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Scared...Husband got PC diag. today
WifeofDJ posted:
Hi, I am scared. My 54 year old husband just got a Prostate Cancer diagnosis this morning (PSA - 5.1; Free PSA - 12%; DRE - unremarkable per Uro; Biopsy - took 12 samples last grades or stages provided to us yet). His Uro ordered a CT scan. Does this mean he suspects spread of the disease?? We have appt early next week to get all results. I need support from you so I can be strong for him.

Please...your thoughts?

Galileo1962 responded:
Hold on a second--deep breath!

You don't have the pathology information yet.

The CT scan could mean the uro is just ordering it while he's thinking about it--it's common to get a CT and bone scan before treatment.

The Gleason score will be a crucial piece of information--it will be the uro's clue to how aggressive the cancer is.

Prostate cancer is very common. A man has about a one in six lifetime chance of being diagnosed. But the mortality rate from it is only about 3%. If caught early, it's highly curable. If caught late, it can often be put into complete remission for years and years with hormone therapy (while exciting new treatments come along in the meantime). In either case, it's not something that's immediately threatening your husband's life.

It's a challenge for the two of you to meet head-on. You can be a tremendous source of strength and stability to your husband. Information will be your best friend--it will drive away the darkness of despair.

I highly recommend getting a copy of "Patrick Walsh's Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer" (2007 ed.) If you're in the US, it's easily available at bookstores like Barnes & Noble or Borders--and of course through Amazon.

Come here--to this board--on Monday nights at 8 PM Central time and click on the link for the chat.

Besides WebMD, I like these sites:

Prostate Cancer InfoLink: and the social networking site for it at: . It's a site with some greatly respected lay experts, doctors, and it's monitored by a medical advisory board.

Prostate Cancer Foundation (click on "about prostate cancer"):


You might want to look into US Too International: and see if there is a support group meeting near you.

Let us know how it goes. Best wishes.
WifeofDJ responded:
Thank you Galileo1962,

I'll check out those resources and we will both be there Monday night. Of course, we are still in shock as this just happened this morning.

I welcome comments from everyone.

olblue53 responded:
WifeOfDj, My wife and I were going through your and your husband's identical experience this past September. It is a shocker! You are very important to him right now, so hang in there. I had my surgery January 8 of this year. Due to previous surgery, I had to have the open removal. I spent one night in the hospital, one night in the hotel next door and my wife drove me the six hour trip home the next day. I returned to work in a month and could probably gone sooner. Doing fine now. Galileo is right on target. You all will be fine. Just read lots of available info. It can be very reassuring. God Bless you.
WifeofDJ responded:
Thank you olblue53, It is very comforting to hear from others in our situation. We live in Florida and are researching surgeons and treatment centers. MD Anderson Cancer Center is very close and they seem to have excellent surgeons. Does anyone have personal experience with MD Anderson or any specific surgeons in Florida?


stxdave responded:
Hi WifeofDJ,

You already have some good advice but I'll add my two cents worth. I have been going to M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas since 2001 and have received above and beyond excellent care. I can only assume the philosophy for the Florida facility to be the same as in Houston. The CT and bone scans are routinely done to create a baseline for all future scans in addition to looking for any anomalies that presently exist. I would suggest you obtain a copy of all medical reports for your own file. They come in handy when changing physicians and just for your own education. Please keep us posted and we'll try and help you navigate all the twists and turns.

Best Wishes,

Dave Dx'd 1999, Age 60, PSA 43, Gleason (4+5=9), T3c
WifeofDJ responded:
Thanks stxdave, I appreciate so much hearing from others during this scary time. We'll know more on Monday after doc visit.

marleybone59 responded:
Hi wife - Hang in there - the folks on this board are extremely knowledgeable, helpful and sensitive. My husband was diagnosed 2/7/08 at the age of 65. Although he had exams every year he was diagnosed with advanced/aggressive pca (psa 4.7, gleason so I understand the shock you are feeling. The best thing you can do is be there for each other, take a deep breath, learn everything you can - especially after you get the pathology report. Make sure you are confident in your doctors and that they listen to you both and answer your questions. There are numerous treatments and you will be bombarded with information - take your time to make the treatment decision that feels right to you. Most important is to know that while this is scary to you - your husband is going to go through so many phases and it is his diagnosis. My husband has had a robotic prostatectomy (4/08), hormonal implant (6/08) and radiation treatments (48 from 10/08-12/08). His psa is undetectable at this point. He has also had many tough days mentally, some hot flashes from the hormones but mostly we have grown closer than ever - which is really saying something since we've been together since 1980 and have always been each other's best friend. You will find your way through together - just know it will take some getting used to the new normal you will now have. My father had pca and lives in Jupiter, FL so if you live near there I would be happy to get you his doctor's information - let me know. My best wishes to you both.
WifeofDJ responded:
Thanks Marleybone59, My husband's Gleason score came back today at 6. PSA 5.1. Unsure as yet if more than one lobe of the prostate is involved. He had a CT with contract today and we'll get all the results Monday afternoon.

