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Never Expected Cancer

Diagnosis

My GP started DRE’s and PSA’s when I turned 50. It was March 2017, 67 years old and in for my yearly physical. My PSA was 4.18 up from 3.1 the previous year. After a DRE, my Dr. said he felt nothing and my prostate was slightly enlarged as in previous years. He ordered another PSA to be done a month later. His staff called and said it was 3.3 and not to worry. I still wanted to talk to my Dr. After some discussion, he ordered a Trans Rectal Ultra Sound. The day after the test he called and said they found a small lesion and asked what urologist I wanted to see. I told him and he sent my records to him.

Testing for spread

I went to the urologist and he said the tumor was 5mm in diameter. After staring at his computer for a few minutes he said he wanted a contrast, no-contrast MRI. Returning to the urologist he stated the MRI showed tumor was 3cm not 5mm. He ordered a pelvic CT scan with contrast and a bone scan. Both found no cancer outside the prostate. Next was the biopsy. 5 out of 13 sticks had cancer which was 4+4, a Gleason 8.

Choosing treatment

There was no promises of nerve sparing surgery because of the aggressive type of cancer. I had my DaVinci prostatectomy on Sept. 19, 2017 when I was 68. The pathology test showed that the tumor was beginning to grow outside the prostate, but was only contained pre-cancerous cells. He also removed 3 lymph nodes, some fat, and other bits of tissue from around the area which were cancer free.

My only complaint: ED

I have had 6 PSA tests that were less than 0.01 inconclusive. I feel very fortunate. My bladder is under control, though I still have a sex drive, there is nothing happening. That is my only complaint.

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Comments

  • Will Jones moderator
    4 months ago

    Thanks for your story @bajk49. We share many similarities in our journeys. It’s 10 months since my surgery, which I had when I was 69. My PSA scores indicate no cancer. I don’t have full bladder control, but getting there. My ED is showing signs of improvement. I’ve accepted the whole range of outcomes possible. I just have to remain patient and do what I can to help myself. Will Jones Moderator

  • Richard Faust moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi bajk49. Thanks for sharing your story and glad things are going well. Hopefully your story will serve as an example of perseverance and self-advocacy. Staying on top of things when you know things aren’t quite right is so important.

    Concerning the ED, unfortunately, it is all too common. The good news, however, is that often things get better and there are things you can do to help. You may be familiar with much of this information, but this article from physical therapy specialist in this area looks at various treatment options: https://prostatecancer.net/living/erectile-dysfunction-now-what/. Best to you. Richard (ProstateCancer.net Team)

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