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NavyChief 09-20-2012 09:27 PM

A little concerned
I'm 40 btw, I had a PSA done by the Navy in May of this year. For whatever reason they results were never looked at until this past Monday. Well the corpsman told me that they were alarmingly high and they needed to retest. It was 13.05.

Ok so on Friday they pulled it again and the results were given to me a couple of days ago. This time I actually saw a DR. They were 14.5 he also mentioned that the free PSA was 0.6. Which he said wasn't a significant increase but I am still bothered that it is pretty darn high. Also with this free PSA being so low now I was thinking it may be time to go buy a bullet and rent a gun. LOL! I haven't ever been sick and I don't want to be sick.

Long story short it I am seeing a Urologist on Wednesday morning. I would like to know what to expect.

I am only really worried about this because my Command Master Chief had a PSA done a cmonth ago and he is having surgery next week. I have him to let me know what is fixing to happen, but I would really like to hear that this could be something else.

Anyone want to help this old Salty Sailor rest a little easier?


Tall Allen 09-20-2012 10:24 PM

Re: A little concerned
How was your DRE? Did he feel anything puffy or hard or lumpy? Any pelvic pain or urinary symptoms (e.g., hesitancy, frequency, burning, dribbling)?
At age 40, the most likely cause is prostatitis, and the Uro will probably give you a course of Cipro or other antibiotic to see if that brings down your PSA.

- Allen

NavyChief 09-21-2012 05:03 AM

Re: A little concerned
They didn't do a DRE. I guess he was gonna let the urologist know. I haven't felt anything different as for pain of having trouble going to the head or nothing.

I do know ever since he told me I feel like there's a softball in there :-) I know it's all I'mh head!

JohninDallas 09-21-2012 07:36 PM

Re: A little concerned

Right now, the thing you need most is information. While a PSA of 14 is high, and you also show a rise in a short period, there are a lot of other pieces of info that need to be assembled in order to make an accurate assessment of your situation and determine the best course of action.

Certainly, one of the things that is way up on your "want to know" list is if you have cancer. You said the corpsman used the words "alarmingly high" and that can easily stoke fear. Obviously, you want to be concerned and exercise prudence in gathering facts but don't let a PSA reading on its own send your imagination running wild. You may or may not have prostate cancer.

For what it's worth, prostate cancer can be very asymptomatic and you may not feel a thing. I had no symptoms at all and it was just an upward trajectory of a fairly low PSA (from 2.1 to 3.6) that prompted me to see a specialist for evaluation.

As Allen mentioned, the urologist may want to prescribe some meds to see if it's an infection that may be affecting your PSA but that will be up to the doc. Your uro will get all your history, look at prior testing, do a DRE and then make some initial observations.

It is possible that the urologist may want to schedule you for a biopsy. If that is the case, then you'll go in for a procedure where they will place an ultrasonic probe in your rear and shoot about 12 needles through your rectal wall into the prostate to draw out tissue that will be tested for the presence of cancer and grading if, indeed, the tests are positive. I am sure you can easily read up on that procedure.

Your visit on Wednesday will be of tremendous help to you in getting started. Being in the military, I don't know if you have to stay within the military medical system or not. Here in the DFW area, we have some outstanding doctors and hospitals for urology and prostate cancer treatment should you need it. My prostate cancer was treated at UT Southwestern in Dallas. USMD in Arlington is also top shelf. There are other places throughout the Metroplex that can be of help to you, too. It's pretty easy to find a second opinion around town!

Keep your spirits up. Even if prostate cancer does factor into your equation at a younger age than usual, very effective treatment options are available.

Keep folks up to date on your progress.


harpman 09-22-2012 08:37 PM

Re: A little concerned
You have one of the leading cancer treatment centers in the world at MD Anderson in Houston. Check out their Proton Therapy Center for most modern treatment with extremely high cure rates and extremely low incidence of side effects such as impotence compared to other treatments.

NavyChief 09-26-2012 03:58 PM

Re: A little concerned
Oh. Thanks for all the insight gentleman.

k. I saw the urologist today.

He did the DRE. He said my prostate was about 2 times as large as it should be and very hard. He didn't say it had hard spots. He said it was just very hard. I have a biopsy scheduled for the 18th of this month. So far everything I have read points to either, not cancer, or fairly advanced cancer. It seems like most people have hard spots. Not the whole damned thing.

