Very scary but I found a great doctor and now am cured
I was in my mid-50s when I got the diagnosis.
Prostate cancer diagnosis
I failed an insurance physical because of having a PSA of 4.4. Not really high but over the normal level. I scheduled an appointment with my doctor who referred me to a Urologist. With a PSA of over 4, I knew it could be a false positive or the real thing. I went to the urologist and had a biopsy. My Gleason score was 7. At this point it was clear I had prostate cancer but from the biopsy samples, it appeared likely cancer had not exited the prostate. However, one sample showed cancer in a nerve sheath so escaping the prostate was a significant concern.
Prostate cancer treatment
After that, I did significant research on my options and on the survival rates with different treatment options. I investigate prostatectomy, cryo treatment, radiation, radiation seeds, etc. I had a friend who had radiation seeds and had a difficult time with that. I knew another person who had seeds but cancer spread and died a couple of years after diagnosis.
What I found out was being in my 50s, it was highly likely my cancer was aggressive. If I had been in my late 70s, it might have been a different case. Regardless, to me, the only real option was a prostatectomy so I could have cancer removed and also then the doctor could see if cancer spread. I had the prostatectomy about 18 years ago. Immediately after surgery, my PSA and dropped essentially to zero and has stayed there ever since. I found a local urologist that had done a couple thousand prostatectomies and pioneered nerve-sparing surgery. As a result, I have had none of the normal side effects people complain about with prostatectomies.
So after 18 years, I am cancer-free and in great condition. My recommendation is if you are under 70 be very careful with an of the watchful waiting recommendations. Do a lot of independent research about prostate cancer, especially age-ranked survival rates. The devil is in the details of any treatment options. Do not rely on a single doctor. This is a very complex subject and it is fatal. If you have prostate cancer and are younger, if it metastasizes, you are a dead man walking. Good luck with your journey.
Have you lost a loved one to prostate cancer? (select all that apply)