Thank you everyone for your support. I think my husband is doing better than me.

Wifeof DJ
WifeofDJ responded:
Hi Galileo1962, My husband's Gleason score was 6 (3+3) as of yesterday and as you know his PSA is 5.1. Can the staging be determined after biopsy, or only after resection? Our appt with the Urologist is Monday afternoon and I'm hoping to know the stage by then so we can plan for treatment. In your experience, based on the his Gleason and PSA, do you think there is a low or high probablility of spread?

Thanks, WifeofDJ
Galileo1962 responded:

Gleason 6 is a very common score to be diagnosed with these days. Of all the scores he could have gotten, it's one of the "better" ones, actually. You should know, however, that it's more of an educated guess--most men, after their biopsies are removed and examined, are found to have a slightly different Gleason score.

Also, different pathologists will grade samples differently. You might consider having the samples sent off to a lab like Bostwick, which specializes in prostate cancer.

Before surgery staging is called "clinical" and is based on PSA and DRE. Your husband's clinical stage would have been T1c---detected by PSA elevation only. T2 cancers are palpable. See the PCRI website, among others, for an explanation: .

All of this is good news for your husband. The Partin tables show that 83% of the time, men with your husband's history had organ-confined disease. 16% of the time there was extra-prostatic extension (this is where the cancer has penetrated the capsule, but it doesn't mean it's learned to live outside the prostate yet and may still be curable.) There is almost zero chance of spread to lymph nodes or seminal vesicles. Again, this is good news!

Do you know how many core samples showed cancer? If so, you can use the Bostwick UroPredict tool which Bostwick says is a little more precise than the Partin tables:
WifeofDJ responded:
Hi, We don't have the results on the core samples yet. I know he took 12 samples but we will get that info at our appt Monday afternoon. When the urologist did the DRE exam 2 weeks ago, he told my husband his prostate felt smooth with no lumps. Thanks again for your support. Cancer is very scary and it's nice to know we can get support and info from a group like this. I'll write back Monday afternoon after our appt.

Wifeof DJ
FlyAway57 responded:
Hi, > I was in your position 1yr ago. My husband was diagnosed in Jan08 and had his prostate out end of Mar08. He has recovered and his psa levels are undetectable. Because he was 53 he opted for surgery since that leaves open the option of radiation if it should ever come back. He does have some ed problems but viagra helps with that. I received alot of support here and recommend them highly. I found that research does help, but it can also scare you needlessly. > Be strong. Karen
JustanotherGuyaroundhere responded:
Hi Wife of DJ,

A PSA of 5.1 indicates the cancer was caught very early. In fact, it typically has to be 4 to even be considered suspicious. As such, it'a a very curable disease! The scan ordered is standard procedure. At a PSA so low, it's very unlikely anything is going to show on a scan.

As you get more information, particularly the Gleason score (aggressiveness of the cancer), the picture will become more clear. But based on what we see here, it sounds like your husband's chances for cure are excellent!

I was diagnosed with worse number eight years ago at the age of 42 - PSA 10, and the doctor felt a bump on the DRE. I had surgery and have had non-detectable PSA since.

Feel free to write.

losio responded:
Well I always think it's best not to show your weaker side and try to keep your husband in high spirits. I know it's hard but you must try. My father is 70 years old and has never had a serious issude in order to be hospitalized. But yesturday, he sufferred a mild heart attack and today doctors had to go in and unclogg four arteries. He does need open heart surgery but that has been put on hold due to the fact that hisCAT scan show Nogules on the lungs which indicate he has some sort of cancer. His prostate was inflamed and it may have come from there. Now we're scared because we can't fix his heart until we fix his cancer. You know I feel that things get worse before they get better. When it rains it pours. But coming from a religious family I feel that God will guide me through this and lead me to be strong for my father. And thats what you need to have. You need to have FAITH. I have you in my prayers and good luck I hope everything comes out okay! GOd Bless!!

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