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Anyone know anything about prostates?!

(38 Posts)
SirChenjin Sun 03-May-15 15:31:43

DH has been having lots of symptoms (won't go into details out of respect for the bloke...) but suffice to say, he's been to the GP, given a urine sample and has now been called back to see her - we tried to make an earlier appointment (she's been off on holiday for the last week and a half) but they said he had to see her.

I'm going to go with him on Tuesday and we're both trying to be calm and rational - but obviously we're really worried. Anyone know why we might have been called back and why that specific GP?

nickersinaknot Sun 03-May-15 19:00:15

I know a bit as fil has had recent probs.

Prostate cancer has always been difficult to diagnose and gps used to routinely do a blood test, if the PSA was raised they would be referred to urologist for biopsies etc but the protracted time would be a nightmare and lots of prostate cancer is slow growing so treatment not always needed.

There is a new urine test (e.n something) which is more accurate and also indicates level of cancer, if low: just watch and wait, high: immediate referral.

If your dh had the new test then possibly it indicates something, but don't panic (easy to say I know) as it may be very low level.

Or, it may be an old type urine test which has just identifies infection. Though any gp could tell you that, so I understand its a worry that a specific one wants to see you.

Best of luck, please be reassured if it is prostate cancer it has very high success rates re treatment and prognosis flowers

LIZS Sun 03-May-15 19:03:12

It might be to repeat the test and monitor the psa level or offer further screening. Family members had/have this but invasive treatment is unusual in early stages.

digerd Sun 03-May-15 19:12:21

Did the GP mention prostate gland to your DH? Or have you been googling?
Blood in urine for men can be an indication of prostrate problems, but even if you are fearing the worst diagnosis, it has a high rate of cure and tends to stay where it is for many years.
Usually there are no other symptoms than having difficulty in 'going'.

Good luck on Tuesday

SirChenjin Sun 03-May-15 19:24:27

Thanks everyone - I really appreciate your advice smile . No, not the result of googling (well, not pre Gp visit - we have looked at Patient UK and other reputable sites since) - but there are quite a few more symptoms than simply not being able to wee unfortunately, which is why we are concerned. He's only 52 - which still seems v young to us! I know that it could be other things, so trying not to worry too much...not very successfully, it has to be said sad

LIZS Sun 03-May-15 19:28:22

Dbro is same age. Is there any history in the family?

SirChenjin Sun 03-May-15 19:37:37

No, no history at all.

I'm not sure what to make of the GP thing...I have a vague recollection of there being something that says that anything sinister should be under the care of the one GP (we're in Scotland) so that's what's making me worried. Otoh, if it was urgent then presumably they wouldn't have made us wait 1.5 weeks before referring - any GP in the Practice could have done that, surely? confused

PacificDogwood Sun 03-May-15 19:43:24

If this has not happened yet, your DH should have a rectal examination done.
PSA is a measure of prostate size so on its own it is pretty useless for the diagnosis of a prostrate cancer - it can be raised for many reasons including infection. It is a useful measure of how well controlled or not it is.

A borderline PSA result should be rechecked after 3 to 6 months to see whether there is any kind of 'trend'.
Tbh, we all talk about 'prostrate cancer' but it is really not ONE disease - just like breast ca it can be very aggressive or very very tame (more men over 85 will die WITH their prostrate ca than OF it iykwim).

Sorry to hear that you have to deal with this worry, but don't get ahead of yourselves too much if you can at all help it.

Good luck thanks

nickersinaknot Sun 03-May-15 19:46:21

Yes thats what makes me think something needs repeating, clarifying or if anything has been found it is low level/borderline so may just need reviewing at a later date.

Not even sure if the e.n urine test is available in Scotland, its new this year I think.

It is so hard awaiting appointments, trying to be calm but that sinking panicky feeling is horrible.

SirChenjin Sun 03-May-15 19:50:12

He's already had a rectal exam done - she did that at the appointment 1.5 weeks ago before sending him away with his wee specimen bottle.

So - do you think it's likely that the PSA test (if that's what they did confused) could simply be showing as raised, and they just want to keep an eye on it? Or do you think it could have shown something more sinister? They wouldn't tell us over the phone - just said that we had to come back in to see that GP.

