Imacatlover17 2015-12-08 18:17:43
My Dad, 63 years of age, was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer on
Thursday, July 17, after his PSA was 15.4, and the biopsy came back
His Gleason score is a 7. This Thursday, July 24, he goes in for a CT
& Bone Scan to find out how far it has spread.
Anyone please help me/us to understand what’s going on, what “may” go
on. I know once we get the results of the scans (the following Thurs)
we will know which protocol to take.
Thanking You in Advance,
Mh 2015-12-08 18:18:43
First of all, take a deep breath and try not to panic. Prostate cancer is
generally a slow-growing disease, and treatment options are many and varied.
The best advice I could give you right now is to go to www.phoenix5.org and
read, read, read…… all you can. Also, Patrick Walsh’s *Guide to
Surviving Prostate Cancer* is available in most bookstores, or perhaps
through your library. It gives a lot of information that will help you
understand the test results, what they mean, what options are available,
Hang in there….. and please keep us posted!
MikeH, aged 52
DX’d 9/13/02, T1C, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, PSA 8.1
Follow-up PSAs have been undetectable thus far
Jimhoney 2015-12-08 18:18:49
For a full explanation, see the book Dr. Walsh’s Guide to Surviving
But just a few general comments from me. I’m not a doctor, just a
veteran of this (cured, no significant aftereffects).
Gleason 7 is considered a moderately aggressive form of prostate
cancer. That is, the option of just ignoring it would not be wise,
unless of course your father already has serious heart disease or some
other life-threatening condition and has pretty much reached his
expected longevity already. Men in that category might want to refuse
treatment for prostate cancer.
Anyway, the bone scan is to determine whether the cancer has spread.
If it has not spread, he will probably be offered surgery to remove
the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy), either with a large
abdominal incision (like I had) or with instruments poked through
small holes in the abdomen (laparascopic radical prostatectomy).
Chances are this would remove all the cancer.
He would have to expect at least temporary incontinence and impotence
(or is it spelled impotency?). The incontinence would very likely
clear up within a few months. Potency is more difficult to predict.
Some of us never had a problem, others are still struggling after two
If the cancer has spread, prostatectomy is pointless, and the doctor
will offer radiation and other treatments. Others on this list know a
lot more than I do about that, so I defer to them.
He should make a careful choice of treatment, and then don’t look
back. And he and the family should be optimistic.
Debbie trujill 2015-12-08 18:19:00
Shirley, you’re in the right place. You couldn’t find a more supportive
group of people. First of all, as jimhoney stated the bone scan is to
determine whether the cancer has spread. You didn’t mention how many of
the cores removed during the biopsy had the cancer. They usually take 12.
Probably most of them had it which is why they are doing the scans. My
husband just came home from having an RPP on July 16. His CT and bone scans
were done July 3. With my husband, 11 of his 12 cores had the cancer.
Hang in there and keep us up to date. BTW, I love your handle. I also love
cats. Had it not been for our cat, I might not have left the hospital
(patients in private rooms at this hospital are allowed to have overnight
guests). I had to come home twice a day to give her her medicine. check her
food and water, and scoop her box.
Please visit my website at http://mysite.verizon.net/res21yh8/index.html.
Judamd 2015-12-08 18:19:13
We all know what you are going through. Those first few days after
they say “you have cancer” can be pretty rough but everything will
look brighter with just a little bit of time.
To answer some of your concerns, first the bone scan. The purpose of
the scan is not so much to see how far it has spread but whether it
has spread at all. If the scan is negative (as we all hope) your
father has some good options for complete cure such as surgery (open
or laparoscopic) and radiation (external beam or seed implants).
Probably at his age and if he’s in otherwise good health, surgery is
preferred but you’ll get many opinions on this. If the scan is
positive, your dad will probably be placed on hormone therapy since
surgery and radiation are ineffective at that point. There will never
be a cure with hormones but your dad’s life can be extended many
years. An uncle of a friend of mine was diagnosed at age 65. He went
on hormones and he’s now 80 and still going strong. If someone has to
get cancer, prostate is about one of the best. Most everyone has many
productive years even without a cure and the chances of dying of
something else are almost always higher than dying of the cancer.
