsy 9/27/06, Stage T1c, PSA 7.1, Gleason 6 [less than 5% in two areas], Gleason 7 (3+4) [less than 20% in third area], negative DRE, bone scan and MRI. Starting proton radiation therapy 2/22/07.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 5/15/2007 6:49 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi ~ Joe,


As time permits ~ we’d really like to hear from you and how you’re doing…

Special Hugs are on a new thread ~ let them surround you!!!


Know that we will keep you extra close in thoughts and prayers as we wait to hear from you.

Remember ~ stay close to all of us…. okay!!   yeah   

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

J  We invite you to visit our personal thread:  Click Here:  “Our Journey” ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

2nd PSA 02-06-2007 Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 5/15/2007 9:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Joes. You will reach several milestones in your search for your treatment options. One when you make an informed decision on your treatment choice, one when you choose a Dr. and one when you set a date to start your treatment. You will feel more relieved at each decision. Don't look back only look for the next day when you are free from cancer. I am waiting on my open surgery on the 30th of May and looking forward to getting it out.


Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 5/16/2007 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   
It's not an easy decision. There's an upside and downside to each option. I
opted for surgery in March of 2006. So far my PSA is less than .01. PSA prior to surgery was 5.6; no symptoms Gleason was 6. Post surgery Gleason was 7 (3 + 4). One cancer cell extremely close to margin ... I figured my best chance for long-term survival was surgery (laparoscopic, Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa). Surgery, even robotic, is not a piece of cake, but it's minor inconvenience compared to the ravages of advance prostate cancer which has spread to the bone. I work with the terminally ill as a hospice social worker and have had more than a dozen patients with prostate cancer. It kills indiscriminately ... My father had radiation therapy 15 years ago and has had no return of his cancer. My brother recently had radioactive seeds implanted for prostate cancer ... And a high school classmate is doing watchful waiting; his PSA is rising. There is a study in the New England Journal of Medicine about watchful waiting. I believe the consensus in that study is that action is better than no action, depending on the person's age.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/16/2007 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Joe,

I am Kitt.  I am pleased that you have done your research well and anytime you face surgery, you go back and forth between is this right for me or should I wait?

I agree with the others here, don't gamble with your life.  Make your decision and don't look back.  Go for it instead of waiting for a couple of years.........that is like playing a slot machine.  Remember most of the time the house wins in gambling unless your one in a million and hit the jackpot.

Please do what is best for you and we support you.  Keep posting.




Moderator Prostate Cancer

Depression 25 years, Husband Crohns Disease 30 years

My Father and his 5 siblings all died of Cancer.
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.”

~Rosalyn Carter

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