PacificDogwood Sun 03-May-15 19:51:42

PCA3 is not available on the NHS yet - not sure whether that is different between Scotland and England? confused

LIZS Sun 03-May-15 19:54:07

It is probably that the sample indicated a raised psa level. Not necessarily excessively so and it could still be due to an infection. There are potentially scans , biopsy and other tests before any treatment even if the levels indicate a possible problem.

measles64 Sun 03-May-15 19:54:56

It could well be an enlarged prostate. This runs in our family men get to a certain age and the hosepipe turns into a dripping tap. We ended up working out where all the loos were before embarking on a day out.

measles64 Sun 03-May-15 19:58:14

The PSA test is a blood test, has your DP had one of these yet?

SirChenjin Sun 03-May-15 19:59:34

So would a PSA test actually show up cancer? Or just that there is a raised level which needs further investigation?

SirChenjin Sun 03-May-15 20:00:46

Crossed posts - no, he's not had a blood test done yet, just a rectal exam and a urine test. What would they have tested his urine for?

LIZS Sun 03-May-15 20:01:22

It is a potential indicator not diagnostic on its own.

SirChenjin Sun 03-May-15 20:01:58

Oh, and the rectal exam showed an enlarged prostate - so with a combination of that plus all the other symptoms he had, she decided to do a urine test. There were 2 sample bottles that he had to fill.

nickersinaknot Sun 03-May-15 20:03:12

Yes it all depends on what the urine test was for. As measles says PSA is a blood test, the new prostate urine test was available privately and as far as I know the NHS was using it from 2015 but I could be wrong.

Possibly gp just wants to refer to urology for further tests and will want to see dh personally as she'll know details of his case.

Best of luck for tue.

PacificDogwood Sun 03-May-15 20:06:06

White topped bottle - dip test at the surgery. Tests for a number of things including blood, protein, nitrites, sugar, ketones, specific gravity. Really just a screening tool.

White topped bottle - goes off to the lab. Microscopy to look for number of red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, etc. Culture to check for a urinary tract infection (not necessarily able to pick up a prostrate infection).

A PSA blood test is a tricky test to fully understand: lots of false positives (high test but all's well) or false negatives ('reassuring' result does not positively rule out a nasty).
High PSAs kinds of 'force' the decision to refer to urology which usually leads to biopsies. Where the sun don't shine. And they are sore, have their dangers and, again, can lead to false negatives.

Depending on your DH's symptoms, whether or not he decides to have a PSA blood test, monitoring and watchful waiting IS one of many options.

SirChenjin Sun 03-May-15 20:08:34

Would it help if I described the symptoms in more detail - maybe give some more pointers as to what the outcome might be? Or not really?

I really, really appreciate all this advice, help and kind wishes smile

nickersinaknot Sun 03-May-15 20:20:08

I used to work on a urology ward many moons ago and the symptoms were generally poor flow, urgency, dribbling and painful ejaculation and blood in urine. Often inability to go, then they would present with retention and need a catheter. but that was the same whether it was benign or malignant. Or indeed inflammation (prostatitis)

If dh hasn't had blood PSA test done it does make me wonder if they have introduced the new urine test where you are as PSA would usually be the 1st test along with urine for m, c and s.

All the problems with passing urine can have lots of other causes too.

SirChenjin Sun 03-May-15 20:24:36

Yes, all those symptoms present apart from dribbling. Blood in semen too (a tiny smear on 2 occasions - sorry for tmi blush)

nickersinaknot Sun 03-May-15 20:31:18

But honestly, same for benign enlargement of prostate. Or even for infection.

I haven't worked in uro for ages that's why I said fil only recent experience I have as things change. From what I gather stats are great, detection good etc and treatment (if needed) is often laser with great results.

I know it'll be an awful wait til Tue, but you may just get told its an infection but refer to uro as blood in semen. Tbh if gp doesn't refer I would ask for it anyway. All digits are crossed for you!

SirChenjin Sun 03-May-15 20:37:26

Thanks everyone - I feel a million times better now after all this advice smile

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