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not sure what to do


jjoan

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I lost my mom in June of lc and we just found out that my father's prostate level is elevated. They want him to come in for a biopsy but they said his appointment is not until February, 2005. Well he is planning on going away for the winter this coming Wednesday and he will be home in May, 2005 (this is something he does every year for the past 15 years). He said when he comes home he will go and see the doctor and that he is only putting it off for another two months. I know with lc you can not put it off for 2 weeks never mind 2 months but I don't know about prostate. My father says because they won't see him until February that it won't make much of a difference one way or another until May. I don't think he will treat if it turns out to be cancer because of what happened with my mom and she did treat. I don't know how much more I can handle or how much more anyone in my family can handle but if anyone knows anything about prostate cancer I would sure like to hear some good news. I have read that it is usually a slow growing cancer and that once a man reaches the age of 69-70 it is up to them whether they even want to be tested since it is slow growing that the cancer may not ever affect them. Not sure and would love some information regarding this, if anyone has any.

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Joan,

My grandfather had prostate cancer that eventually killed him. He was diagnosed in his early 60's and it was pretty late. The tumor was the size of a grapefruit and had spread outside the prostate to the intestines and other organs in the vicinity. His doctors told him there was no hope, he traveled to tell his three kids goodbye.

While visiting my uncle in Florida, my grandfather was rushed to the emergency room for some reason (it's fuzzy, I wasn't even a teen at the time). A physician in the hospital informed him that he was suffering from prostate cancer and that he could remove it. My grandfather stayed for the surgery and then headed back home.

He lived "cancer free" for ten years. He had a hip replacement that just wouldn't heal and discovered that the cancer hadn't been completely removed, some fugitive cells had made it to the bones. From there, it eventually spread to his brain and he died.

Family history has shown that my grandfather's father and his grandfather both died of prostate cancer or complications due to prostate cancer. My father and uncle have both been diagnosed and treated in different ways.

There are many new treatments out there for prostate cancer. My uncle opted for the radioactive "seeds" being placed in his body, my father opted for surgery. Both are doing well. My father is 61, my uncle is 55.

One thing my father's doctor told him is that most men die WITH prostate cancer, not OF it. I don't know what your father's family history is. It seems to be an aggressive foe for the men in my family. It IS slow growing, I don't know when my grandfather's actually began. He died at 72, ten years after the huge tumor was found. Had he been tested yearly, it probably would have been caught much earlier.

Elevated PSA is not always a harbinger of prostate cancer. It IS a marker, but can mark other things. He probably should have it checked out, even if with a doctor wherever he goes to "get away" in the life of a Snowbird... Maybe his current doctor can help him with that.

Don't panic. It's cause for concern, it's not a reason to run screaming down the street nekid in the middle of the night. :shock:

Take care, I wish you well.

Becky

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Prostate cancer is very highly treatable when caught early. The success rate is over 90%. My uncle had prostate surgery in 2003 and is doing fine and is cancer free, and I think his case is fairly typical. So make sure he does get it checked somewhere. It will be a relief to know if it is not cancer, and it will be a relief to have it treated and cured if it is.

Curtis

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Can your dad do the test or biopsy now in another lab/hospital? Prostrate cancer is far better & easier treated and cured in comparing with Lung cancer. Early diagnosis is the key to cure. I strongly suggest to go for a check now instead of few months later. Don't be too worry, it probably turns out is not that bad as you think.

Keep us posted, dear.

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I am a prostate cancer survivor of 9 years. I need to know what you mean by "elevated". What was your dad's normal PSA and what is it now? Prostate cancer is not like LC, which has to be treated immediately. Only if he had a very elevated PSA (above 10) would there be cause to do something right away. And many men, depending on the circumstances, don't do anything, since the cancer will probably grow too slowly to be life threatening. The treatments now are better than they were and there are treatments, such as seeding, that have small side effects. I would recommend you find out about the level of your dad's PSA, and then withg that information, join the Prostate Problems Mailing List at www.acor.org/prostate.html. Lots of good info there. Best to you. Don

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my father's psa level was 8 and i don't know what it was before. When I said he was going away for a couple of months he did and he went to Santo Domingo which is a third world country and does not have the medical care for people like we do in the U.S. He went and said he would go to the doctor's in May when he gets home. My big problem basically I think was with the secretary at the doctor's office when she told me straight out that if it was my father I wouldn't let him go and cancer is a very serious thing. I told her that first of all I can control what my father does and that does not mean that I don't love him but he is a grown man and then I let her know that I did know first hand how serious cancer can be since I just lost my mother 7 months ago to lung cancer. She was very rude and I am not sure that if I was my father that I would have cancelled my trip because I just wish that my mother had had the chance to go away for 4 months and forget about everything before treatment started. Maybe we all need to do that once in our lifetime.

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