Help, my husband is avoiding following up on the abnormal PSA and DRE

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 6/24/2007 10:26 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband is 55 and has always been in relatively good health. Last year my husband's PSA was normal, last month his PSA was elevated to 8. He saw a urologist who said his prostate is bumpy and not smooth. My husband doesn't have any symptoms. The urologist said his office would schedule a biopsy. It has been two weeks and the doctor's office hasn't called. I am worried about my husband because he is avoiding following up with the urologist. I don't know if he is in denial and I don't know what I should be doing to help him. I keep trying to encourage him to follow up with the urologist, but my husband keeps saying that the urologist is probably busy (since he told my husband that he has performed over 20,000 biopsies) and that the biopsy procedure has to be coordinated with the ultrasound technician. Please help!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 6/24/2007 11:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maria,

If Iremember correctly, when my husband was reffered to the urologist, we had an appt. that day for the following week. But depending on what state you live in, the response time can vary according to the insurance. I've learned the hard way that you have to be very proactive and fight for your self interests sometimes. The squeeky wheel does get the attention.

If your husband won't call, call them yourself. And if they're too busy to see you, find someone else. but don't put this off - the sooner you know, the longer you have to figure out what your options are.

husband Jeff 45 years old, diagnosed 8/25/06
PSA 2.1, 2 of 12 samples at 3% & 4%, involving 1 side of prostate
Gleason 3+3=6 in both samples
laparoscopic radical prost. 10/17/06
cancer in both sides of prostate, positive in one area of margin
first PSA results 1/07 <0.01%

M. Kat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 6/25/2007 7:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Maria, I ditto what Bec said. call the urologist and make an appt for your husband. my husband had no symptoms other than a slightly high PSA but did have prostate cancer. it is not a death sentence, just a bump in the road. and your husband's high PSA might be something else. kat
Husband Jeff 56 years old diagnosed July 27, 2006
PSA 6.5, 2 positive areas in biopsy, Gleason 3+3=6
Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy August 30, 2006
pathology report - all clear - cancer gone
1st post-surgery PSA test <0.1, 2nd post-surgery PSA test <0.1, 3rd PSA <0.1
no more pads Oct 12, 2006
first "real" erection with use of pump 12/16/06
3/07 - occasional dribbles and erections with Cialis and pump

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 6/25/2007 9:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi mariateresa. Don't let your husband or the urologist fool around with this. I am 55 also and had surgery May 30th. I could not believe this was happening to me. No prostate cancer in my family. It took me until the second opinion with my biopsy and I asked my doctor if this was a dream. After seeing the same results on the re-do of the biopsy that I realized I was not dreaming. By that time I had scheduled my surgery. Don't wait any longer. My Gleason was 3+4=7, but when they got it out there were some Gleason 5 cells in there, so don't take any more chances. It will be ok. There are a lot of things to do to treat this problem, but he needs to have the biopsy. So encourage him all you can. I know you will stand by him, so plead with him to seek out the answers to this burning question. Please let us know how he is doing. Come back to this forum because we are here to help and support you and your husband.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 6/25/2007 10:09 AM (GMT -6)   

Your Hubby is right...he is also scared. Offer to make the call for him. If he says no, then let him know you will give him a few days...then call anyway. We've all put off uncomfortable, painful or frightening things. You can lead a horse, ya know? Good luck.


Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 6/25/2007 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   


My first post - Dutch's wife.  Maria, your husband may not have any symptoms, but he has two very large "red flags" - the PSA that appears to have doubled in the last year and DRE that indicates a prostate that does not feel "normal" to the urologist.  You didn't mention how he came to get the PSA to begin with (yrly physical, other problem, etc.), but apparently he does go to the doctor on his own.

Now I am sure there is some of the fear factor involved, but I think you have to explain to him that early detection gives a better than average chance of a cure and that by not doing anything he is putting both himself and your family in jeopardy.  This is truly a "couples disease" and the outcome will definitely affect you as well as him.  Let him know you will be with him every step of the way, but he has to act now.  If it were me and there was no response, I would make the appointment!!!

