Re: My Husband has Prostate Cancer - now what?
I had a conversation with a urologist in September that may have resembled your husband's in some respects. He told me the biopsy indicated I had "a little cancer." He recommended robotic surgery (I read and heard from a plurality of medical personnel that he is the person in the area they would use if they were going to have a surgeon use DaVinci). He suggested I confer with a radiation oncologist before accepting his recommendation. I felt about that consultation like I would have felt consulting with a three member cancer team. That feeds into an attitude of wanting to trust the experts, but I felt I was getting in deeper without having enough information to be an informed consumer. I decided to get my second opinion after I had done some research. After doing the research, I felt in my specific case, proton therapy was probably better than surgery or seed therapy/photon beam therapy. When I met with my general practictioner (a urologist), I was referred to Irvine Cancer Center. I had a lot more understanding when I met with the director, who recommended hormones, temporary seed therapy and external beam. I (and my wife, who sat in on the consultation) felt I was in the hands of an expert that I could trust totally. However, I felt that proton therapy was even better for me. I think the director knew that I (and my wife) felt that I was fortunate to have his expertise available...moreover, as good as he was, he had endless patience to answer all questions. The reason I belabor my personal experience is thinking your husband going into that consultation with the team would be like me and feel sucked into the guidance of the experts. What is a layman doing making treatment decisions for a complicated problem?! However, having read some, I was able to reflect on the information and make an independent decision . I am jumping to the conclusion that your husband did not absorb many details about the biopsy finding (Gleason sub scores, staging estimates, number of cores taken, number of cores with cancer, percentage of cancer in the core).
Having read and read and read, I would like to say that I have some appreciation for the quality and quantity of the advice you received from Jim and Daff. What they presented would have been more helpful to me in September than most of the expert books and articles I read. One would think that a few minutes with that team would be better than what you would get from a couple laymen on message board, but I urge you to print out their comments and review them carefully and repeatedly. You are going to surprised about your calm and confidence when you are talking to experts after you have done extensive research. When that happens maybe it would be helpful to others if you log in and let us know how you made that journey from a point of some frustration, confusion and anxiety.