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New here, looking like my Dad has prostate cancer

User
Posted 19 September 2017 12:20:40(UTC)

Hello, 

Routine bloods, two weeks ago showed by Dad to have very elevated PSA levels (I don't know the numbers). He has a referral to a urologist this Thursday and he's back to the GP tomorrow, to get results of further investigations, including a chest x ray. The GP said it was "likely" that he has prostate cancer

My mind is in a whirl and I don't know what to think. Dad was referred for bloods as he had a persistent ear/sinus infection and had lost weight, over the past year or so. He has also been v tired, but only since the onset of the infection (about a month ago). As far as I can determine, nothing else was abnormal with the bloods they've done so far, but this was all second hand info from my mum, who was rather in shock. 

The GP did a quick prostate exam and said that while it was enlarged, it didn't feel too hard, which he seemed to think was a good thing. 

I'm just concerned about the weight loss (secondary to having less of an appetite) and fatigue, but that said, he has had more energy, since the infection has cleared up

I work with people with (another type of) cancer, but I am not familiar with prostate cancer. What might be the next steps after Thursday's appt? I'm assuming he'll be referred for a scan? I know each case is entirely individual, but can anyone offer any words of hope please? The situation just feels flu of doom at the moment

 

Thank you 

 

Millie

User
Posted 19 September 2017 13:31:20(UTC)

Hi Millie,

I would have thought the next steps would be a scan and a biopsy. How many PSA tests has your Dad had? For myself the order of tests was:-

DRE (examination) - showed enlarged prostate

PSA test - showed raised PSA of 7 sent for another PSA test to confirm

PSA test - showed the same raised PSA of 7

MRI scan - didn't show anything

TRUS biopsy - showed I had Prostate cancer, was then referred to consult to discuss treatment.

Dates and more details are in my profile. Compared to other cancers PC is generally slow moving (there are exceptions of course).

Hope that helps

Good luck

 

User
Posted 20 September 2017 09:58:47(UTC)

Hello,

Thank you for your reply. He has only had one PSA test so far, that was two weeks ago.

I'll have a look at your profile, thanks, it's all very new to me

User
Posted 20 September 2017 12:34:46(UTC)

Hello Millie and welcome to the site

PSA is only indicative of something being wrong which usually results in follow through appointments with urologist, scans, biopsy etc.

PSA does not say you have prostate cancer. A DRE showing enlargement or being knobbly would also show that something is wrong. An enlarged prostate on it's own would not show that he is "likely" to have cancer, merely that the DRE, together with the PSA result, means it's a good idea to investigate it

Obviously we don't have all the facts here but I do wonder whether his GP is putting together the tiredness, weight loss, PSA and DRE and jumping the gun a bit.

IF you could find out what the PSA was it might help members to advise you.

An enlarged prostate can be caused by infection so I hope his GP ruled that out?

Anyway, you are here now and I'm sure that you'll get others to comment for you, but do try not to worry.

If indeed dad does have cancer then if it's been caught early enough there will be a range of treatments available to him.

Perhaps suggest to him and your mum that when he goes for appointments one of them takes paper and pen and writes down the answers. It is really hard to take in the information when you are in shock.

Please get back to us with whatever information you can glean. IF dad doesn't remember the PSA result he can ring the surgery and ask for it. Don't let him accept anything other than an answer containing the numbers. Sometimes receptionists will just give it as "in a high range or a normal range etc"

Best Wishes

Sandra

We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
User
Posted 26 September 2017 12:29:02(UTC)

Hi Sandra,

Thank you so much for replying, it's much appreciated.

Dad's PSA was 45 on testing and both the GP and his consultant think this is highly indicative of cancer (he saw the consultant last Thursday).

He's been referred for a scan, bone scan and biopsy. The consultant also examined him and reiterated what the GP had said about the prostate being smooth, which he seemed to think was a positive thing?

Theres nothing else remarkable in his bloods, other than slightly raised inflammatory markers and white cells, but he has/had a chest infection, so this is to be expected.

It just feels like a horrible waiting game at the moment, his (prostate) scan is next week and we are still waiting for the other appointments. I think Dad is getting a bit depressed, I can't say I blame him, he doesn't do stress very well. He just doesn't seem to want to do anything much.

User
Posted 26 September 2017 14:29:28(UTC)

Yes Millie, PSA is high, my husband's for instance went UP to 6.3 before he opted for treatment.

Unlikely that if dad has cancer that all options will be open to him but many will. We have members on here with PSA in the hundreds and occasionally thousands and they have received treatment in various forms and a number of them have been treated for many years so as you can see, all is not lost.

It would depend on the results of the scans and biopsy,whether cancer (if present) has breached the capsule in which case some of the treatments will not be for him.

A smooth prostate is , I understand , a good thing since knobbly and/or hard are signs to be aware of, so a smooth prostate is something in his favour.

As for it beng a horrible waiting game, it most certainly is. At the moment none of you will be able to think that once the results are in and a treatment plan in place, that life will settle down a bit for all of you.

It's this waiting around for scan etc and then the results, that can be so debilitating.

