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This member is a YANA Mentor This is his Country or State Flag

Dante A and Grace live in New Hampshire, USA. He was 55 when he was diagnosed in September, 2012. His initial PSA was 2.35 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 6, and he was staged T1c. His choice of treatment was Non-Invasive (Active Surveillance). Here is his story.

I am a 55 year old man in good health. I have high uric acid levels and had a single gout attack earlier this year. I have no other medical issues until I was dagnosed with Prostate cancer.

I have had anual checkups for the last several years. My family history includes my dad passing at 59 years old from a heart attack and my mothers sister passed from ovarian cancer. Due to my dad's early passing I started with yearly checkups in my mid 40's since I wanted to make sure that my heart was healthy. I stay in reasonable pyhisical condition by playing ice hockey, running and riding a bicycle.

My PSA scores the last several years have been from 1.2 to 1.5. This year at my annual checkup my PSA score came back at 4.5 and from my DRE, my doctor noticed a small nodule on my prostate that he had not previously noticed. The nodule did not feel hard or a firm texture. My Dr. had me take another PSA test and it came back at 4.3. With the higher PSA and the nodule my Dr. recommended I see a Urologist.

The Urologist asked me about my activity level as well as family history and several other questions. When I told hime I started to ride a bicycle for fitness because the running was starting to bother me, he mentioned that it could raise my PSA scores but still the nodule was concerning. He said to stay off the bike for two weeks and get another blood test. My PSA dropped back to 2.3. Still more than .75 raise in a year, but I wondered if I waited another week or two if it would continue to drop. Also my free PSA was low at about 7%. Anyway, we decided that based on the nodule and the PSA that I should get a biopsy.

The biopsy resulted in a diagnosis of Stage T1C prostate cancer. The nodule was negative but another area showed a Gleason score of 3+3=6 and a volume of 2%. This was a 12 core biopsy.

We had a discussion about this and the low volume and low Gleason score had me decide to stay with active surveillance for the time being. I will go back in 6 months for another PSA test and if no change, I will wait another 6 months and get another biopsy done. From that biopsy I will reasses the situation and decide ont he next steps.

When first diagnosed (just a few weeks ago) I was very concerned (and scared) and knew very little about what I was dealing with. I continue to read and try to learn what I can. I was very happy to find this site and want to thank the folks that started the site and those that own and manage it now. I cannot even begin to tell you how much it has helped me with this early diagnosis.

I will do my best to contribute by updating as I move the process and will make a donation to help keep it going.

UPDATED

February 2013

Greetings,

Just wanted to take a moment to update my story.

I have blood test appointments and general checkup scheduled for April 2013. At that time I will decide what to do next.

Since my diagnosis I have changed my diet. I very seldom eat read meat any longer. Mostly chicken and turkey now. I try to eat as many colorful vegetables as possible and have eliminated almost all alcohol. I will have an occasional drink with my family or at a social occasion but that is all.

I take a fish oil table twice a day now, low dose aspirin (as a precaution to family hisotry of heart disease), Zantac 150 (for my acid reflux), an adult multi-vitamin and one tablet of vitamin D every day.

I try to have at least a half a glass of pomegranate juice every morning and drink approx 6-8 glasses of water every day.

I have had a challenge to get excercise here in the Northeast USA as the weather has not cooperated and I do not like going to a gym. I will get back to running and riding a bike in the spring time.

My current thinking is to boost my immune system as much as possible. Admit that I am getting older and taking better care of myself. The hard decision I will have to make this year is whether or not to get another biopsy. I am not convinced that without other indicators, it is worth it.

I consider myself in Active Surveillance as I will get blood tests for sure. My last PSA tests over a couple of months went from 4.3 to 2.7. That was after being around 1.x for several years. I have read much of Terry's information about PSA [that's at PSA 101 for anyone who hasn't found it] and I consider it just an indicator to help decide if I need to do anything else. Based on my PSA and my DRE in April, I will decide if I want to do another biopsy later in the year. In the meantime I will continue on my path of better living and try harder to get the excercise I think I need.