Good luck and report back to us.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 6/25/2007 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I can understand the fear and apprehension. When I was told to get a biospy I told no one about this. Did not read any material before hand either. Went to office alone. The doctor explained briefly what I should expect. On day of biospy I walked back to treatment room, which is way in the back. I comment on this, the nurse says, "well, yes, so no one can hear you screaming." Great I say. Nothing like pegging every red flag meter in my body. After the procedure I am thinking, that was all? This is not without some feeling, but its like getting a number of shots. I realize some people have real issues with needles, but in the scheme of things, not that bad. The first two needle shots you feel most, whch is used to numb the area. Even those two are not that discomforting.
Age: 52
PSA: 4.8
Stage: T1C
Prostate, right base, core biopsies:
Gleason’s grade 3+3=6.
Carcinoma involving two core biopsies and 50% of sampled tissue with a linear measurement ofapproximately 3 mm.
Perineural infiltration present.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 411
   Posted 6/25/2007 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   

Yeah it definitely sounds like he is avoiding it, but not sure if it is the perceived pain of the biopsy, or denial about the possible results. (or maybe both).

If it is the pain, (which I have heard others having, but Ken has really not found any of his three really painful), maybe could help him ask a list of questions when making the appt? Like any sedatives offered, how do they numb, etc. If it is mostly the pain of the biopsy involved and great fear of that, he could even ask for a referral to an outpatient center where they give you an IV sedative (like for colonscopy's), he won't remember it hardly. But I think most don't find the biopsy as worse as the anticipation.

If it is the mental block of "if i don't find out I have cancer, then I don't have cancer", then that seems like a more complicated issue. I would reassure him with several things 1) Entirely possible no cancer, 2) Even if cancer, it is a VERY curable disease, if caught early enough, 3) There are lots of treatment choices available, especialy at his age and caught early.

Maybe print him off some sucess stories, either from here or ... it is not the most fearful cancer to have if caught early!

Best wishes, and let us know how it goes!

Age: 63
Diagnosed: 10/30/06
PSA: 3.7 (2005: 3.4, 2004: 4.0)
Biopsy: 1/10 cancerous, 5% of one core, right apex.
Gleason: 3+3=6
Da Vinci: April 10, 2007, Denver CO
Path results: 1% of prostate involved. Very small tumors on both right and left apex. Negative margins, negative seminal vessicles, lymph nodes left intact. Gleason upgraded 3+4=7.
1st PSA Results: May 11, 2007 <.01

Post Edited (Izzyblizzy) : 6/25/2007 5:15:42 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 883
   Posted 6/25/2007 10:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Maria, Grab him by the ear and drag him in there. Biopsies aren't fun...but they arent all that bad either. You need to know what your looking at!

Good Luck,

    PSA 5.7 - Discovered during Annual Physical with Family Practice Dr.
    Gleason 7
    Biopsy - 3 of 12 positive (up to 75%) all on left side of prostate
    RRP on Oct. 17, 2006 - Nerves on right side saved.
    All Lab's clear.  No Cancer outside prostate
    Cathiter in for 3 weeks due to complications in healing. Removed Nov. 9, 2006
    First Post op PSA on Dec. 11, 2006  Undetectable 0.00
    Office visit on Jan. 19th due to continued excessive urine leakage.
    Feb.20th Cystoscope and 2nd Post Op PSA. Another 0.00.....:)
    Dr. said everything looks fine.  Continue to work Kegeal's. Leaking appears to have improved  after Cystoscope?!?!?!  Down to 3-4 pads per day!
    March 1st  Leaking has crept back up to 6 - 8 pads a day ??????? 
    March 8th Started Detrol LA to see if it helps with the leaking?
    March 29th Collagen injection into sphincter / bladder neck area to control excessive leaking.  Worked for a couple of days then back to leaking.
    April 17th (Six Months Post Op) 2nd Collagen Injection to control excessive leaking.  Leaking started back next day at work!
    May 14th Second Opinion about my leaking and Options at OU Medical Center.  After reviewing my records the Dr. feels I will probably need some surgical intervention to stop my leaking.  But did agree to try Bio-Feedback and work hard on the Kegeal's first!
    May 30th Follow up with my Dr. and 3rd Post Op PSA 0.00 agian!!!
    June 1st Start Bio-Feedback to try to control my leaking.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 6/26/2007 12:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maria,