I can fully understand that your dad (and the rest of you) are feeling the stress and that he is now feeling depressed. He's probably telling himself that he has cancer and his time is limited. That isn't generally the case and i hope it isn't in your dad's case.

Hang in there. Just be as supportive as you can be (very hard I know at the moment) but it's all you can do,.

Once you have the results of those scans etc please come back and let us know and I am sure you'll get a lot of advice from those who will have already been down whichever treatment path your dad and his consultant decide to take.

Best Wishes
Sandra

*****

We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
User
Posted 26 September 2017 21:53:17(UTC)
Hi Millie

I am like you concerned about the whole process though it is my husband. I noticed he had lost weight 2nd September and slight toilet changed and tired he is 62 and made appointment at doc for all bloods and a psa and the doctor tried to talk him out of the test bit I was adamant he was getting one Friday 8th psa test done came back Tuesday 12th elevated 9.8 we had health insurance and went to consultant who did DRE and while my husband was behind curtain the consultant shook his head at me!! This has left me worse!!! My hubbie had biopsy on Thursday night and the waiting is stressing me out ( hence why I'm here tonight) . We met with NHS consultant today just to keep hubbie in system as they sent appointment out and were told they would have done things slightly different eg another psa I was not willing to wait! His private on examination was smooth but firm and consultant says he doesn't look for enlargement but change of shape and lumps!! It's the waitin that's the worst!!!

Sorry if this is not how u answer chats or become involved in them
User
Posted 27 September 2017 07:56:44(UTC)

Hello Cola and welcome to the site

I do understand that GPs need to protect their funds but it really annoys me when a man presents at surgery with worries that need addressing and the GP refuses or tries the let's not bother route.

PSA and DRE are indicative and you are at least proactive so things should speed up a bit now.

Having said that, any waiting at all can be very stressful. As I said to Millie,once you have a firm diagnosis life does get a little "easier" because you can at least take some control.

Just be glad that a) you persuaded your husband to get his symtoms investigated and b) you didn't allow the GP to railroad you .

Just think how much worse it could have been several months down the line when the symptoms worsened

Come back to us if you want information for your husband, but please do it separately so that you don't get lost in somebody else's posts.

Good luck with the results for both of you

We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
User
Posted 23 October 2017 18:24:38(UTC)

Hello, 

Because I had such invaluable support on here, I thought an update was due. And some more thanks :)

Firstly, Cola, I hope things are ok with you and your OH, hugs x

My Dad... he had his bone scan and pelvic MRI a few weeks back and we have had a horrible few weeks of waiting, especially since Dad has had some hip/pelvic/leg ache. He is still waiting for his biopsy appointment.

Today, I accompanied him to the GP, he's been depressed and v v anxious and I was wondering if the GP could prescribe something. GP said " haven't you had your scan results?" we said "no" and he said " I have them here and can go through them with you" At this point, my heart sank, as I really did fear the worst.

The most significant finding from the bone scan was an old rib fracture from a horse-induced injury a few years back. His MRI just showed an enlarged prostate, that's it. Obviously, we won't know any more until it's been biopsied, but my main fear was bone mets, given the pain. He's already on hormonal treatment, given that his PSA was so high

I just don't get how Dad has a PSA of 45ng/ml, lower body pain and no mets. GP thinks just age related arthritic changes. Dad has been instructed to carry on with his life and wait for a biopsy appt. GP thinks his main problem right now is a horrible depression + anxiety, so has prescribed citalopram. 

Feels like we are on a roller coaster, my mum had a head and neck MRI recently (clear), I have had an abnormal ECG and have a cardiology referral on Wed, we used to be such a healthy, sporty family, it's all come at once. I work with people with cancer, so it feels like it's my whole life at the moment. But for tonight, a little bit of respite from the anxiety 

More thanks, I hope that once things are a little calmer and clearer, I can contribute more and share our experience with the community xx

User
Posted 24 October 2017 18:21:30(UTC)

Ah that's lovely news on the prostate front - fingers crossed the biopsy also finds no cancer and they can stop the hormones and put him on meds to reduce the size of his prostate instead. Sometimes, enlarged prostate can cause very high PSA with no cancer - we have had at least one member here whose PSA was over 50 but got the all clear.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard


User
Posted 24 October 2017 19:04:24(UTC)
Hi Ladies

Thank you for all the updates information and here's hoping Millie all is well with biopsy. I hope I'm answering this thread correcrly as I'm really not sure how to work it! Millie my husbands process was slightly different he has had his biopsy and has been diagnosed with PC Gleason scale 3+3=6 it's in both sides( I'm sure it said one side 2% amd other side 5% this bit I don't understand and if I'm correct ??? had mri scan and nothing else picked up apart from enlarged prostate . He has bone scan tomorrow and we are staying confident just wish all the tests were over so we know the next steps are?? Does anyone have an idea what the treatments offers would be???
Thank u for the support on here ?? X X
User
Posted 25 October 2017 15:17:11(UTC)

Cola, may a mere man butt in here? If the scans are clear, the tiny amount of PCa found suggests that Active Surveillance may be the way forward. Regular PSA Tests and perhaps annual DREs could lie ahead. I hope it is as simple as that, but you will be wise to rely on professional advice rather than guesswork from such as me!

AC

 
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