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Just learnt my Dad has prostate cancer. Am very scared. Any positive stories/advice please?

(77 Posts)
Pin0t Fri 12-Aug-11 11:06:15

My Dad had a raised PSA blood test, then a clip biopsy. He has been told he has 4 tumours in his prostate. He has had an MRI and they are non-aggressive, but are attempting to move out from the prostate into both the seminal something or other and another place I can't remember (I'm very flustered still).

He is seeing the specialist on the 17th to discuss treatment but I was hoping for MN advice, stories, hand-holding as I feel like a rug has been pulled out from under me at the moment.

My Dad is 67 and is being very calm and intelligent about it. I'm not - I'm tearful and scared that I'm going to lose him <types through tears>

Elibean Fri 12-Aug-11 11:13:14

Horrid, isn't it? I was really scared too, but five years on my Dad (now 84) is fit and well. He's got no sign of it at all now.

My friend's Dad had it too (in his 60s) and is fit and well.

Its very treatable, especially non-aggressive tumours (my Dad's was moderately aggressive, but still contained in the prostate). You will know much more after he's seen the specialist, and am sure you'll get lots of info/support here as its so common, unfortunately.....did you know they say most men develop it at some point, if they live long enough? It helped me to know that, somehow!

Hang in there, big hugs.

CMOTdibbler Fri 12-Aug-11 11:24:27

Hi, I'm sorry to hear your dad has been diagnosed. The really good news is that if he has been diagnosed by PSA, that his cancer is early stage, and on average even if absolutely nothing was done to treat it, men at that stage live for another 10-13 years with no problems caused by their cancer.

The prostate cancer charity have some great resources, and once he knows his figures (PSA, gleason score) he can think about treatment choices

Pin0t Fri 12-Aug-11 11:25:17

Thank you. Thank you! Can I ask what treatment did your Dad have? I've read up (too much?) and I freaked out when it talked about incontinence and issues like that. My Dad is so strong and proud - I just can't bear for him to be left with issues.

Thanks for the hugs.

Pin0t Fri 12-Aug-11 11:25:57

Sorry CMOT, I xposted. Thanks.

Anifrangapani Fri 12-Aug-11 11:29:13

My dad has it too. Diagnosed 3 years ago with an aggressive form. Hormone treatment has brought it under control.

Desmond Tutu was diagnosed 15 - 16 years ago IIRC.

StealthPolarBear Fri 12-Aug-11 11:32:11

hi OP
me too bbs

StealthPolarBear Fri 12-Aug-11 11:33:01

cmot advice excellent btw from what i remember smile

MaryAnnSingleton Fri 12-Aug-11 11:36:19

just to reassure- my dad was in his 70s and had prostate cancer (discovered by PSA) and 6 years on it alive and very much kicking.Lots of good thoughts to you and your dad.

Pin0t Fri 12-Aug-11 11:36:44

Hi Ani, I didn't know Desmond Tutu had it. I'll read up on that. Dad has been offered Hormone Therapy from now as they were so surprised it was moving around as much - a tablet a day. It sounds amazing to me that a tablet can stop it in its tracks until treatment is decided - I'm nervous that it'll get to his lymph nodes & scatter around his body. God I can't bear it.

Hi SPB, it's horrible isn't it? My Dad is so tall (6'5") and so powerful - for him to be caught like this, well. I just never imagined it. He is Goliath to me. Hugs to you SPB. How far along is your Dad in his treatment? x

Pin0t Fri 12-Aug-11 11:37:19

Thanks Mary. I'll take the good thoughts and hold them tight.

piano10 Fri 12-Aug-11 11:38:39

So sorry to here this news. I do hope your Dad is going to be ok. Google it and find out all you can on the internet.
Wishing your dad all the very best and good luck. x

OiMissus Fri 12-Aug-11 11:44:37

Hi, My dad is now 64, he was diagnosed with Prostate cancer over ten years ago. (Non aggressive). We were all very worried, and the NHS took AGES to determine what treatment to give him - months... so we worried more. Eventually he was given radiation treatment and hormone tablets.
His treatment cleared him of his prostate problems, but the hormone tablets made him put on lots of weight (but he was big to begin with). After being free of the cancer for more than 5 years, he has recently been told his count was back on the rise ...but that his weight will kill him before his prostate will. confused

StealthPolarBear Fri 12-Aug-11 11:44:49

Sorry to hear your stress OP, off phone now so can type properly.

my thread - from April this year

Dad was diagnosed through PSA in April. they said it was localised and non aggressive. He is also young - late 50s.

