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Prostate Cancer/A Thread for Men and the Women Who Love Them

 
 
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 09:36 am
Quote:
Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in men of all ages and is the most common cause of death from cancer in men over 75 years old. Prostate cancer is rarely found in men younger than 40.


http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000380.htm

One of the deadliest of cancers in older men is prostate cancer. Many men go through life never taking a P.S.A. (prostate specific antigen) test, and that can be a serious mistake.

My husband had been taking his p.s.a regularly. Recently, it had started to creep upwards. We made an appointment with a urologist, and boy, was that a mistake. He gave us the tired line, "most older men die WITH prostate cancer, not OF it". He suggested "watchful waiting". We wanted to have a biopsy taken, and it was only because of my big mouth and insistence that he grudgingly agreed to schedule the procedure.

Well.....................apparently it was a good idea, because my husband's Gleason score indicated an aggressive form of the disease. His Partin score,

http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/DummiesArticle/id-1856.html

http://psa-rising.com/detection/partin_table.htm

suggested that the illness had gone beyond the gland.

Needless to say, we found ourselves another urologist, who reccommended a wonderful radiologist, and he is now going through treatment.

The point of this is that men, and the women who love them, need to be proactive in insisting that men over 50 get p.s.a. tests on a regular basis, and follow up on any apparent increase in the score. In my husband's case, the score had started to creep up, but not understanding the implications of that, we did not follow through with further tests. The doctors that he had seen over the last few years did not even suggest further testing. It was only when there was a big jump in the psa score, that a doctor suggested that he see a urologist.

Had we done so, my husband might have been spared the very rigorous protocol that he is going through now. (If the disease had been confirmed to be confined solely to the gland, it could have been removed, and that would be that).

The earlier that the disease is caught, the more likely the cure. Once the disease metastasizes, it is simply a matter of time before a painful death will occur.

There has been a lot of talk about breast and lung cancer, but not that much about prostate cancer. We need to get the message out that older men need to be tested, and often!!!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 4,404 • Replies: 40
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 09:55 am
Aw, that's tough, Phoenix. Glad you insisted this time...
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 10:02 am
Yes, I'm sorry to hear that your husband is so ill -- very much hope that the "very rigorous protocol" is successful.

Thanks for starting this, it's important.

Best wishes to both of you.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 10:06 am
Re: Prostate Cancer/A Thread for Men and the Women Who Love
Phoenix32890 wrote:
The point of this is that men, and the women who love them, need to be proactive in insisting that men over 50 get p.s.a. tests on a regular basis, and follow up on any apparent increase in the score. In my husband's case, the score had started to creep up, but not understanding the implications of that, we did not follow through with further tests. The doctors that he had seen over the last few years did not even suggest further testing. It was only when there was a big jump in the psa score, that a doctor suggested that he see a urologist.


I don't know how it works in the USA, but here you (men) get a free test every year from 45 onwards (PSA-/cPSA-test).

Nevertheless, only few men do it: about 15%. (I'm among those few since 12 years now :wink: )
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 10:15 am
Walter- Good point. Part of the problem is that when a man is interested in his prostate health, in addition to the p.s.a., which is a blood test, he also needs to have a digital rectal exam. A lot of men are squeamish about that, and the only thing that I can say to those men is to "get over it". A moment of embarrassment is certainly worth going through than getting cancer.

Another thing. There are many fiftyish men who have elevated p.s.a. score. That does not necessarily mean that he has cancer. A condition called b.p.h. (benign prostatic hyperplasia) will often cause an increase in the psa score.

http://www.urologychannel.com/prostate/bph/

The prostate constantly grows. Often in fiftyish men, it can cause difficulty in urinating. A simple "roto-rooting" will clear up the symptoms, as well as causing the psa to return to normal.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 10:28 am
Isn't it a shame that one has to insist on further testing, otherwise it won't be done Sad That gives a new meaning to cancer screening and preventative health.


Thanks to you, Phoenix, your husband will get the necessary care he
needs now. All the best wishes for his health and to both of you.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 10:35 am
Sorry, just noticed that I hit deleted unvolunatrily my good wishes whene editing my previous post: all the very best to your husband and you, Phoenix!

(And I want to add that of course all tests are done as long as necessary - free of charge - here, in Germany, that is.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 11:08 am
Thanks for all the good wishes, guys. I really appreciate them!

