To answers some questions in recent posts, my prostate is 24g in size, which should be beneficial. I started doing PSA testing just before turning 40. DREs have always been negative. My father had prostate cancer at age 52, detected by a DRE, and was cured with the radical retropubic prostatectomy. He claims to have recovered sexual function nicely, but has a bit of stress incontinence from time to time. Given my family history with my Dad, I started the PSA screenings at an early age. Even at age 40, my PSA was already 2.27. It is now 4.3. When I graph the the PSA data or use PSA velocity equations that attempt to average out fluctuations, my velocity is < 0.4ng/ml. Some recent studies imply this is velocity alone would give me a 98% chance of not having cancer, which hasn't helped me obviously. I'm still not sure that my PSA is related to the cancer, as I have from time to time had some prostatitis symptoms. In any event, it still led me to have biopsies which led to my diagnosis, so even though PSA is a flawed test, it did the job for me.
I spoke to my brother's father-in-law today, who is scheduled for surgery with Dr. Patel in Columbus. Seven of his friends have recently been treated for prostate cancer - 4 with the conventional retropubic approach and 3 with Dr. Patel and daVinci robotics. He says that the differences between these two groups is dramatic, although I don't know the real details. One friend felt so good that he was ready to go home only a few hours after the robotic surgery and said "What am I going to do here for the rest of the day?"
Diagnosed 08/21/07 with T1c cancer
1 of 12 biopsy cores positive; 10% tissue
Gleason score: 3+3=6
PSA level prior to biopsy: 4.3 (velocity < 0.4ng/ml)
Prior biopsy 3 years ago was negative
Prostate is ~24g