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Old 01-25-2012, 09:14 AM   #1
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hard prostate

I have area of hardness on my prostate and a psa of 4.77 up from 3.8 a year ago and a free psa of 8. Going in for biopsy in 2 weeks. Any other similar cases with results from your biopsy or liklihood of cancer?

 
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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Re: hard prostate

Based on several nomograms I looked at, your odds of finding prostate cancer on a 12 core biopsy range from 70-80%, higher if you're African-American or have a family history of it.

- Allen

 
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:24 PM   #3
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Re: hard prostate

Hi rideitout and welcome to the Board!

As Tall Allen indicated, now is the time to check out what is going on with a biopsy. As the odds indicate, it is possible this is not cancer, but it is best to be prepared. Whatever the result, be sure to get and file a copy of your biopsy report. Also, ask your doctor whether the pathologist who will analyze the biopsy cores is a general pathologist or a specialist in prostate cancer. It may take some tact on your part to get that information, but it is important. General pathologists often undergrade and occasionally overgrade biopsy samples, according to medical research studies. Hopefully no cancer will be found, in which case there is no issue.

If cancer is diagnosed from the biopsy, you need to know that for the vast majority of us it is "cancer" with a little "c" and not "The Big C". The length of survival of prostate cancer is better than survival with any other major cancer, with a very high percentage of men outliving the disease. In fact, virtually 100% of men with low- and intermediate-risk cases are alive at the ten year point after diagnosis! There are a number of effective treatments today, based on major advances over what was available to our fathers, or even a decade or half a decade ago. Cure and control rates are much improved, and side effects of treatment are much reduced.

Moreover, for men judged to have "low-risk" disease (a formal definition based on Gleason score, stage and PSA), "active surveillance" rather than treatment has proven in the past decade to be an outstanding option - avoiding unnecessary treatment with its side effects, but ensuring timely, effective treatment when needed. By looking at six key case characteristics, it is possible to get a good and quick handle on likely treatment options, which range from active surveillance, through single treatments, to combinations of treatments. (One source: the publication "What's Your Type? from PCRI, the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, a non-profit organization. Another source is the book "Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers", Blum and Scholz; the characteristics are mentioned in the chapter on active surveillance.) The key point is that one size definitely does not fit all with prostate cancer!

Here's a point in your favor, even if you do have cancer: when the rise in PSA in a year is less than 2 for men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer, the disease tends to take a more favorable course, with sound action of course, than it would otherwise take based on the standard risk assessment.

Take care and keep your spirits up,

Jim

 
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