If my wife had not made my doctor's appointment for me; I might not have done anything about the PCa. She saved my life, and it's as simple as that.

Diagnosed at age 60
PSA went from 2.2 to 3.8 in 14 months
2 of 14 cores positive at 10%
Gleason 6(3+3), negative DRE, neg. boundaries
DaVinci surgery on 02/23/06

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 6/26/2007 1:29 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a biopsy one week after recommended by my doctor. It was scheduled when my doctor recommendd it.

I had read all the bad things about a biopsy but there was no pain.

I am convinced that part of my quick recovery was the fact that the cancer was caught so early.

Do not wait. After reading this message talk to your husband and help him get over this emotional issue. If he has cancer - right now it is growing. The sooner it is diagnosed the better.

Age: 63
PSA 2.62, Negative DRE
Biopsy: Gleason 3,3  Stage T1c
Prostate 71 grams 
Biopsy: Cancer 5% in one of twelve modules
DaVinci April 16, 2007, Cathter Removed Day 8
Tumor Confined To Prostate,  Gleason 3,3
Surgical Margins and Seminal Vesicles Are Negative for Tumor
Playing Golf: Week 5
Week 6: PSA .02

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 102
   Posted 6/26/2007 7:48 AM (GMT -6)   
If pain of the biopsy is a concern; just make sure your practitioner provides a local anasthetic (lidocaine).

This should be standard by now, but the first Dr. I went to did not offer this.

I am the ultimate weenie, and the biopsy was not all that bad given the local.
51 Year Old DBA by profession; amateur pianist by passion.
June 2006:  PSA 4.6.  DRE prostate enlarged.  
Aug  2006:  Second opinion confirms first.  Biopsy suggested.
Sep  2006:  Biopsy results positive one lobe.  Gleason 3+3.
Nov  2006:  RPA performed at Fletcher Allen in Burlington VT.
Nov  2006:  Pathology report: Stage T3a and Gleason 3+4.
Dec  2006:  PSA 0.1
Feb  2007:  PSA 0.0 (under 0.1)
May 2007:  PSA 0.0 (under 0.1)

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 187
   Posted 6/26/2007 8:37 AM (GMT -6)   

I was VERY apprehensive about the uro gave me a valium and a demeriol to take an hour or so before coming in.  Completely took the edge off!

Looking back, the one thing I wish I had done different is to have my biopsy SOONER!

Good luck!


Age 46
Initial PSA march of 2006: 28
PSA May of 2006: 39
8 of 12 cores malignant
Open Radical Prostatectomy 6/9/2006
Pathological Stage T3a, Positive Surgical Margin
Gleason 3+4
Post surgury PSA fluctuated between .04 and .09
PSA rose to .24 in November of 2006
6 month hormone therapy initiated December 1. 2006
36 sesions of IMRT Ended Feb 1, 2007
PSA as of May 25, 2007 undectable

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 6/27/2007 6:15 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi  ~ MariaTeresa & Loved One, 

A   “Special”  Warm Welcome  to  You!     yeah   


I know we can “all” make Your Journey smoother ~ just by being here for you!  It’s already evident in the reply postings to your cry for help and in the responses to your 2nd posting…  What about the enema you have to give yourself before the biopsy?


All of our hearts open up to you!  HealingWell   is exactly what you see ~ “all of us” working together (in many different ~ but the same) ways to make sure you have a smooth path to follow…Thank you for reaching out!!! 


