I'll say it again "what a great site, thank you".
Met with the consultant again today, it was a meeting I requested. As expected he was very helpful and answered all my questions, although I must confess that since I left I feel the meeting has raised more questions! I now know the following about the cancer:
T1c - tumour was found in a needle biopsy performed due to my elevated serum PSA. The biopsy showed cancer cells in 20% of samples on the right side of the prostate only.
N0 - no cancer detected in the lymph nodes
M0 - the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body
The cancer was detected by DRE and wasn't seen on the MR! Scan which showed a prostate that is smooth and well defined. The size of the prostate is normal.
The planned Robotic Surgery intends to spare the nerves on the left side of the prostate and some of the nerves on the right side.
Because I already have a large scar in the area due to an operation when I was 17 there is a possibility that whilst in theatre the operation may have to be switched from robotic to open surgery but they will not know until they start the robotic surgery and apparently it is rare for this to happen (at this hospital it has happened once during robotic surgery in over 400 operations).
The consultant has conducted over 200 robotic assisted prostatectomy's, although not as many as yours Roddy it's still a good number and he mentioned that the hospital conducts the 6th highest number/year in the country. He is also very experienced at the open prostatectomy technique which would be good for me should they have to switch to open rather than robotic surgery.
It's interesting mityana that you were encouraged to see an Oncologist - should I ask to see one? The consultant explained clearly the reason why they think I should have surgery instead on some sort of radiation treatment which mainly centres around a 1 - 2% possibility of bowel cancer developing 10 years or so after the radiation treatment and if the cancer returns at a later date they won't be able to give me another dose of radiation treatment or a radical prostatectomy. I understand that further radiation treatment would be too damaging to the area of treatment and a prostatectomy after radiation treatment is difficult. However, after a radical prostatectomy should the cancer return (or they find it wasn't all removed during the surgery) they would be able to give me radiation treatment to kill off the cancerous cells. Also mityana, although it's a long way down the road for me, it's interesting what you say about the pump as I met a chap the other day who had an open prostatectomy and said that his sex life since using the pump is better than it's ever been.
The two main questions that have come to mind since meeting the consultant this afternoon are:
1. If the cancer is so well contained it can't be seen or felt, the prostate is not enlarged etc, etc then why not wait 1, 2 or more years before treating? You never know but in a few years time better stats on the various treatments may be available or some new, improved technique may become available. The consultant did suggest that the reasons for 'concern' are because my PSA is >10 and my Gleason is 3+4 but if it's not even showing signs of reaching the 'boundary' of the prostate ATM what's the rush? I hope NHS targets are not involved in timescales.
2. If the cancer is only on one side of the prostate why not just remove that side of the gland? Now I am guessing there is a straightforward answer the this but I don't know what it is!
So - I am still scheduled for robotic assisted prostatectomy sometime early in the New Year. It is delayed until then at my request so I can 'get my head around' all this stuff and I don't have to deal with any complications over Christmas. It also gives me some time to get fitter and cut down on my red wine intake!
Sixfoottwo I can see that I am going to have to join a golf club to get the best stats! Good luck on Thursday .... I'll be thinking of you .... if you know what I mean!
Thanks again for your posts - you don't know how much they have helped me and I don't feel 'so alone' anymore.
Edited by member 11 Nov 2014 at 19:34
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