I just received an e-mail from a friend who knew I had pCA and surgery asking for advice. As most of you will understand it is important to give advice as unbiased as possible so that they can make their own informed decision. At the time I had no information accept that he had been diagnosed. I know this can be improved on so help me do so.
Below is what I wrote to them, but I would like to have you as a group help me edit this. I think, with all of your help, we can give others a good foundation to start from if work together on this when we are given little or no detail. Please add edits in green for now and later we can a final version edit.
Here it is:
”To give your friend any helpful comments on how to make go about making a decision on which route to go, I would need some more information.
Results on your
1) PSA test
3) Biopsy Gleason score
You also need to write out all your information for yourself anyway so this would be a good time to start it. You must have all this information to make the best informed decision you can on treatment. I cannot over emphasize this.
First would be your family history:
1) Did your grandfather, father, or your fathers have pCA (prostate cancer)?
2) Did your mother’s grandfather or father have pCA?
Second is your general health:
1) Think about how physically healthy you now are and what if anything you can do to improve that between now and the time you have surgery ( if that is the treatment option you pick.
2) Diet start right now eating low fat and lean meats in smaller portions (high cholesterol feeds cancer), more vegetables, fruits, and pomegranate juice. (the juice has been shown to slow ca growth)
3) Statin drugs are good if you’re on them, also shown recently to help slow growth.
4) Do you have urinary tract problems now like enlarged prostate, slow flow, trouble completely emptying your bladder, ect…
Third what now do you know from the doctor or doctors and if you don’t know these find out. (**this is important for you to know)
1) Your PSA number?
2) Was the DRE positive or negative?
a. If positive what were the details .How it felt to the doctor size and were, one side both sides?
3) Do you have BPH (Benign prostatic hypertrophy)? It means and enlarged prostate.
4) Biopsy report information:
a. Number of cores taken per side.
b. Out of those cores how many were positive pCA?
c. What were the percentages of the positive samples.
d. What is the Gleason score?
e. Was there any visual areas of suspect during the ultrasound used for taking the samples?
5) Have you had a Bone scan? The results?
6) Any other test and there results?
Fourth: Suggestions and questions:
1) First show this whole thing I written to your Urologist and any other doctors you see. Listen to their comments and make notes. Why? Because, for the most of us finding out we have pCA is enough of an emotional burden that we will not recall half of what is being said. Bring the wife in to take the notes also will help and the two of you will remember more of the conversations.
2) Ask them their treatment specialty because they will be bias toward that as your best option. They may be right… but then again maybe not.
3) Check all doctor reputations you see.
4) Was your biopsy read by a pathologist who is a specialist in prostate cancers? If not, have it done by one for a second opinion. I suggest hand carrying it yourself to him. Things can get lost and in the mailing/shipping systems and if does what do you do then?
5) Get at least another PSA ( I got three before surgery)
6) If you decide to have a RRP ( Radical Robotic Prostectomy) check up aggressively on the surgeon. How many has he done? My information worked out to 300 to 400 minimum operations, the more the better. Better results, easier recovery, and faster back to a normal life seem to go with more procedures done.
7) Keep in mind that everyone you read about or talk to will have their own opinion and theirs may not necessarily be the best option for you.
8) I suggest you go to this website and join there are some fairly smart lay people that can help you sort out this whole thing. Just don’t forget they are just people like you and me and may be bias toward what they did as far as treatment.
There are other sites, go look at them too and read on as much as you can on the web but don’t let it overwhelm you with too much info. Again keep in mind not all of it is from reliable sources. I suggest going to:
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/prostate for reading and education.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov hardcore reading.”
Thank's all for your help in this.
Steve, post surgery all nerves saved, 31 days and two pads per day…