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Can anyone help with prostate cancer?

(33 Posts)
Nornironmum Mon 11-Feb-13 20:07:17

My dad is 55, I am his only family my mum and him divorced a long time ago, I have an older brother but they don't talk.
I have always been very close to him, he really is the first love of my life. He has been sick for a while but went for tests before Xmas
He had a PSA test his score was very high not sure what though
He then had an ultrasound, he has a painful lump on the prostrate anyhow and this was seen in the ultrasound.
He then had another PSA score was even higher and he had a biopsy the same day. He was told this was either prostrate cancer or prostatits, and which is non cancerous. If it was the latter they would post the results to him or his GP, but the likely hood was prostrate cancer with such high PSA.
He got a letter to say an appointment has been made for him with the specialist urologist for next week and to bring a friend or relative with him.
Is there any chance this is just a standard letter? I know I'm clinging to hope, because if it was the other thing surely he wouldn't need a follow up appointment with urologist and would just go to his GP?
I'm really scared I've never been more scared in my life really. He is not a great talker and is in a lot of pain abc is getting pissed off at me ringing him all the time.
Is there any chance this is not cancer? He is so young, but it does run in his family, not prostrate but many other types.
Thanks for any help I really am terrified.

FreeSpirit89 Sat 07-Jun-14 16:54:51

My grandfather had this around 12 years ago, they put him on some hormonal drugs which last for about 10years.

Macmillan are great for both you and your dad. The high psa were a symptom throughout my grandfathers cancer treatment.

Try and remain positive (easier said than done) and here for handholding x

1805 Tue 03-Jun-14 19:25:32

our (dh) gleeson is 4+3 too which is not good I gather. PSA is 131 which again is not good. MRI and bone scan showed no spread, but consultant thinks it will have started to spread, but that the MRI couldn't pick it up.
Dh has been offered surgery followed by radiotherapy. He did say most consultants wouldn't operate given those results, but he was prepared to try as dh is only 43.
Got to tell the dc at the weekend……..

larry5 Mon 02-Jun-14 20:25:34

Dh was diagnosed with PC in February at the age of 67. He has been on hormone injections since then with no side effects but has now started radiotherapy. He was told that they would not offer surgery because his gleeson score was 7 i.e. 4 +3 after the biopsy so an operation might miss some of the cancer cells and they tend to do one or the other. He has seven and a half weeks of radiotherapy and has now done 3 days off it and its already making him tired.

Elibean Mon 19-May-14 09:33:01

Just to add good wishes and thoughts for those dealing with PC, plus this - my father had brachytherapy aged 80, and dealt with it very well. He had some annoying diarrhoea and tiredness for a few months, but on and off and was able to do quite a lot in spite of it (just not too far from a loo!). He's now 87 and fit as a flea.

My darling uncle, OTOH, isn't well at all...but he was diagnosed very late, also aged 80. He still had a good five years before getting more than occasional aches, though.

CMOTDibbler Thu 15-May-14 15:07:37

1805, there is still lots that they can do to control PC, even if it has spread. Take it one step at a time - the MRI, then there will probably be a bone scan, then once they have all that information the urologist and oncologist will be able to tell you more and advise a way forward.

Degsyn - thats in no way true about radiotherapy being only for those with less than 10 years. Treatment is decided on a patient by patient basis, taking into account not just their cancer but also their overall health, how their bladder control/function is, and the patients own concerns

1805 Thu 15-May-14 14:53:08

Ok. PC confirmed today. They think it is likely to have spread. MRI on Monday morning.
What happens if it has spread? Will he die? I don't know know how to help him.

Elderflowergranita Thu 08-May-14 20:21:49

Just wanted to add that it is not true to say that surgery will only be offered if you have a further ten years of 'useful life'. Or at least that is not the protocol followed in all hospitals.

My Dh was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago, at the age of 55. Scary times, as we have three young children. He opted for for brachytherapy, and had it as a day procedure.

He had minimal side effects, and three years on is considered cured.

Best of luck to all on this thread.

