June 7, 2010

Interesting visit with my urologist this past Friday to discuss the various treatments available for my prostate cancer. It was funny, until he found out my wife was no stranger to cancers and cancer treatments as a result of her work as a cytogenetic technologist, everything he was communicating was very high level, designed for people like me who couldn’t tell you all the components of the urological system and how they interact with each other – heck, I just walk around with them and expect them to do what God created them for, right?

But as soon as he knew he was in the room with someone who could speak his language, it all changed. We started hearing about case studies, his opinions of various treatments, percentages of success of various treatments for people my age, his training and experience at some of the best cancer centers in the country (Memorial Sloan-Kettering and NYPH/Cornell), etc. we knew we were fortunate indeed to have found the right guy in the right place. He was quite up front about the pros and cons of each treatment, and careful to be sure we understood when he was giving his opinion, vs. providing factual data. Me? I found it all quite unnverving and was ready to find the nearest cocktail lounge. Tracey found it all beyond fascinating; she could have stayed and listened to him for hours.

What we learned from today’s session was three-fold: 1) my Gleason Scale 6 cancer is the most treatable and at the very, very earliest stages of development; 2) my age and relative state of good health was how I ended up having my prostate biopsy to begin following my borderline PSA 3.6 from my most recent blood test, and is the primary deciding factor in my recommended treatment going forward, and 3) that surgery to remove my prostate through a robotics technique appears to be the preferred method of treatment.

While there are other common courses of treatments, the surgery route seems to make the most sense since: a) I’m relatively young, the cancer itself is very small, and the recocery time far less than were I, say, ten years older, and b) it provides far greater flexibility in the future should the cancer reoccur, as radiology now makes possible surgery down the road a far more dicey prospect. While the surgery option is no bed of roses to be sure, as far as I’m concerned if it means not having to undergo radiology treatments now and face regular biopsies every 18 months going forward it’s worth it.

Still, it’s important to get all the facts, and our next appointment is with a radiation oncologist to discuss the pros and cons of those related treatments available to us. None of this is pleasant by any stretch of the imagination, but I can only thank God for seemingly being at the right place at the right time, and to include those who haven’t been nearly as lucky as I have been in my thoughts and prayers each day.

It’s pretty amazing to think how a simple blood test result can change your life forever.

Pool temp: 88 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:22 | Comments (0)
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