There are a lot of Helping Hands here… and just by reaching out like you did ~ you will have a much easier time.  Now ~ when you feel the time is right… lean over to that man of yours….wrap your arms around him and tell him… he’s just been hugged by the members of HealingWell.  Let him know… we “the members” have been where you are now…. Knowing you aren’t alone… makes a big difference in psyche and spirit.  We will always be here for you both! 


Tell hubby ~ he will hear the biggest roar from “all of us”…. if his biopsy comes back “negative for prostate cancer”!!!  We’ve have a few that we have sent on their way ~ with a new knowledge for learning…. and understanding.


 KNOWLEDGE  IS  POWER... and POWER  conquers fear


Please stay with us and continue to take our hands!  Keep posting.... OKAY!!   

Once things settle down for you…. we invite you to visit our personal thread in the signature area below.


We are keeping you close in thoughts and prayers.   

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 ~ & ~ Direct Links to Important Topic Threads ~ Hope this helps you!! :)

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 :)


Post Edited (bluebird) : 7/4/2007 6:03:09 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 154
   Posted 6/27/2007 10:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mariateresa

I agree with the other posts. You need to be proactive here and schedule the appointment yourself. From my experience, most doctors never follow-up and it's up to us to be on top of things especially when it comes to our health. Please keep us posted.

Best of luck.


Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 6/27/2007 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   


I agree with all of the others and want to add that the last thing in the world that you and your husband want to have to deal with is a cancer that has had a chance to metastasize. If the DRE was positive (irregular feeling) and his PSA rose that quickly, please don't wait to get it checked out.


Age:50, Biopsied 4/9/07, 2 of 12 biopsies positive, pure neuroendocrine carcinoid tumor of the prostate, No gleason score, PSA normal 1.4, Grade:T2b, CT, Bone scan, transrectal MRI, and octreoscan all neg., confined to prostate, laproscopic radical prostatectomy 6/19/07. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 6/28/2007 3:31 AM (GMT -6)   

Just as everyone has said above, don't wait, he has to find out what he is dealing with, it may be just nothing, a friend of mine psa jumped to 12, had biopsy and came back negative, put on cipro and now back to normal, mine was 4.7 and had 40% gland involvement, and positive DRE with nodule felt, please inform him to find out.

As far as biopsy, my urologist gives all his patients the twilight anesthesia or what the anethetists call "milk of amnesia", it's the same stuff they give you for a colonoscopy.  I don't remember a thing, 1st had an iv then the next thing I remember my wife was coming down the hall to get me.

I hope he finds out.



diagnosed sept 06
gleason 3+4=7, right lobe only
psa 4.7
RP Emory Atlanta December 2006
Path-negative margins, negative lymph nodes
negative seminal vesicles, multifocal perineural invasion, both lobes involved
40% gland involved
gleason 3+4=7
1st psa April 2007-<0.04
 6 Mos PSA <0.04

Prostate Veteran
New Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/28/2007 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
    It is believed now that a rapid rise in PSA is a serious warning that cancer might exist in the prostate. I would urge your husband to follow up immediately with his urologist. I had a rise in my PSA from about 1.8 to 4.1 over the course of 17 months. I had my biopsy and I ended up a Gleason 9 cancer and underwent hormonal therapy and radiation. So far, I'm doing well. The key to curing prostate cancer is getting it before any cells escape the organ. PSA is an imperfect way of screening for cancer. Some men have low PSAs, as I did, and very aggressive cancer. Others may have PSAs above 10 and no cancer. But the combination of what I assume are hard areas in his prostate and the sharp rise in PSA level over a relatively short time suggests to me that your husband needs to move now on obtaining a biopsy.
    Prostate Veteran

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 6/28/2007 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
We haven't heard from you so here goes:

Had my husband gotten a yearly physical as he should have, he would not be in the situation he is now.

Oh, he had surgery...but it had already spread. And not locally. He has metastatic prostate cancer. See his stats below.