UPDATED

April 2013

Greetings, I had my six month checkup today with my urologist and happy to report my findings.

Last year my PSA level jumped to over 4, I had anpther blood test done two weeks later and it was down to 2.47 I think (can't remember the details, I am sure they are in my story). My urlogoist suggested I get a biopsy.

The bisopsy showed 2% Gleason 6 in one core. DRE results in feeling small nodule.

It was decided at that time to just wait and see.

I decided I wouldn't just wait and see but to take some action no matter how small. I started taking a 50+ daily vitamin, a fish oil pill twice a day, 2000USP of Vitamin D every day, low dose aspirin and I take a Zantac every morning to help with my acid reflux.

I changed my diet to include more vegetables. I mostly eliminated red meat and alcohol.

I eat mostly chicken and turkey with vegetables and bowl of oatmeal with a glass of Pomegranite juice in the morning. On the weekend, I usually allow myself a small cheat and have an occasional hamburger and ice cream.

My blood test today (6 months after biopsy) came back with a PSA of 1.7 and free PSA of 24%

I will continue my more healthy lifestyle and will get back to more exercise now that winter is over and will take another blood test in 6 months.

UPDATED

October 2013

Greetings,

I just wanted to update my story since I just had my 6 month checkup with urologist.

I am just keeping an eye on my situation and not doing anything for treatment at this time. I take blood tests every six months and my usual DRE. So far there have been no changes that would make me do anything further.

I thought I would give an example of why using the same lab is a good idea. I get a blood test from my primary care physician every year. My PSA was trending upwards from this lab and spiked from the 1's all the way to 4.3 in one year. That was enough to take notice and that is when I started to see a urologist. I stopped riding a bike and doing other excercise just for a couple of weeks and took another blood test and it was down to 2.4 from the lab the urologist uses (in hindsight I should have used the same lab). I didn't think much of it at the time, but using a different lab added even another variable to the already somewhat unreliable PSA scores that Terry has talked about at great length.

That 2.4 score was still high enough that I got a biopsy and that is when I found out I had PC but in a very small amount. The question then became, how agressive is it.

I recently had my 6 month check up with the primary care physician and that blood test came in at 2.4 for my PSA. That was steady with no raise based on that lab and previous results so I was happy.

One week later, I had a blood test done at the lab the urologist uses and it came in at 1.9. Also, good. In fact it was lower than the previous tests from that lab (2.4).

So, just some data to show the inconsistencies. So, I remain in active surveilance and no biopsy even though it has been a year. I use the PSA just as a data point and for trending. I would never trust it on its own. Hopefully there will be a more definitive test at some point.

UPDATED

August 2014

Just a simple update since my last Dr Visit. There has a slight rise in my PSA but it fluctates so that does not generate much concern. It will be approx two years since my diagnosis via biopsy in the fall of 2014. I have visited urologist and had blood tests every six month to monitor the situation.

I have come to the decision that this fall I will have another biospy to see if there has been any change. The first one came back at 2% in one sample. If that hasn't changed I will forego any further biopsies unless something else causes a concern.

I will update again after the biopsy.

Saddened to hear of losing Terry and it reminded me how important sharing information is. I have been lapse in my updates and will try to do a better job. I still remember how crushing the initial diagnosis was and just hearing the word cancer scared me. So, I want to give back by showing others that find out, what they might expect.

UPDATED

December 2014

After approx 2 years of Active Surveillance and a steady PSA score and DRE showing no change, I felt, along with my urologist that it was time to do another biopsy to make sure all was well.

My initial biopsy showed 2% volume in one core at Gleason Score 3+3=6. This is why I was on active surveillance and not doing anything other than trying to get exercise and eating well.

