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Bob Grant and Pam live in Florida, USA. He was 50 when he was diagnosed in April, 2007. His initial PSA was 6.30 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 7, and he was staged T1c. His choice of treatment was Surgery (Robotic Laparoscopic Prostatectomy). Here is his story.

My name is Bob and I live in Tampa, Florida. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer on April 13, 2007 (appropriately enough, it was a Friday). As part of my annual physical in February, I got my PSA number. It was 6.3 ng/ml, which was about double what I was the previous year. My doctor suggested I see a urologist. I did, had a biopsy on April 9, and got the word on April 13.

I was told my Gleason Score was 7 (3+4) and staged at T2a. The urologist told me I was at a point where surgery or radiation would work equally well and that the tumor 'should' be confined to the prostate.

I talked with two radiological oncologists and three surgeons. I opted for surgery, but I will say that if I ever needed radiation, I would definitely feel I was in good hands with either Dr Steel or Dr Dattoli. I opted for surgery because I felt removing the prostate so it could examined was essential. I didn't want to go through the PSA bounces for 2-3 years as I was told may happen with radiation. With surgery, it's removed and you get better from there.

Dr Mastandrea performed the robotic procedure on July 10, 2007 and described it as 'text-book'. I went home the next day with a Foley catheter, had it removed a week later, and was dry from that point on. The path report stated that the cancer was contained in the prostate and is now gone. I'll have my first PSA check at the end of August - hopefully it's undetectable. I have been able to get an erection with Viagra and a 'pretty much' without ( only 4 weeks past surgery at this point ), so I have no complaints about the surgery route. I highly recommend Dr Mastandrea if you're in the area or can travel ( he's done over 350 robotics now ).

During my search for information, I came across some great resources - one that helped me immensely is Mike Stuckey's ( CNBC ) account of his prostate cancer in 2006. You should be able to google him and find it. Also, books by Peter Scardino, Patrick Walsh, and Glenn Bubley were invaluable.

I will post again after my first PSA reading.

UPDATED

November 2008

It's been a little over a year since my surgery and I am doing great. My PSA level is undetectable (I've had it tested 3 times since my surgery). I am now as sexually functional as I was prior to surgery.

UPDATED

February 2010

I saw my surgeon every 6 months through 2009 and now I am scheduled to see him annually. My PSA readings have been so low that my surgeon has had to order the ultra sensitive PSA test for me, and my highest reading since surgery has been 0.01 PSA.

I did not have any trouble with incontinence immediately after the surgery and still do not. I am able to generate a workable erection without Viagra (clearly not the rock hard specimen of my 20's, but definitely useful!) and I am now 53 years old and feeling great.

If you are looking for any other information, please let me know.

UPDATED

March 2011

It's now March of 2011 and it's going on four years since my da Vinci robotic surgery in Tampa, Fl in July 2007.

I am now seeing my surgeon/urologist annually, rather than twice a year. My PSA readings continue to be pretty much undetectable. I am still good to go sexually and maintaining my 'dryness'. For me, surgery has worked out beautifully (thus far).

UPDATED

May 2012

I am coming up on 5 years of post-surgery and I am glad I choose the path I did. I had the daVinci robotic surgery and have no regrets about going that path (my advice to those considering surgery - find the BEST surgeon you can, no matter the method).

My PSA continues to be undetectable and I am now seeing my dr on an annual basis.

UPDATED

November 2012

Saw my prostate dr/surgeon in August 2012. My PSA remains undetectable. I can still maintain a "usable" erection (not bad for 56, prostate cancer or not) but Viagra definitely seals the deal. I'm at the 5 year mark now, and feeling good.

UPDATED

December 2013

I saw my urologist at the end of August, 2013. My PSA (using the ultra-sensitive mode) was undetectable. I have no side effects from the surgery. For me, choosing robotic surgery was definitely the right way to go.

UPDATED

January 2015

It's been about 7.5 years (July 2007) since I had my prostate removed via DaVinci robotic surgery. I was 51 at the time. My PSA remains undetectable using the ultra-sensitive test each year. I have been able to continue having sex without the use of Viagra. For me, robotic surgery was the right choice.

UPDATED

February 2016

It's been 8.5 years and my PSA is undetectable. Feeling good.

UPDATED

March 2017

It's been nearly 10 years since I had DaVinci surgery here in Florida. My PSA is undetectable and I have no side-effects at this point. Life is good!

I chose surgery over radiation for three main reasons:

1. I wanted the "offending" organ out of my body

2. I did not want to deal 1 - 2 years of "PSA bounce" as I had heard can happen with radiation

3. I was 51 at the time of surgery, and did not want any "salvage surgery" issues if I chose radiation and then later needed abdominal surgery. Hard to get a surgeon to operate on radiated tissue that will not heal.

Some of these issues may no longer hold true in 2017, but you owe to yourself to investigate when facing a choice of treatment. Good luck!

Bob's e-mail address is: b0b_foster@hotmail.com


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