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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results
Old 12-08-2006, 07:25 AM   #21
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results

I'll add my story.

When I was 43, I had a physical. The doctor did a digital rectal exam, and man, it hurt pretty bad.

A few weeks later, I developed a perianal abscess (an infection right near my sphincter) that required surgery. The incision from the surgery has to stay open and heal from the inside out. It took 3 months to totally heal.

The doctor said the abscess is caused by a gland inside the anus becoming infected or blocked. I have always wondered if that examination had something to do with it...

John
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results
Old 12-28-2006, 06:31 PM   #22
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results

In reply to an earlier post on radiation treatment.

According to a Stanford lecture on the Research Channel (satellite TV):

The radiation treatment in which radioactive seeds are to be planted is such that an array of 'seeds' are implanted across the inside of the prostate gland, no longer in isolation or a cluster to treat just one tumor. In the mid '80s and on to the late 90s the typical array used six such seeds. Now the norm is to implant twelve of them and in some cases up to sixteen seeds.

Usually a prostate tumor is not alone but one of several, sometimes quite small. It is thought that a lower survival rate in those decades was attributable to this. Also, planting of the seeds is an art and often the array may leave some 'cold spots' (areas not near a seed) due to a bit of deformation of the enlarged gland. The upper rear of the gland wall is easier to plant the seeds but the lower front can be a challange which may account for some statistical differences in outcomes.

Biopsies have similar problems so now the Stanford clinic takes not four but six or more tissue samples but still can miss a small tumor.

The use of field radiation has its challenges also. Often the rectum walls can be scorched.

The use of cyberknife with its external beams is a good option for a specific target but some clinics with a cyberknife may not have a prostate cancer program for it. The advantage of cyberknife where ever it is used on a target, is that it has a 1 mm margin accuracy as opposed to a 3 - 4 mm for other external beam devices. It also can fire beams from dozens of angles greatly reducing collateral damage (the sum of the beams on the target equals the destructive energy). Irregular tumors can be better targeted too. Rather than layering a series of target intersecting spheres on a tumor, some curvalinear small fields are possible. Finally, the cyberknife can compensate for breathing and other reflexive body movements

MD Anderson is spending tens of millions on a proton beam machine rather than go with the cyberknife. It should allow the beam pathways to be safe and penetrate to what are currently untreatable tumors. I would expect a backlog of proton beam treatment procedures for children's cancers, most of which are in the brain and it is ex[ected that the machine will offer hope to many of them.

My exam will be on Jan. 4

I will post the results and share any decision making process.
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results
Old 01-11-2007, 01:39 AM   #23
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results

PSA update. After reviewing the PSA results of the last few years that were rising at an expotential rate (see 1st post in thread) my general practioner doctor and I decided that if the results were at or above a 2 then a biopsy would be prudent.

The PSA was 0.3 a real drop. I will have another exam in six months rather than wait a year. I am not ready to accept the results as definitive. Perhaps the enlarged prostate was responsible for the increasing numbers generated by a surface area increasing thus producing more of the protein markers measured by the test.

I do feel much better. I was dreading the logistics of exams, scans, doctor visits, and treatments more than the accompanying prognosis. I really did not want to drive to a city from the ranch.
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results
Old 01-12-2007, 06:59 AM   #24
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results

Congrats on the new test results. Must be a big relief to see them move in the right direction.

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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results
Old 01-12-2007, 09:56 PM   #25
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results

Good news, Rancher. Here's to more boring PSA test results that are too low to be readily detectible...

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Must be a big relief to see them move in the right direction.
We're still talking about the PSA tests, right?
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results
Old 01-16-2007, 03:52 PM   #26
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results

Hi all,

I am one of those who never has much to say. I am on this board every day reading all the posts and getting quite the education re: retirement. I am grateful for all the excellent info available here.

The reason for my posting here is to make sure that we all realize that what's true for one does not apply to all. I am a 60 yr. old male who was diagnosed at 54 with prostate cancer. At the time my PSA was only 4.2!
I did however have some other indications of a problem. When my biopsy was done I only had 2 of 8 cores that showed positive for prostate cancer. My Gleason score was a 6 which is about the middle of the road. Being young and in good health otherwise I decided to have the surgery. To everyone's surprise including my surgeon's my pathological biopsy showed extensive cancer in all areas of the prostate. Fortunately for me it was contained within the prostate.
I had been getting the digital exam for about 5 yrs. and it always seemed normal. It was until I started having some urinary and erectile problems that I had the PSA test done.
Thank God that I was diagnosed when I was otherwise I could have really been in trouble.
Please be aware of your body and anything that doesn't seem right. We guys all like to think we're indestructible and dislike going to the Dr. but it could save your life.
Thanks for reading this and if anyone has any ?? I'd be happy to answer them for you.

geoloco
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results
Old 01-16-2007, 05:37 PM   #27
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results

I was diagnosed with protate cancer 7 years ago at age 57. My PSA was only 2.05. My doctor thought he detected a hardness using his finger and was unsure whether I needed a biopsy. I told him that I probably did need the biopsy and my father and uncle both died of PC. The biopsy showed 3 out of 11 cores with cancer but not in the area of hardness. The discomfort of he biopsy was about like a bee sting. A bee that stung me 11 times in the same sensitive area! Anyway, I had a rather high tech treatment for PC called "High Dose Radiation" at California Endocurietherapy in Oakland, CA. Radioactive seeds are implanted but only for a few seconds. None are left in permanently. I had to have my treatments spaced a week apart. I came home and took the dog for a mile walk, had no trouble urinating, or anything else. My last PSA test showed a level of <0.1 and it has been his way for the last 5 years. CET recently published a paper on survival rates and it was running 100%. Of my friends who have been treated surgically for PC, one is dead and the others have a variety of problems (pain, adult diapers, etc). If you're afraid to get a digital exam, be sure to go to a female urologist (they have small fingers!).
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results
Old 01-20-2007, 11:36 PM   #28
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Re: Prostate Concerns - PSA Results

Geoloco & rogerc1944,

Thank you both for your informative replies.

I expected to hear from a few survivors who would share their first-hand knowlege. Reading reports and articles never has the same impact and are always so hedged with qualifications that they are almost no help. Almost three-quarters of all men who reach their mid 70s will have prostrate problems.

Considering the large number and the demographics of the visitors to this site, I figure you have most likely moved some of us here to monitor this aspect of our health more closely. You may even save lives.

I hope other survivors will do likewise. If this topic gets 10 percent of the posts that paying off a mortgage early gets, then many men here will have a better quality of life.

Again, thank you both and God Bless -
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