The important thing now is for all of you to talk this up to your fathers, brothers, grandfathers..........any older guy that you know and love. The information may just save his life!
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 11:27 am
Phoenix - As you know from a couple of summers ago, my Dad has prostate cancer. He's been successful in holding his psa down through estrogen shots every couple of months. Not a cure, but...

I've started talking about prostate cancer more, so it's not just limited to men I love. If the conversation turns to medical stuff and allows for an easy transition, I make clear the importance of getting tested.

Sending good thoughts your way for you and Mr. Phoenix..
0 Replies
 
mags314
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 12:39 pm
Phoenix, I am sorry about your husband. This is an excellent thread to post, as a way of alerting men and those who love them.

My husband had a radical prostatectomy some nine years ago. About three years ago, he registered a PSA, which should have been zero because his prostate gland was removed. It kept going up slightly. He had estrogen treatment and it went back down. Then, after the estrogen treatment, it started creeping back up again. This has all been very mysterious. They've done tests to check if the cancer had spread...apparently it hasn't. So the assumption is that there's a bit of prostate tissue left. Now he's undergoing radiation. The poor guy is only 61, and he's been through the mill. I hope this takes care of it.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 01:46 pm
Phoenix--

You and your husband are in my thoughts.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 02:23 pm
mags314- According to my husband's radiologist, often the prostate will send out cancerous "tendrils" to the immediately surrounding area. That is why simply removing the prostate will not cure the disease, if the cancer has gone beyond the gland itself.

My husband is undergoing a protocol that involves medications, injections, radiation (to take care of the surrounding areas) and eventually seeding of the prostate. As the radiologist so nicely put it, "we are going for the cure".

squinney- I think that it is so important that men come to realize the importance of early screening and diagnosis. My main purpose in starting this thread was to share any and all information that I come across. I think that the nature of this illness has not gotten the exposure that it needs.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 05:12 am
Hmmm..............This thread appears to be "dead in the water" after less than a day. I think that it is important that more people see this, so I am reviving it!!!
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 05:34 am
It is important, Pheonix. My earlier point was that I try to bring it up even with men I don't necessarily love if the situation or conversation allows it..

Remember when Katie Curics husband died? She went on a huge campaign to promote testing / early exams for colon cancer. She even aired a segment showing herself getting tested. But, a lot of people were and are still embarrassed and won't talk about it.

I think women tend to be a little less squimmish about these things, having spread and shared all through child birth. (I still swear that was the janitor that came in to see how far I had dilated during my last pregnancy.)

What treatments are being recommended for Mr. Pheonix? What shots?
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 05:41 am
squinney- I agree about women being less squeamish. Most of us wimmens, even if some have not borne children, have had the "delightful" experience of undergoing a PAP smear, most of us having one every year.

I think that a digital rectal exam is far less threatening than a PAP smear.

What the hell guys, the only thing that you have to lose by being squeamish is your LIFE, for Pete's sake!!!
0 Replies
 
flushd
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 01:19 pm
Phoenix,

You're so right. This is definetly something I'll be mentioning to the men in my life.

My best wishes to you and your hubby.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 01:26 pm
Good info, thanks for the tips!

Best wishes for your husband.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 01:47 pm
Phoenix, I hope that agressive treatment works.

I'll be hanging out here for info, mostly, having just learned my dear old dad has prostate cancer and knowing nothing about it.
0 Replies
 
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 01:55 pm
Best wishes to your hubby Phoenix.

Now, how do you get your guys to go for the exam? My husband has cancelled TWO appointments that I've set up for him this year and I'm somewhat at a loss. Of course, it's been weighing on me and all of my nagging has proven useless.

I wish I could call the cops on him or something.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 01:59 pm
Free Duck- I am sorry to hear about your father. It is so important for both the patient and his interested family learn as much as they can about this disease.

One of the things that I have learned, through bitter experience, is that you need to be one jump ahead of the doctors. The patient needs to be completely informed, because there are so many paths that you can take in dealing with this cancer.

In my readings, one article said very succinctly, something like, "If a doctor does not give the patient all of the options, find another doctor". A patient's life is on the line, and it is important that he understands the risks, advantages and ramifications of each and every mode of approach, before he makes a decision as to the way he will deal with his illness.
0 Replies
 
 

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