It's been a while since I have talked here about Prostate Cancer. I started this blog about 3.5 years ago when it was discovered I had Prostate Cancer. I told my story and the things I was going through and urged other men to get checked and also appealed to their loved ones (wives). I have no idea if any of that hit home with anyone but I felt like I should keep telling my story if it helped in saving someone's life. I never once advised how they should decide to proceed if cancer was detected. There are options and being informed is the only way to make a decision that will affect those that need to make this decision for the rest of their lives. Each man has to make his own decision. Make an informed one.
Over the last couple years there has arisen controversy among doctors about even testing PSA for cancer. It is generally slow growing and many that get it will pass from something else before the cancer can get worse. But there are those like me, I believe the choice I made saved my life. The biopsy and PSA numbers didn't indicate that my cancer was all that bad. I opted for surgery. It saved my life due to it being more aggressive than the original biopsy revealed. It also was not as big as the biopsy tended to indicate. They thought that about 60-70% of my prostate was cancerous. It was only 7%. So biopsies don't reveal everything either. Yet with the aggressive nature of mine, the doctors agreed I made the right decision. Yes, there are issues I still deal with as a result of the surgery and I am resigned to the fact they will never be resolved. The most common side effects are incontinence and sexual dysfunction. Yes, those are not pleasant but there are workarounds available. Your doctor can help with that. For me, living longer with those I love, even though it is not guaranteed, and peace of mind is motivation for me and I have no regrets at all. I still get checked every 6 months with a PSA test and so far there has been no detectable cancer found. I go again in July for another check. I have been blessed so far. If it returns, I still have no regrets.
My Uncle by marriage has Prostate Cancer and at 75 is ten years older than me. He and his doctor chose a different path. No treatment at all. They determined through a biopsy that his was the least aggressive form. He would most certainly pass before it ever advanced to a life threatening stage. His was detected at nearly the same time as mine. Yet he still must get the biopsy ever so often to determine if it has gotten more aggressive or spread. I don't know what he and his doctor talked about so can't agree or disagree with their decision. It could be that the doctor's protocols did not call for any other option like surgery or even radiation. For me, Peace of Mind is what I need. I felt that surgery was my best option. Taking the risk that it could all be removed by surgery and be cured completely is what I was praying for. So far that is how it has turned out. I am still 6.5 years away from being declared cancer free/cured.
Now to the reason I am posting about this again. I read this article and it echoes some of the things I talk about with others and write here. This man chose to not take ANY treatment at age 59. Thirteen years later his cancer has spread and the outlook is grim, yet he seems happy. But what do we really know what is going through his mind at night laying in bed or when he is alone.
Please, go read his story here, Prostate Cancer Info. Get informed, talk to your doctor, talk to a couple doctors. If you have to make this decision one day, make an informed decision, and pray about it if you are a praying person. Prayer has helped me more than anything else. I have the peace that passes understanding.
Let me know your thoughts, experiences. Free exchange of these things and open dialogue help others decide what to do. I want to help anyone I can. If you don't feel comfortable expressing on this forum but still want to talk to me, my email is in my profile.
I will most likely leave this post up for week in order to reach as many as I can.