So, if your husband gets angry with you...if you fear that, then do this. Make the appointment. Whether he keeps it or not is up to him. That's all you can do at this point.

I wish you the best possible outcome, Mariatheresa, the best.

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 distant lymph node involvement
Restage IV Start HT Lupron 3 mo. shots
12/06/06: PSA 0.8
03/07/07 - PSA 0.3
06/06/07 - 0.1

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 6/29/2007 11:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Marie, My husband too kept putting off follow up PSA and then when he finally, 2 or 3 months later and after 5 to 10 calls from the doc, he had another. It had risen and a biopsy was scheduled. Kurt almost cancelled the biopsy many times, and was ready to walk out of pre op before the test to get another opinion. He also chose to not tell anyone about the biopsy. He wound up with a very rare infection following the procedure, and I had to call his dad, sisters and very nervous by nature mother to explain it all. One week later, out of hospital, infection under control and results in. Cancer, gleason 6 on both sides. We made a decision within 4 weeks. After the surgery, 6weeks post biopsy, the pathology report showed that the cancer had reached the edges, just had not penetrated them. We were lucky, that we didn't put it off any more. So that being said, drad your husband there if you have too. If it is PCa, it is very curable, but even more so when caught early. Good Luck. Courtney
Kurt & Courtney
47 year old
Great Health prior to dx
Dx on 1/29/07
PSA 4.1
Gleason 3+3=6, both lobes
Stage T2c, I believe
Tumor involves 20% of cores, both lobes
Live in OK
Da Vinci scheduled 3-14-07 in Austin
Post-Op  Gleason 6, Stage t2c nx mx  YAAAAA HOOOOOO! 
1st PSA Post OP  Undetectable!!!!!!  OFF THE CHART
2nd CT scan, to recheck enlarged lymph nodes not related to PCa NO CHANGE relook in 6 months

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 444
   Posted 7/2/2007 7:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maria

Here is my story and hopefully your husband won't be as stupid as I was! Good Luck to him!


My Prostate Biopsy

I had a 29-core biopsy on September 27, 2006! I must confess that there was not much discomfort. A sedative was injected into my prostate (a little pin prick through my rectal wall into the prostate—then you could feel the sensation of the serum being injected). Then it was 29 clicks and we were done. So don’t be fearful of a biopsy—make sure that your urologist performing the procedure gives you some kind of sedation in your prostate beforehand. I was surprised at the number of samples taken, but it gives me greater assurance of my stage of cancer. If you have a biopsy, don’t settle for less than 12 samples; a minimum of 20 would be preferable. Having too few biopsy samples may not give you the best indication of your stage of prostate cancer which is critically important in selecting your treatment.

My Big Mistake—Don’t Be Afraid of a Prostate Biopsy

Over three years before my biopsy, my internist recommended to me to get a biopsy when my PSA jumped up to a little over 5. I didn’t like the thought of a biopsy and didn’t follow through. I then avoided a physical for two more years, at which time my PSA had jumped to over 8. At that time I panicked and quickly decided on getting a biopsy. I am still lucky to be in an earlier stage of prostate cancer, but I obviously would have been in a much earlier stage if I had taken my doctor’s advice. I am lucky that my prostate cancer appears to be slow growing.
68, 29-core biopsy 9/27/06, PSA 7.1, Stage T1c, Gleason 7 (3+4) [less than 20% in one area],  Gleason 6 [less than 5% in two other areas], negative DRE, bone scan and Endorectal MRI. Completed 39 Proton radiation treatments 2/22/07-4/18/07.
First PSA test to be taken 7/07.

flippin out
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 7/3/2007 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   

He can Always try whatchfull waiting but I wouldn't nono

55 psa 3.4 up from 2.5 biopsy showing gleason 7 3+4 within the margins

I was accepted into doing Davinci robotics "Accepted" because I was healthy enough and at a good age for recovery "RECOVERY" happy to say its been a full recovery April 25th 2006 a day that will be remembered as a life savor. wake up and get rid of the Cancer. Good Luck !  

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