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Old 11-22-2012, 10:45 PM   #43
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Update.

Hi, my Dermatologist told me to be re-checked in six months after the surgery on my back. Well, six months is in November. [I just went] My surgery never felt quite right, but my Doctor said this was a normal healing process and the strange feelings could last up to two years. I was given two cortisone shots in my back to help with the strange feelings that I was having. [normal] Me being a mechanical type person, my Doctor said I was very descriptive in how it feels. I told her that sometimes the scare area on my back [located on center with my back bone] felt like the stitches were too deep and into my back bone. The other feeling that I was getting felt like my shirt was safety pinned to my skin, at the surgery area. OK, so I'm clear for now as per my last inspection for skin problems, but now my blood test results show my PSA is to high for my age. I now have to wait for about one month to have my blood tested for PSA again and hope it has gone down. If not, I will have to have Biopsies for this too.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:06 AM   #44
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There always is something to spoil your day Robert.

PSA can be high if you have had stimulation in the three of four days prior to the test. Try to be good for the retest.

All the best

Dave


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but now my blood test results show my PSA is to high for my age. I now have to wait for about one month to have my blood tested for PSA again and hope it has gone down. If not, I will have to have Biopsies for this too.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:50 AM   #45
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Ooooh, sorry to hear that, Robert. So scary for you.

The upside, you know, is that these screening tests can detect problems before you would otherwise have symptoms, allowing for a complete cure where there might otherwise not be one.

Sending you good karma.


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Old 11-23-2012, 11:58 AM   #46
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Bob, glad things are better for you!

I have not had a basal cell carcinoma, but my mother, father, and grand mother did. Mom had one on her lower leg in her mid 70's and lived to be 86. Dad had multiple on his head, face, and torso, beginning in his mid 60's, and he lived to be 92. Dad's mother had multiple about her face and neck and she lived to be 99.

After a lifetime of working and playing in the sun, since my late 50's I have been having those "barnacles" removed on a regular basis. My Dr says this is pretty normal, but I should be diligent on keeping check of my skin's condition.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:29 PM   #47
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Bob, start reading everything you can on prostates and PSA tests. There is much disagreement about all of this—like tires, trucks, etc. Urologists' business plans rely on biopsies and prostatectomies or radiation. PSA's jump around a lot. There are different PSA tests—the most common one tests all PSA, another one tests for a fraction of PSA and may be more accurate, but costs more. PSA tests are not very accurate and lead to overtreatment too often. There is no proof that treatment for most prostate cancers extends life spans. A small minority of such cancers spread fast, but most grow very, very slowly. Treatments for prostate cancer often result in impotence and urinary problems—doctors may not mention that.

Several years ago it was believed that sex 48 hours before a blood draw for PSA would increase PSA, but later studies question that. It was said for a while the velocity of PSA (how fast it went up) was indicative of cancer even when the numbers were still low, but now that may have been wrong. PSA goes up with age and what may be a problem number at 50 or 60 may not be at 70 or 80.

A lot of doctors don't seem to know a lot of this and overtreat because it seems to make patients feel something has to be done, and it also makes more money for them.

If you have BPH, there are 2 standard drugs for that, but finasteride has been show to reduce prostate cancer by 40% as well as shrink the prostate. This is now available generically and should be available for more than BPH (this drug, though a weaker version, is also used to grow hair as Rogaine, but if you're old, the hair is probably lost for all time).

I've been through this for 10 years with doctors and urologists. I had to do the reading myself and control the situation. I'm fine and their alarmism was the wrong approach.

If you want to go over this more, feel free to PM or discuss here. Glad to see your healing well as can be expected.

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Old 11-23-2012, 12:29 PM   #48
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TMI, but here we go... As masseyfarm indicates, prostate manipulation or a digital rectal exam before a PSA can give high readings. Usual sequence is to do the PSA as part of a screening before a physical. PSA is an indicator of prostate tissue bulk only; it does not indicate presence or absence of neoplasia (cancer). Somebody with a naturally large prostate can have a PSA higher than the reference range. Fluctuation from one PSA test to the next is completely normal. Separating the signal from the noise is quite imperfect. Not a great test overall but one of several types of observation that must be added to come up with a recommendation.

There is a lot that must be left to professional interpretation and discussion with your physician. They certainly will factor in the results of a digital exam. Your physician can tell you a lot from what they observe that way. Biopsies are an outpatient procedure in any event. There are many internet sources of good (and certainly not so good) info. Don't go overboard...
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:50 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Bob, start reading everything you can on prostates and PSA tests. There is much disagreement about all of this—like tires, trucks, etc. Urologists' business plans rely on biopsies and prostatectomies or radiation. PSA's jump around a lot. There are different PSA tests—the most common one tests all PSA, another one tests for a fraction of PSA and may be more accurate, but costs more. PSA tests are not very accurate and lead to overtreatment too often. There is no proof that treatment for most prostate cancers extends life spans. A small minority of such cancers spread fast, but most grow very, very slowly. Treatments for prostate cancer often result in impotence and urinary problems—doctors may not mention that.
This is practically word for word what my doctor said. Sal
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:22 PM   #50
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More and more cancer is being seen as a chronic disease for many people. For ex., digital mammography picks up many more items that may or may not be cancer (calcification the prime one). That leads to more biopsies. Some say biopsies may spread cancer cells (don't know whether that it true). There is good evidence that picking up very early stages of breast cancer has not had any change in mortality, just like PSA tests don't appear to affect mortality.

