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    Old 01-08-2009, 04:25 PM   #1
    shynee32
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    Unhappy Need insight on husband's symptoms

    Hi, I hope you all can help me and my husband figure out his best course of action.

    This last weekend he had just gotten over a bout of the flu, and his lower back and sides started hurting a lot-he was getting waves of pain. Then Sunday night he was up half the night trying to urinate. He said that it didn't hurt, and there wasn't any blood-but he felt like he always had to go, and then hardly anything came out when he tried to go. So, he went to the doctor on that Monday. The doctor did a bunch of urine tests and established there wasn't an infection, and then did a prostate exam. His prostate was slightly enlarged. They also did find some blood in his urine. The doctor said it was probably just from a kidney stone forming. The doctor told him the back pain was most likely just muscle related, and had him take Aleve. Then he gave him a prescription for FloMax for about a week. He never mentioned anything about prostate cancer or checking for it.

    My husband's going back on the 14th of January for a full physical with blood tests, but it was elective. But, he is going. This doctor seems awfully dismissive about his symptoms, and I'm concerned that it could be prostate cancer. He will turn 40 on the 26th of January, and hasn't been to the doctor in a looong time.

    What should my husband do to make sure this is checked out thoroughly and we find out for sure that he does/doesn't have prostate cancer? I would say he needs to have at the very least a PSA test.

    Can you please give me some insight and advice? It would be greatly appreciated-we have 2 little girls and we are majorly stressed right now about this-freakin' happy birthday, right?

    Thank you!

    Denise

     
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    Old 01-08-2009, 04:32 PM   #2
    npille
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    Re: Need insight on husband's symptoms

    He must see a respected specialist and will probably be given a medicine first to allow him to urinate. this does not mean that he has prostate cancer, but he wil be tested on a regular basis probably. It is good that he is finding this out right away - however, with diligent physician care, he will be treating it and hopefully getting the upper hand. My husband has gone through a lot, he has gone through 2 surgeries before finding cancer and havingt his prostate removed. He has what is called a PSI every three months and in two years has shown not sign of cancer.
    The best of luck and prayers to you. You must think positive and pay extreme attention to all that happens.

    Love

     
    Old 01-08-2009, 04:43 PM   #3
    daff
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    Re: Need insight on husband's symptoms

    Sounds like you're doing all the right things, by following your instincts and his having a physical with blood tests. But he is very young to have prostate cancer. Usually we who find we have prostate cancer have seen an increase in PSA, based on having had the tests for many years- and then get a biopsy. It can't hurt to have a baseline PSA now to alleviate your fears if nothing else, and you may want to get a basic book on prostate cancer (such as a recent one by Dr. Patrick Walsh) to gain some understanding about this disease-- but I'd be extremely surprised if this is the cause of the symptoms you describe.
    Hopefully the Flomax will help.

     
    Old 01-08-2009, 05:40 PM   #4
    shynee32
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    Re: Need insight on husband's symptoms

    Thank you, that makes me feel a bit better.

    I think if we had his PSA checked, it would put our minds at ease. Then each time he gets it checked, we'll know better where we're at. I know he's got his age on his side. He hasn't mentioned any further problems with urinating since starting the Flomax, but he's had some sexual side effects. The least of our worries at this point, though. We'll worry about it if he has to stay on it for an extended period.

    I believe they were going to check his cholesterol, but nothing else was mentioned. But, I'll have him bring some literature with him, and just tell the doc that he wants to have at least a baseline test for future reference. Especially since he hasn't been to the doc for a physical in a very long time.

    Thanks again!

     
    Old 01-08-2009, 05:58 PM   #5
    daff
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    Re: Need insight on husband's symptoms

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shynee32 View Post
    I think if we had his PSA checked, it would put our minds at ease. Then each time he gets it checked, we'll know better where we're at....
    he hasn't been to the doc for a physical in a very long time.
    One good thing will likely come of all this-- he'll get on a routine to have
    a physical much more often. When it becomes routine, than it's no big deal.
    Also, keeping statistics of test results over time is a very good thing in that you can spot something that changes more rapidly than it should.

     
    Old 01-09-2009, 04:38 PM   #6
    dale2035
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    Re: Need insight on husband's symptoms

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shynee32 View Post
    Thank you, that makes me feel a bit better.
    Hi, Shynee32,
    I am told that BenignPH cells can start in the middle of the prostate and grow inward, putting pressure on the urethra...restricting the flow of urine. It is not cancer...not lead to cancer. Glad the Flomax is helping.
    It would be possibly helpful to have a PSA. The result may not put your mind much at ease...or unease. The PSA is a very important test, but is imperfect. When a thorough doctor looks at the level, density and velocity of the PSA, he is still dealing with probabilities--not certainties. A couple pieces of legislation is in Congress...and will go farther and faster with Mr. TomDaschle heading the HHS. We sure need that help--whether we have a risk of cancer or not. The bills are asking for funding for research for better screening tests for prostate cancer. As Daff pointed out, prostate cancer usually comes in the 60s...or 50s, but it can come earlier. A man is more at risk if he a person is African-American and/or has a brother or father who had prostate cancer...especially if the brother or father had it younger than age 55. Sometimes the PSA level misses detecting cancer; another feature that sometimes gives a hint is the rate of increase. If three tests over two years are showing an annual increase of .75 this can make a doctor suspicious of cancer regardless of the level. There is, also, a free-PSA test that can be done if his doctor thinks more testing is warranted. His doctor may think the DRE (finger test) is not indicated. A DRE would not be giving as EARLY detection as your husband deserves ...considering how lucky he is to have such an attentive spouse.
    Regards, Dale2035
    I think if we had his PSA checked, it would put our minds at ease. Then each time he gets it checked, we'll know better where we're at. I know he's got his age on his side. He hasn't mentioned any further problems with urinating since starting the Flomax, but he's had some sexual side effects. The least of our worries at this point, though. We'll worry about it if he has to stay on it for an extended period.

