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Being proactive with prostate cancer

I have the beginning stages of prostate cancer. 3+3 on on Gleason, PSA @ 6.5, T1c. My dad died from prostate cancer which spread and makes me particularly sensitive to preventing spread. Beyond waiting for my next follow ups, what have others who like me are probably overly sensitive to spread asked their doctors to do, like scans, et?

  1. Hello Jerrkyla, My father was diagnosis with PC at the age of 72. He is now 87 and going strong. At the beginning of his journey, I had so many questions. I wanted to what were the chances that the cancer has spread beyond my prostate? Does he need any other tests before we decide treatment? Should I see any other types of doctors before deciding treatment? What does a Gleason score mean? Is this treatment expensive? What types of radiation therapy might work best for him? What are the side effects? What is your take on studies? How quickly should he decide treatment? How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done? How will we know if the treatment is working? Is there limits to what he can do? The one thing that kept me sane through all of this was getting a journal. My father's doctor told him what to do step by step. Keep us up to date. Diane, Community Moderator

    1. Good news on the low Gleason of 6 vs a higher number which could indicate a more aggressive cancer and greater tendency to spread . For example my Gleason was a 9. I am still here and it has not spread as it was caught early. Know that Prostate Cancer is slow growing so waiting a bit for a follow-up should not be an issue.
      With a score of 6 your urologist may just suggest a "wait and see approach" Also called active surveillance he most likely will do a follow up biopsy in a few months.
      The words you have cancer are scary that said the G6 suggests it is OK to relax a bit. Prostate cancer hits all of us on two levels - physical and mental. The latter is often harder to deal with and it is why I usually suggest that guys find a support group on line or in your community. It really helps to meet other men who have walked this path . And of course there are more than a few of us here who are more than willing to help and chat ... Dennis(ProstateCancer.net Team)

      1. I am glad that you have gotten screened and know your baseline. After my dad and other men in my family had a prostate cancer diagnosis, they began moderating their eating and exercising regimen to help. Their doctors told them that he wanted their bodies to be at its healthiest form so that it could fight against the cancer. Their insurance did cover a nutritionist that helped them meal plan specifics foods to eat as it related to prostate cancer. Continue to ask questions and gain insight on different viewpoints because every man's journey can be different. I wish you well and an abundance of health.


        Beverly (Prostatecancer.net Team)

        1. Good Morning, I have similar circumstances as you, my Gleason is 3+4 with a 6.5 PSA, after doing Active surveillance for several months I felt a little anxious just waiting for something to potentially spread, my physician at a leading hospital advised me that he is seeing more Gleason scores as mine spreading out of the prostate and I have decided to have robotic surgery in June for my prostate and lymph nodes removed. I just don't want to keep waiting for the chance of spreading and the older I get the more difficult it could be, good luck, take care Fran

          1. , Guy, my urologist informed me that they have been seeing more cancer spreading beyond the prostate with my Gleason score and that if you go with surgery first you an can always resort later to radiation, but with radiation first you can't do surgery later, as to do with all the score tissue the radiation causes, thanks Fran

          2. Dr. Walsh has done a good job of bringing together much of the information on prostate cancer. However, I think the best source of current information is the series of videos by Dr. Mark Scholz, CEO of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute. He often provides information contradictory to popular assumptions in the medical community.

            My main disappointment with Dr. Walsh is that he acknowledges that some percentage of men on hormone treatment can produce erections, but offers no studies on why a certain number of men are able to do so and why the majority are not.

            This is important as failing to be sexually active causes the penis to atrophy. If we know why some men are able to produce erections and avoid penile atrophy, we can perhaps apply that to other men and prevent atrophy in them as well. As it is, it is just assumed men on hormone treatment will have ED.

            Oddly, Dr. Walsh offers a solution to men who have had surgery and are attempting to regain erectile function that would also work for men on hormone treatment: practice, practice, practice. He suggests that attempting intercourse is the best simulation in producing an erection and I agree.

            During my six months of hormone treatment I set a goal of producing one quality erection a day. It is not an automatic process without testosterone. I also experienced three or so orgasms per week. I am now off hormone treatment and fully functional at age 75. I suspect this would surprise Dr. Walsh.

            As a sad side note, I find that some men who become sexually active while on hormone treatment are not aware of the need for frequent erections to prevent atrophy, do not have frequent enough activity, begin to experience atrophy and increasing difficulty with erections and go into a downward spiral.

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