Some believe we all have cancer cells and sometimes our immune system eliminates them and sometimes it doesn't.

It is not easy to live with a chronic cancer that is progressing so slowly we may have to live 20 or 30 years more to have to worry about it. We all want to solve the problem now! The feeling is cancer is an alien we have to fight and vanquish—but the cancer is us acting out and compromise may work just as well or better. Many cancer treatments are so disfiguring, poisonous or otherwise damaging that we have to be very, very careful what we let them do to us.

About 20-25 years ago my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His urologist told him the cancer would probably not kill him for 20 years. He was in his mid or late 70's at the time and had lots of cardiovascular problems. Despite the fact he claimed doctors overtreated people all the time, partly because patients expect you to do something, he went ahead with radiation. They burned his colon because of sloppy targeting, but not so badly it caused him long term problems. He lived to 82 and died of cardiac disease. PSA's at that time were considered a wonder test, but it seems we are still back there in both diagnosis and treatment.

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Old 11-23-2012, 04:26 PM   #51
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I am always relucant to comment on this subject as there are so many factors to be considered.... I have had the surgery 10 years ago and depending on your overall health it would strongly be my recommendation, as it seems in the long run, to have the least long lasting complications....My recommendation is to find the most respected Uroligist in your area and go there and see what He recommends.... I am an agressive type and would probably have had a mental breakdown had I not removed it....Good Luck...
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:45 AM   #52
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PSA update.

Hi, well I waited about an extra month before getting re-tested for my PSA. At my age, I should be at 4.5 or less. My first test, a year or two ago, was 4.12 and nothing was said to me about it. Last year [2012] My PSA was 5.15 and this one set off a warning alarm. Just getting over my Skin Cancer and now I had something else to think/worry about. And lots of reading! I got my last test results this month and my PSA went down to 3.59 and an E-mail from my Doctor said to make sure and have this test done once a year. Nothing new with my Basal Cell so maybe we can do some more traveling.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:45 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, well I waited about an extra month before getting re-tested for my PSA. At my age, I should be at 4.5 or less. My first test, a year or two ago, was 4.12 and nothing was said to me about it. Last year [2012] My PSA was 5.15 and this one set off a warning alarm. Just getting over my Skin Cancer and now I had something else to think/worry about. And lots of reading! I got my last test results this month and my PSA went down to 3.59 and an E-mail from my Doctor said to make sure and have this test done once a year. Nothing new with my Basal Cell so maybe we can do some more traveling.
Scary for you!

Sounds like it fluctuates, wonder if diet could have anything to do with that?

Good to keep a close eye on it. Take care,


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Old 01-18-2013, 11:44 AM   #54
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Great news. Sometimes we worry too much.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:13 PM   #55
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PSA testing, in spite of all its problems, is important! It is relatively cheap, and high numbers (or low numbers) are meaningful.

If you find a high PSA, your doctor may send you to a urologist, and the urologist, after careful examinations, may order/perform a biopsy. (This is hardly a very fun test, and it is pretty expensive.) The results are sent to a lab, and the result is a Gleason score, which includes not just a number (1 through 10), but an evaluation of the nature of the prostate cancer cells (slow-growing, fast-growing).

I was somewhat lucky with my cancer: The Gleason score was a 7. The cancer was evidently confined to the prostate (whew!), coverage more than half of it, and more than half of the cancer cells were fast growing. It was my choice: Surgery or two months of daily radiation at the hospital. (I chose radiation, the modern forms of which are far more advanced than they used to be.) And now it's quarterly PSA testing for, well, I don't know how long.

And all of this after yearly PSA exams, only the last of which indicating a problem. What this shows is that prostate cancer doesn't necessarily kill quickly, but it can and does nonetheless. Get your PSA checked as often as your insurance will pay for it.


Lynn

By the way, if you are facing this, please inform yourself. An excellent resource, recommmended early on by my urologist, is linked below. Be sure to get the most recent edition (3rd, I think).
http://www.amazon.com/Patrick-Walshs...rostate+cancer
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:43 PM   #56
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PSA scores vary from time to time. It was thought that sex less than 2 days before the test would elevate it, but now that is questioned. There are also different PSA tests which test slightly different things.

I probably posted this before, but Finesteride is said to reduce the chance of prostate cancer by about 40%. That drug is used for BPH (growing prostate). It is Rogaine, but 5 times more of the drug. Similar numbers for a daily baby aspirin. PSA tests are not reliable, but introduce you to more tests including the quite unpleasant biopsy. If you have a slow growing cancer and you're over 70, the chances are something else will kill you first.

Gene
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