He has looked through all the options and decided on radiotherapy over surgery (equal success rates, and any side effects tend to be temporary, where surgical ones can be permanent). Brachytherapy I think is even better, but not an option for my dad, as he had an enlarged prostate, apparently.

My dad is also being calm, and I veer from being practical and positive about it (you know that many men are found to have had it after they have died from something else at an old age!) to thinking "Fuck my DAD has CANCER" which isn't helpful.

He is about halfway through hormone therapy and will begin his radiotherapy early in September. He will be in hospital every weekday and expects t to take less than half an hour. He has asked for the first appt of the day, so hopes to be done by 9am and for life to carry on as normal. Time will tell. The impression I get is that the main side effects are cumulative (tiredness etc) and so he may be fine for a few weeks and then it will hit him.

I find that I want to know, so was constantly nagging my parents, when will he make a decision, when will he start treatment? I tried not to but it's the way I cope, to know all the facts and make plans. What I want to know now, is when he will hopefully get the "all clear" and then will life for him just go back to normal? Is he then more prone to it recurring than any other man?

I realise this has been more about me than you, sorry. I find it helpful to chat about this stuff, so let me know if you don't want that.

OiMissus Fri 12-Aug-11 11:47:44

Sorry - that sounds quite bad. Didn't mean to scare you. My dad is huge (20+ stones) and needs to lose weight - he does nothing about it.
What I wanted to get across is that non-aggressive Prostate cancer can be quite tame and easy to treat. Try not to worry.
All the best to you and your family.

StealthPolarBear Fri 12-Aug-11 11:50:42

That sounds awful, Oi sad

Pin0t Fri 12-Aug-11 11:52:44

I do want that, SPB I do! I've been asked to keep it secret from my Mum (his exwife) and other than my sister (who is older but more fragile than me) I have no-one to talk to. None of my friends have experience of this.

I'm exactly the same - I want all the info, I want to be able to help him, and then it hits me and I just disintegrate into tears. I was on holiday and we came across a little church hidden in a hillside where I went in and prayed - that's just not me at all, but I felt like everything is changing and it felt right.

My boys don't know, I want them to see their Grandad as big and strong (to them he's a giant!) and not as poorly and fragile. So it's all amiles outward and cracking inside.

Pin0t Fri 12-Aug-11 11:53:20

x post Oi sad

Pin0t Fri 12-Aug-11 11:53:40

amiles = smiles

StealthPolarBear Fri 12-Aug-11 11:54:03

Yes! My dad is fun grandad, who runs round the garden with them and pushes them on the swing. As much as anything else I worry that this is the start of him getting old and frail. He's about 60 ffs!

CMOTdibbler Fri 12-Aug-11 11:55:33

The getting to a definitive treatment stage can take a while with prostate cancer - but that is because its often the case that 3 different treatments could have pretty much the same cure rate for a patient, but different side effects. And for each man, the side effects that they are prepared to go with vary. But theres time to weigh those decisions up as its such a slow growing tumour, and the hormone blockers stop it growing, and can be used to make the prostate smaller before treatment

Pin0t Fri 12-Aug-11 11:56:37

My Dad is 67 but has been bald forever so he's always seemed exactly the same - literally from a kid to now he's barely changed. He doesn't age, he's always just Dad. This is just a bolt.

Your Dad sound ace by the way!

StealthPolarBear Fri 12-Aug-11 11:57:10

And yes I have had to keep the 'secret' for a while, was a relief to tell PILs as I am relying on them for childcare quite a lot at the moment. Mum and dad specifically didn't want my GPs (their dads) to know, they must have told them now, I don't know how that went sad My mum's mum died last month so dad was supporting mum and my grandad, just feel as though the must have all been so stressed.
I am also job hunting, which in itself is nothing in comparison but would usually rely on mum and dad to drop everything and look after the children - obv I don't now but they are still trying to do that!! If I get a new job I want a month off in between so that I don't need them while dad is being treated, and in fact can help them for a change!

StealthPolarBear Fri 12-Aug-11 11:58:58

lol so does yours smile. I think they both sound the same - while my dad is not "old fashioned" in any way he has always been the calm, practical one who has been able to fix my problems, and I've never really had to factor in anything going on in his life - he's never let me. He's still trying to do that.

Pin0t Fri 12-Aug-11 12:02:01

YY same here - he didn't tell me the date of the MRI on purpose so I wouldn't worry whilst I was away. Bless him. Bless them both.

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