Good luck with the scan and whatever subsequent treatment option you
select. Feel free to make as much use of this forum as you would
like. Everyone here knows what you’re going through and many have
gone through exactly what your dad will face. The fact that they’re
around to talk about it, often many years after the fact, is good news
Keith340 2015-12-08 18:19:30
Hello Shirley…..I will address two issues, first of all do not be
deceived by the phrase, “prostate cance is slow growng.”…..it is slow
growing if the gleason score is graded in the low range of the scale 2
to 6……scores of 7 to 10 represent aggressive cancer and is likely to
expand and metastize without treatment…the Gleason scores have been
shown to effectively predict the behavior or a tumor……second and
final point….an evaluation by Cheng,et al, from thw Mayo Clinic
evaluted the results of radical prostectomy after radiation…frequently
urologist will tell patients that they cannot have surgery after
following failed radiation of any kind…they use this to convince a
patient that they have better options following failure if they have
sugery…they can and are very convincing about this and it is “commonly
accepted y the patint that it is true.”…..however it is not tre and
salvage surgery can be done follwing failed radiation…some urologists
may ot have the skills to do it and therefore will talk against it…but
there are enough papers and studies and discussions at the AUA meetings
that every urologist should know that it is possible…the study shows
that indeed surgery can be performed after radiation therapy, cearly in
Keith Lundy/So. California
40 Proton Beam Radiation Treatments
Loma Linda Univ.Med Ctr..3/03-5/03
Heather 2015-12-08 18:20:28
I would like to add that I am in complete agreement with Keith. I have
known since early June that surgery is very definitely an option after
radiation……and I am quoting the radiation oncologist who is doing
the HDR brachytherapy treatment on Ron……and also some other studies
I have seen.
In fact, our doctor at Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Institute stated he
was going to write both our urologist and oncologist and inform them of
that fact…..because he says that a lot of doctors don’t seem to be
aware of it. He is obviously willing to put his money where his mouth
is……so that is a pretty convincing statement!!
I finally got Dr. Walsh’s book from the library and while interesting
and obviously the ‘bible’ for surgery patients, he is not up to date on
the latest treatments *other than surgery*……..and remember, if this
book was published in 2001, he was writing it for a couple of years
before that. My father was both a doctor and an author…..so I know a
fair bit about both. Nowhere in this book is HDR brachytherapy
mentioned. It IS new……and it IS a viable alternative to an RRP or
I am not saying that everyone should suddenly shun surgery and go for
the HDR procedure……but I will point out that even for intermediate
Pca’s and particularly for older men, it is just as good as surgery, if
not better. Ron is scheduled for a week today and after that I will be
able to give you a detailed explanation……but we were down for the
pre-assessment today and I also phoned our primary nurse and asked her
again if surgery was an option after radiation. Yes, it is. No doubt
about it. But that not all doctors know how to do it.
All I ask is that you keep this in mind when making decisions. I almost
bought into the view that radiation was less effective than
surgery……for this very reason. And when our Dr. L. informed me that
our two other doctors were not up to date on this, there was no doubt in
either of our minds which way we were going to go. And both the
urologist and oncologist recommended ordinary radiation over surgery,
So yes……this new HDR brachytherapy is a very exciting new method and
one that has been proven to be very effective. After the 2 sessions of
*internal radiation*, Ron has 5 weeks of external instead of 8. He gets
to come home immediately after his 6-hour procedures……no catheter
and only mild discomfort. He has elected to have an epidural for it.
A lot of the 6 hours is spent being VERY sure about where the needles
are placed and mapping everything out via computer and CT scan. The
actual time spent radiating the prostate is about 10-15 minutes.
Just think about it, and research it. That’s all I ask.
Feb. PSA – 11.47
Gleason – 4 + 3
Staging – T2B
Age – a young 71. ;-))