If you have prostate cancer or was told you had a high PSA, you may want to read this.
Years ago my dad had radiation for prostate cancer. They never told him that 20 years later, he would lose control of his bowels. Others lose the ability to have sex or are incontinent. Most of the data now suggests especially in older men, the PSA is useless, yet doctors continue to have many men worry about prostate cancer as something that can be life threatening.
Here is a point of view you may not have heard, from someone who was faced with the dilemma of that to do when you are told you have a prostate cancer.
In October 2012 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I am now cancer free. Here is my story, a detailed one, with test results.
I have been taking PSA tests every couple years since 2007. It’s a routine blood test recommended for men as they get older.
PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen. Elevated readings may indicate evidence of prostate cancer. Any reading under 3.0 is normal but some doctors may say 4.0 and others 2.5. It’s not an exact science to be sure.
My test in August of 2012 was elevated (6.65). Another test in October was also elevated (7.13) My regular doctor strongly recommended a biopsy.
The biopsy showed I had cancer. My “Gleason Score” was 6. The surgeon that performed the biopsy (Dr. G) strongly recommended surgery. He gave me a cost of $20,000.
What follows is my general understanding of methods of dealing with prostate cancers and problems that may result from treatment.
Do your own due diligence and consult a doctor if you are in a similar situation.
Problems With Surgery
Prostate surgery can cause all sorts of complications including loss of sexual functions and urinary incontinence. I had not yet started dating following the death of my wife Joanne in May of that year.
Imagine telling a date “Hi, I’m Mish. I have prostate cancer”, or worse yet “I’m impotent and have urinary incontinence thanks to prostate surgery”.
Even if there are no complications, the very best one can hope for with prostate surgery is loss of ability to ejaculate (a 100% given), then perhaps with drugs like Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra an erection or orgasm can be achieved.
My doctor recommended radiation therapy. Unfortunately, the complications are similar, and costs higher, especially for proton beam therapy.
For a discussion of proton beam therapy, please see the Cancer.Org discussion Is proton beam therapy for prostate cancer worth the cost?
This is my general understanding after talking with doctors and reading countless articles: With surgery, complications arise immediately, with radiation therapy, additional complications may arise years down the road
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