1805 Thu 08-May-14 00:07:27

thanks degs. glad to hear you've done well.

we wait.

degsysn51 Wed 07-May-14 23:03:15

Hi Coo,I hope my experiences helped.The powers that be follow a protocol which suggests that if they consider the patient doesn't have another 10 years useful life they will only offer radiotherapy.They've offered an op so that must be a positive.Sounds like he's on hormone tablets to reduce the male hormone testosterone which is adjudged to feed the cancer.The seed planting sounds like brachytherapy which could be considered the loeast invasive of procedures and will likely do the job as it puts the cancer killing therapy exactly where it needs to go.He's prob in a bit of shock at the moment but he needs to face up to the fact that he needs help and positive thiughts that he'll come through this helps.Prostate cancer is very very curable.I've knowledge of a man who's had it for 5 years and has been on hormone tabs the whole time and is still enjoying life.This is absolutely no death sentence and the medical profession are very good indeed in this field
as for 1805 a high psa does not always mean cancer.It could be prostatitis-just inflamation.The other thing to remeber is that the psa measurement was established to monitor mens readings after prostatectomy not as a measurement whether cancer is present before treatment.Some physicians are of the opinion that psa readings can be misleading and lead men to worry unnecessarilyI hope that this is the case for your husband.
I wish you all the best.

1805 Wed 07-May-14 15:30:36

Glad to have found this. dh is 43 and we are awaiting biopsy results. I don't know what his PSA is, but dh has told me it is "sky high".
fingers crossed.

coocachoo Wed 07-May-14 14:48:35

Dear Degsyn51 thank you for sharing your history with us my husband was offerd operation or radiation he chose the latter as he is a big guy and terrified of hospitals and ops. He is on tablets and having a seed planting done in june ten its 8 wks radiation and pills for 3 years. its all very scary for us and he takes it out on me and daughter by snapping asnd being very moody, and although i understand its so hard at times. The tablets have effected his male side so hes resentful of that too, although it dosent bother me so much. Hes 61 now. Any one else experience this.

degsysn51 Fri 25-Apr-14 20:13:38

Maybe i can add something to this debate.I was diagnosed with pc in Feb 2011.I had no symptons but I had a brother 13 years older who had it so I got myself checked via a blood test.My psa was 5.8 -high but in general if it stays at the same level its not regarded as a problem .only when that figure rises does it become problematical.My psa stayed in that region for 2 years and then it went up to 7.6 a marker that things were on the move.they call it velocity when it rises that way.I had a biopsy which was uncomfortable but not too painful and they found ,out of 10 cores,5 had cancer present.My world fell apart-but not for long.I was 59 years old.I saw a surgeon and then immediately a consultant radiologist and was given a choice of either radical prostatectomy(cutting it out) or radiology.I chose the surgery because the surgeon was so reassuring,so positive and clearly knew his stuff.The radiologist was also very positive but he said to me that if he were in my position,he would choose the surdery everytime.In general if the powers that be consider you have another 10 years useful life in front of you they will offer the op.If not its radiology.Incidentally my brother was not given an option.He had radiation treatment and is now fine having no had an mri scan also on my liver to see the extent and the cancer was still in the prostate capsule Again in general if the psa remains below 10 the cancer is still within the capsule and should not have spread out from there.The op was fine 4 hours in all and i woke up catheterised as i knew but in no pain.Id had an epidural by the way.The surgeon removed lymph glands which were clear so the cancer had not spread.I was out of hospital in 5 days.catheter removed in 2 weeks .Had 10 weeks off work because the op does take it out of you and you need to gradually build up.3 yeasrs on and Im fine .I have regular psa tests and so far they've all come back as undetectable which means im cancer free .What i have learnt is that if you catch it early enough i.e your psa is below 10 you should be fine.In any case there are now so many treatments out there that even those with so called advanced pc can live a very reasonable life .As my surgeon said if you're going to get a cancer ,pick the prostate one.Its curable and generally slow growing so gives the docs plenty of time and chances to beat it.Age and fitness inevitably play their part.So theres absolutely no need for despair.because this illness is ripe for curing.Let me know if i can offer any other info on this.When you go down with this disease you tend to read everything you can to get as full a picture as poss.I was never off the internet!!Now im out the other side with no fear anymore.Good wishes to all sufferers and families

MarianneSolong Sun 20-Apr-14 19:23:44

My father had prostate cancer. Ultimately - and this may not be what you want to hear - he was one of the 'unlucky' ones.

There is a wide range of treatments. They do have side effects though. My father chose to have every treatment that was offered. However there is a point where some people might want to choose the possibility of a slightly shorter life, without taking masses of drugs - rather than an extra month or two while having to cope with unwanted side effects.

