Time was of the essence

The diagnosis

My PSA began rising when I was 62. It rose 1 point a year until I was 66 then stabilized at 4 for 2 years. My urologist felt it was due to non-cancer issues, but it rose to 8 when I was 68. An MRI scan showed a large tumor in one node, but my urologist did not see this result for another month. Then biopsies were delayed for another month due to the facilities being used for training. By the time I had biopsies done I had Gleason 4+5 cancer. Surgery was one month later in September of 2015 after scans did not conclusively identify spread outside the prostate, and the surgery remove all but about 2% of cancer.

Second treatment

I then had 36 radiation treatments (without Lupron) but these failed to kill remaining cancer. I then started ADT treatments which have been successful ( both PSA and testosterone levels not detectable). I had four shots spaced 3 months apart. The shots were then stopped but my testosterone was very slow to recover. After almost 3 years my testosterone was 80-100 and my PSA started to rise again. At a PSA of 0.7 in September 2021 I had a 6-month injection of Eligard in November. My PSA will be checked again in May 2022.

Second guessing

I can’t help but wonder if I’d had surgery, or at least a Lupron shot immediately after the MRI while waiting on the biopsies, whether or not I’d be cancer-free right now and not suffering the side effects of testosterone deprivation, which are many. Sometimes time IS of the essence and I feel the opportunity to eliminate my cancer from my body was squandered.

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