This biopsy showed a core from that same area to be at 15% and Gleason Score 7 (not sure yet if 3+4 or 4+3) and two other cores now show 10% volume with Gleason Score 7.

I have a meeting on Dec 22, 2014 with my doctor to determine next steps.

I will be sure to keep the group up to date.

UPDATED

January 2015

Hello all my fellow battle members. Time to update my story and wish you all a Happy New Year.

Recently, I had a second biopsy done. It had been two years since my first one. The first one I was doagnosed with Prostate Cancer. I had one core at 2% volume with a Gleason score of 6. That same area is now 10% with Gleason Score 3+4=7 and two other cores at 10-15%. One is Gleason score 6 and the other 7.

For that reason, I have decided to have DaVinci Robotic surgery done. It is scheduled out a few weeks. I will update after that.

I have started doing Kegel exercises and had much encouragement from friends who have also had their prostates removed. I put a lot of thought into this and it seems to me at my relatively young age, it's best to go after this aggressively.

Thanks for all support and information from this site. It's after New Years, time to donate.

Dan

UPDATED

February 2015

On Feb 3, 2015, I had DaVinci Robotic surgery to remove my prostate. Since my last biopsy showed a spread and move from gleason score 6 to gleason score 7, I decided it was time to take action.

The surgery was successful and I was home the next day.

The pain was minimal and the most discomfort was from the catheter. That was removed today and I am feeling great.

I had lymph nodes, seminal vesticals and prostate removed. Pathology showed that all surrounding tissue was cancer free and cancer was contained in the prostate. I am very happy about that.

After removal of catheter I drank lots of water and started to urinate within the hour. I have not been wetting a Depends at all. I just have to get to the bathroom every 45 minutes to an hour.

I will update as I get further along.

Hope my story can help others.

UPDATED

March 2015

Approximately six weeks after surgery.

My PSA is undetectable.

Still have ED but showing some signs of hope. Doctor upped dosage of Cialis a bit and wrote prescription.

Six pills of 10MG each was $249. Told the pharmacy to keep them since insurance doesn't cover it.

I will try samples I have and hopefully get on on track although I have very little concern about that right now.

I have no problem with urine leakage. I have not work a diaper of pads since first day that catheter was removed and have no problem holding it.

I am thankful for the clean bill of health and for this site that has helped me with information to make my decisions over the last two years.

UPDATED

June 2015

Greetings brothers. Just wanted to give an update on my situation.

I have had some great advice from members here and very grateful, so I want to be sure to add my experience in the hope it pays it forward.

I had my 3 month post surgery checkup today and my PSA is still undetectable so good news there.

I was using samples of Cialis the first couple of months and it seemed to help with the ED a little bit. I felt like things were started to happen there. My insurance does not cover it, so I stopped taking it to see if the progress would continue. Unfortuntely it did not. We have been trying to get things going but really not much happening there. I will try another round of Cialis with a litte higher dose and see if that helps.

If not, I will try Sildenfel from a local pharmacy that helps with cost. However, I will only do this after trying Cialis again and if the Cialis helps I may go way of off shore pharmacy to help with cost and not do the Sildenfel at all. We'll see what happens the next few weeks and I will update again in 3-4 months when I have another checkup.

Best to all.

UPDATED

July 2016

Thankfully, I have been cancer free since my surgery in Feb 2014. I have never had any incontinence to deal with.

I am able to have partial erections without any drugs.

My wife and I have adjusted accordingly and I am living a happy and healthy life at the moment.

My thoughts and prayers are with all my brothers that share our bond.

I am updating my story out of respect of those that are going through it now. It was very scary but now my life is normal and full of joy.

UPDATED

July 2016

Sorry I mistyped the date of surgery in my update. It was Feb 2015 not Feb 2014. A year seems like yesterday but yet so far away at the same time.

Good health wishes to all.

Dante's e-mail address is: abbene@gmail.com


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