    I believe they were going to check his cholesterol, but nothing else was mentioned. But, I'll have him bring some literature with him, and just tell the doc that he wants to have at least a baseline test for future reference. Especially since he hasn't been to the doc for a physical in a very long time.

    Thanks again!

     
    Old 01-13-2009, 02:23 PM   #7
    shynee32
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    Re: Need insight on husband's symptoms

    Thanks Dale-that's good info. We will get some literature such as daff mentioned so we know more about all the options in testing, and just in case-treatment.

    I've always had to keep after my DH about going to the doctor, from day one. If he hadn't had the back pain and prostate problem, who knows when he would have gone-he kept promising to go "after he turned 40", but I know I would've had to hound him.

    After my mom found out she had breast cancer after not seeing her doc for 10 years, I don't take that stuff for granted. I never did, really, but what happened to her has enforced that even more so. Amazingly, she still smokes and is obese. It's too bad when we learn from other people's mistakes.

    I totally understand about having better test for PC-I have the same issues when I go for a mammogram-I always have to be retested, and then be told that the results were "inconclusive". I know there's other better tests out there, but few places offer them, and then there's whether my insurance covers them...

    It's a vicious circle. But, our government does have a duty to protect its people and make sure everyone gets the best care available.

     
    Old 01-15-2009, 07:11 PM   #8
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    Re: Need insight on husband's symptoms

    Hi Denise,

    You've already had some good and reassuring replies, but here are a few additional points to consider.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shynee32 View Post
    ...The doctor did a bunch of urine tests and established there wasn't an infection,

    Actually, our science isn't quite that good yet! By doing urine tests, the doctor can rule out some causes of infection, but other tests such as tissue cultures and blood tests are needed to rule out other causes. And, even then, quite often it is not possible to determine whether or not a patient has an infection.

    Based on what your husband went through, in my layman's opinion, he may well have some kind of infection. Since infections often boost PSA, sometimes by quite a bit, that PSA test result may come back a lot higher than you both had hoped. While that could be due to prostate cancer, there is a great likelihood that a high PSA, in his circumstances, would be due to infection, and slightly to the "mildly enlarged" prostate, rather than to prostate cancer. I'm hoping that you will be able to take such a result in stride if you are forewarned. Of course, a low result would be great, suggesting both no prostate cancer and no significant infection.


    and then did a prostate exam. His prostate was slightly enlarged. They also did find some blood in his urine. The doctor said it was probably just from a kidney stone forming. ... He never mentioned anything about prostate cancer or checking for it.

    Since the doctor did the "prostate exam," the DRE (Digital Rectal exam), concluding that the prostate was slightly enlarged, he actually has done one of the two screening checks for prostate cancer, though PSA is quite a bit more important.

    My husband's going back on the 14th of January for a full physical with blood tests, but it was elective. But, he is going. This doctor seems awfully dismissive about his symptoms, and I'm concerned that it could be prostate cancer. He will turn 40 on the 26th of January, and hasn't been to the doctor in a looong time.

    I'll join the chorus that prostate cancer is unlikely, but you and your husband are wise to be on guard for it. By the way, annual PSA checkups give your husband a bonus if he ever develops prostate cancer. We now know that a PSA rise of more than 2.0 in the year before diagnosis is a separate and independent clue that the cancer is more aggressive than it would otherwise be, based on the standard clues. On the other hand, a rise of 2.0 or less indicates a less aggressive case than you would estimate if you only considered the standard clues. Of course, you can only get that benefit, if you have PSA tests about every year.

    ...Denise
    Good luck, and let us know how things turn out.

    Jim

     
    Old 01-22-2009, 07:56 AM   #9
    shynee32
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    Re: Need insight on husband's symptoms

    Well, my husband got the results of his PSA test yesterday. It was 26.

    His doctor thinks he had an infection, and that's why it's so high. He's going to set up an appointment for him to see a urologist, but we don't know when yet.

    Is there any way at all for them to confirm he has an infection? He did take the Flomax which did help with his urination problems, but how do we know that there isn't still an infection hanging around? Shouldn't my husband be on some sort of antibiotic? Or is he going to have to wait to see the urologist?

    I hate this waiting! And, his 40th birthday is Monday(which he's bummed out about enough already)-this is not the kind of news we wanted right now.

    Any advice or info would be appreciated.

    And, thanks Jim-I think you were spot on.

    Thanks!

    Last edited by shynee32; 01-22-2009 at 07:58 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention something

     
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