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Being paranoid!?

Posted 03 Nov 2016 at 06:41
My father (63yo) was diagnosed with prostate 4-5 months ago with a high PSA. He has done all the tests but has yet to have an operation to remove the prostate or start any treatment. Is this normal?

Dad is a stubborn man and doesn't like a fuss so my paranoia has kicked in and I'm worried that he's not telling us the whole story...we've been told the cancer hasn't spread and he just requires keyhole surgery to remove the prostate.

Has anyone here had to wait 4-5 months to start treatment or have an op?


Worried and paranoid daughter.

Posted 03 Nov 2016 at 09:59

Hi Cat,

There are a couple of scenarios you might consider:

Firstly most men, on diagnosis have to go through a soul searching process and ask themselves whether they should tell their loved ones all the detail of their diagnosis and treatment?  There is a tendency to try and keep things secret, any diagnosis of cancer comes with a realisation that we are not immortal, and most of us want to spend the rest of our lives doing things we love, with the ones we love, without the spectre of cancer hanging over everything.  The other side of the argument is that most women have vivid imaginations and if you try and spare them the detail they only imagine something worse.

But every man has  to decide for himself, how much he wants to tell his children, and you should respect his choice.

Alternatively, if you dad was offered key hole surgery for a prostate removal, that suggests his cancer isn't the most aggressive and hasn't spread.  There has been a lot of news recently suggesting that historically far too many men have had their prostates removed unnecessarily, the 10 year survival statistics for men who opt for doing nothing known as 'watchful waiting' are equally good as those who have more radical treatment.  If I was in your dad's shoes I might want to wait a few months and see what was happening to my PSA, the absolute number of your PSA is not a very good indicator, what he really wants to know is the rate at which it is increasing.

So perhaps keyhole surgery is one option he has been given, and perhaps his Consultants have also offered him the option of doing nothing, if they have it's not a cop out, it's not them trying to save themselves work or money, it's them putting your father's interests, his life expectancy and quality of life first.



Posted 03 Nov 2016 at 15:43


It might help if you could give the PSA and Gleason scores, I was diagnosed at 62 and I waited 4 months for a new robot to be installed at our hospital.  I do not quite get the 10 year survival scenario, I was told if I did nothing I "could" still be around in 10 -15 years, if they got the cancer I could still be around in 30-35 years. I had many days between DX and the op where I was not going to have surgery or any other treatment, I was not ill ,I felt fine, why suffer the possible side effects. I even sat on the aesthetic room table and asked if it was too late to back out.

Thanks Chris 





Posted 03 Nov 2016 at 17:08

He may have discussed the whole situation with his specialists and decided to opt for active surveillance - monitoring the PSA and a regular (annual) scan in the hope that he never actually needs the operation. My father in law looked at the side effects of treatment and decided that he was not prepared to risk what can be life changing side effects.

Alternatively, is he overweight or has high blood pressure and had perhaps chosen to get a bit healthier before undergoing what is a long complicated op?

Or - are you sure that he isn't taking any tablets that have been prescribed (hormones) that he might not have wanted to tell you about because it is quite embarrassing?

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

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