Sure, I am pretty concerned about it. He put me on antibiotics for the next three weeks and gave me two Valium to take before I come to the biopsy.

Anyone got any more insight. I hate not knowing. I really don't feel any different. I need have felt any pain to speak of like others mention. I just really don't like being in the dark.

Tall Allen 09-26-2012 05:19 PM

Re: A little concerned
That's what I suspected the DRE would show and was hoping for. Prostate cancer usually has some lumpiness because the tumor areas are harder. When the whole thing is hard in a man your age, the most likely cause is inflammation - prostatitis. If you've ever sprained an ankle, fractured a bone, or had a boil, remember how the area around it swelled up, got hard and tender to the touch -- a classic inflammatory response. But unlike your sprained ankle, you can't ice your prostate to get the swelling down. Not all prostatitis is responsive to antibiotics, but with any luck it will respond to the antibiotics, the PSA will go back down, and you can avoid an unnecessary biopsy.

- Allen

NavyChief 09-27-2012 06:41 AM

Re: A little concerned
I woulda thought that the doctor might would have mentioned that the entire thing being hard would be a good sign. Here's my issue, I don't feel like I have any symptoms of prostatitis.

He has be scheduled for a biopsy on the 18th. I am guessing he is a fan of just doing a biopsy and knowing for sure. Who knows. I hate to get it done, but I would rather know for sure.

Tall Allen 09-27-2012 11:02 AM

Re: A little concerned
Prostatitis can be symptomless -- many guys have it for years and don't know. But that's why he gave you three weeks of antibiotics -- there's no other reason to do that. (They give you only three [I]days[/I] of antibiotics for a biopsy.) I think it's strange too that he didn't tell you why he was putting you on antibiotics. Did you ask him what he was giving you the antibiotics for?

- Allen

NavyChief 10-08-2012 10:45 AM

Re: A little concerned
Sorry for not answering back Allen. No I didnt ask him. I kinda stopped listening to him after he told me he would need to do a biopsy. I just assumed they gave the antibiotics as a preface to the biopsy.


harpman 10-08-2012 02:49 PM

Re: A little concerned
I don't really understand why you would stop listening to the doctor when he told you he would need to do a biopsy as it is just about always done if the doctor has doubt. It sounds like you could use a second opinion concerning the value of a biopsy if you don't feel comfortable with the first opinion. It's common to get second opinions even if you have complete faith in your doctor.

NavyChief 10-19-2012 10:04 AM

Re: A little concerned
Ok, I had my biopsy yesterday and now I start a nice 2 week wait for results. They pulled a PSA before and it was 14.6 vice 14.5 a few weeks ago so the three weeks of Cipro didn't do anything.

One breath of fresh air for me was originally the DR that did the DRE estimated my prostate was 40 grams. The guy that did the ultrasound of it said it was 23 grams which is fairly close to normal.

I was really hoping that three weeks of Cipro my psa would have dropped but it did not, it remained basically the same.

I did ask the ultrasound dude if anything looked strange to him. He said he doesn't put much stock in what he sees because he has seen one look perfect it is was covered in cancer and he had seen them that looked really bad be completely clean. He did mention there was one small dark area that the Dr was going to make sure to get a biopsy of.

I don't really know what I expect to hear from anyone. I just wanted to give an update. It really suck that I have no real clue what the hell is going on here.

Thx folks

NavyChief 10-22-2012 02:40 PM

Re: A little concerned
Any new insight on what could be the deal?

harpman 10-22-2012 05:08 PM

Re: A little concerned
My Urologist told me this at my first examination after which he ordered a biopsy, "A small prostate and a high PSA are often a bad sign". My prostate was small and my PSA was 3.95 and the biopsy found cancer. Hopefully this will not be your case but you are wise to be doing your due diligence so that you can make your best decision if needed.

RogerP 10-27-2012 02:55 AM

Re: A little concerned
I had a negative biopsy at PSA 16 and a single positive core at PSA 20 about 18 months later. A volume of 135cc masked something bad starting to form.

The bottom line is that the second biopsy showed up something that the DRE missed. Furthermore, the biopsy revealed something virulent (Gleason 3+5) that needed attention.

I didn't have much choice on treatment, so I opted for surgery and the biopsy on the organ removed indicated nothing on the margins or in the lymph nodes. My interpretation of events is that the biopsy picked up something before it spread.

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