I think the important thing for your father is to have a specialist who he can talk to about the choices ahead of him. For my father Macmillan nurses provided some very good support. My father also spent the final ten days of his life in a hospice where he received really excellent care.

All of us - unless we're unhealthy or unlucky ourselves - will have to cope with the loss of our parents. Sadly for some of us that may come sooner than others.

Whether your father's life turns out to be longer or shorter, try and value the time you have together. And find some support for yourself too.

coocachoo Sun 20-Apr-14 19:11:44

thank u i will post his progress when we know more xx

Elibean Fri 18-Apr-14 23:32:06

All fingers crossed for a clear scan, coocoocachoo, he's bound to be scared and depressed right now - my dad certainly was, and (like many men!) didn't talk about it till he felt safe again. But once treatment starts, and he gets some sense of control back, he'll almost certainly feel better.

It really is a treatable disease if caught early enough. Hope you get news soon, xx

MrsSlocombesPussy Fri 18-Apr-14 17:29:40 have lots of useful information

coocachoo Fri 18-Apr-14 17:13:33

Thank you Elibean that has given me some hope it is my husband he is 60 so they say young, but its scary just the word cancer, and seems to be on all the adverts. His reading was 8.5 psa then 7.5 which is quite high. He is opting for surgery which isnt easy but i just hope it hasnt spread to his bones, he had a bone scan last thurs. He just blanks me and sits thinking all day i just wish he wd speak but he says what can u do which is true. By way he has lost 6lb for op so far.

Elibean Mon 14-Apr-14 14:30:19

Sorry to hear of all the diagnoses, whether of dhs or dads...

My dad had prostate cancer 7 years ago, aged 80. It was treated with radiotherapy implant, as it hadn't spread - and he is absolutely fine now. A year of tiredness/intermittent bowel problems during treatment, but really manageable even at his age and no sign of it since.

My uncle was also diagnosed aged 79, but not early on, sadly. He has had several years of good health on hormone injections alone, but it is in his bones so eventually he needed more treatment - he has had two sorts of new drugs, and one of them suited him very very well: he had nearly a year of being reasonably well on it, and is now 85. Its not working anymore, but I wanted to mention him because it really IS worth pushing for newer drugs with advanced prostate cancers - if you don't have health insurance, there are cancer charities that will provide the drugs to patients that meet the criteria, even if they are not yet available widely on the NHS.

I know several dads of friends who have had prostate cancer in their 50s and early 60s and are very well now - so if it hasn't spread, it really IS very treatable.

coocachoo Wed 26-Mar-14 16:41:24

my dh is also very depressed and convinced he will die despite us trying to reasure him all the time plus we moved to seaside 10 months ago as he retired some retirement they say this happens didnt think it would happen to us so please everyone dont leave everything till too late remember health more imp than wealth. xx

coocachoo Wed 26-Mar-14 16:39:07

my husband has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer we are all very scared i just cried when we were told so matter of factly that he had it its a shock we have a 15yr old and shes so unsure of her future or ours as we are 6o and 56 its horrible he has to have op but is overweight so has to lose some first we are all so lost.

Summer115 Wed 10-Apr-13 06:45:13

Sorry to hear this. Hope your father will be ok.

lindamoss674 Thu 04-Apr-13 11:46:24

It depends on which stage your prostate cancer is. If it at the early stage beta sitosterol supplement can be really useful.

jameshodge Mon 25-Feb-13 07:15:13

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

maddiemostmerry Fri 22-Feb-13 20:33:20

Hi, my dad was also diagnosed with inoperable advanced prostate cancer in his mid fifties . He had hormone treatment as well.

There may be drug trials that your dad can be part of. Later my dad was given palliative radiotherapy, this helped with the pain.

My dad was very down when he was diagnosed and looking back the one thing i would do differently is take more care and have been more involved with pushing for support for his mental health. He was prescribed AD's at a late stage, they made a huge difference to him. I wish he had been prescribed them earlier.

Hope you and everyone else on this thread with family member with prostate cancer is coping as well as can be.

misshoohaa Fri 22-Feb-13 20:17:43

Hi Norniron hope you are OK. There's a heap of things that your dad can do, despite saying it's inoperable please don't be disheartened. My husband works in the cancer survivorship field and has seen many patients who despite being given bad news have come through the otherside and managed a very long happy life, living with cancer.

Hope you are doing OK. xx

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