75 sounds bad until you realise that we have members on here whose PSA was 6000, 8000 and in one case 13,000 at diagnosis and all are still here some years later! PSA is an indicator that there is a problem but is not a reliable judge of whether it is indeed cancer or how far it might have spread. My husband had a PSA of 3.1 but it had already spread into his bladder, we had a member join recently with a PSA of over 100 but he turned out to have no cancer, just a very enlarged prostate.
I am afraid though that the fact they have told dad it is advanced prostate cancer (PCa) indicates that they have reason to believe it has already spread somewhere - that's what 'advanced' means. Now, it may be that they are just guessing - PCa cannot usually be diagnosed for sure until a biopsy is done - or that they suggested it might be advanced PCa and dad heard the scary words only. Or it may be that on the scans they have already seen that there is a tumour outside the gland or on the bones and the biopsy is only to determine which type of cancer it is (there are at least 27 different types of PCa). It might be that the blood tests are indicating that the bones are affected, or possibly the signs / indicators that caused him to go to the doctor are so strong that it is obviously PCa. The other possibility is that he has misheard - could they have said it was 'aggressive' rather than 'advanced'? The two words both sound terrifying but aggressive does not mean what it sounds like when describing PCa.
Can you tell us a bit more about why he was tested in the first place?
I know it is hard not to panic but if he has been told it is advanced, there are usually treatments that can slow it down and keep him with you for many years yet.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
Thanks for your reply. My dad frequently needed to go to the loo in the night and after going still felt an urge to go again . He also had a cough ( he smokes) . The doctor did a blood test which showed a psa of 75( all of which was gobbledygook to my dad ). They said he would need a scan and a camera/biopsy. 2 weeks later he had the scan and the biopsy was booked for 2 weeks after that .. ( biopsy is this morning ). 5 days after the scan the hospital rang to say come in for a bone scan , that was last week . 2 days after the bone scan dad received a letter at home but headed to his doctor saying that after an initial blood test that showed levels of 75 and a finger examination that showed an enlarged prostrate plus a cyst in the genetali it is his diagnosis that this is advanced prostrate cancer .
Obviously dad was shocked to get this in the post as he has not yet had any feedback from the scans ,
The biopsy is today st 9am.
It's all such a worry particularly as dad is mums full time carer , she has severe emphysema and only Saturday night they nearly had to call the ambulance for her . The stress of this is baring hard on them both even though dad is showing a brave face .
Any advice , or words of wisdom are much appreciated . Thankyou x
it is all very worrying during diagnosis but after the biopsy your Dad's medical team will have the full picture. Biospy results usually take about a week - 10 days.
From the biopsy results they will know the type of cancer (adenocarcenoma the most common type or another rarer type) and the grade - Gleason score (the Gleason score is made up of 2 numbers the higher the score the more the cancer cells have mutated and the more aggressive they are considered. 3+ 3 (6) is the lowest cancer score up to 5 + 5 (10)) . The MRI is used to show the level of spread to lymph nodes or elsewhere and also whether the tumour has itself breached the prostate. The bone scan will show if there are any bone metastases (cancer growth in the bones). Dad's GP should have the results of the scans so he could ask for an explanation of the results if he wants to know before the biopsy results are available.
With all of this information the team will decide upon the right course of treatment for your Dad. Assuming it is cancer diagnosis this could be a combination of hormone therapy, radiotherapy or chemo. Many men tolerate these treatments very well as you will see if you take a look at some of the profiles on here and there is no reason he cannot continue to support Mum albeit he might need to take things a bit slower. Also if needs must then I'm sure there will also be other support that can be arranged for one or both of them.
If there's one thing I have learned through all of this it is to accept help wherever and whenever it is offered, I have been fiercely independent my whole life and found it hard to ask at first. But without the help and support of friends and family there are days when we would just not have coped, my husband wouldn't have made it to appointments, I wouldn't have been able to continue working and the kids wouldn't have made it to school.
Thank you so much for your advice it has helped lots xx