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My dad has been diagnosed and I'm scared

User
Posted 01 Aug 2017 at 20:13
My dad has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer at a score of 7 on the Gleeson scale. I'm so frightened, I'm a nurse myself and looking after ill people is normal but I'm scared to see my dad unwell.

I just don't know how to cope or even see past finding out the results. Please please help
User
Posted 03 Aug 2017 at 10:12

Google is not always the expert. Even within the results that you have, the real situation can vary. He may have had one core affected out of 12, and only 5% of that core affected. Or he could have had 12 out of 12 cores affected and 70%.

In terms of aggressiveness, the word aggressive used in the context of prostate cancer does not necessarily mean what you imagine - it simply indicates the need to have active treatment rather than go for a more passive monitoring stance. 'Aggressive' is used to describe a) a PSA of more than 10 b) Gleason score of 7 or more c) an individual Gleason of 5 (e.g a G(3+3) would be low risk unless there were a few tertiary 5 cells hanging around) d) a PSA doubling time of less than 6 months e) T2c or above.

No point trying to guess - you need to wait for all the results. And try to stay away from Google!

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
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User
Posted 02 Aug 2017 at 00:18

A bit more information would help. His Gleason score is 7 but do you know whether that is 3+4 or 4+3? Has he had scans yet and if so, have you got a result with a T number or that looks like T2a n0m0 or T1 n0mX or similar? And do you know what his PSA test result was? It would also help us to help you if you could give some information about how he came to be diagnosed; did he have any symptoms or was it a routine well man check or something like that?

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 02 Aug 2017 at 01:45

I assume like most GP's unless they have a particular interest in PCa most nurses don't have a wide knowledge of the disease. You might find it helpful to obtain the 'Toolkit' from the publications section of this charity. Also, it could be useful for you to speak with the specialist nurses on this charity but as Lyn suggested first obtaining a full report of Dad's diagnosis would give a better idea of his situation to them and us. As you are doubtless aware, Dad's prospects may depend on a number of factors, principally the type of cancer he has, how advanced it is and his treatment options. Advances in treatment and more treatment barriers to slow cancer advance for those that need it, mean that men have a better chance of living longer than they would have done a few years ago.


Generally, though not always, PCa is a slow developing disease which an increasing majority of men have as they get past 50 years of age, although a minority have it before 50.


It is important that Dad understands his treatment options and potential side effects and to help him remember what his consultant says, somebody accompanying him and even taking a few notes is recommended if possible.


I wish him well on his cancer journey

Edited by member 02 Aug 2017 at 01:50  | Reason: Not specified

Barry
User
Posted 02 Aug 2017 at 22:26
Hi everyone,

Thank you for all your replies. I have found a bit more information detailed in the toolkit pack he was given by the hospital. So they have said

It is localised

T STAGE - T1 or T2
N Stage - N0 or NX
M Stage - M0 or MX

PSA levels as follows

4.34, 5.29, 5.8

Gleason Grade

7(3+4) grade group 2

He has been having his PSA levels monitored for the last few months, however they decided very quickly he needed an MRI and within a week he went for an MRI. After the MRI results he went for a biopsy the following week. The results of the biopsy came through yesterday. He had no symptoms at all, Barr the high PSA levels and urinating more of an evening.

I am a newly qualified nurse, 1 year into my job after graduating and suffer with anxiety. I just don't know how to cope with all the information at the moment and work.

Thank you all for your taking your time to reply.
User
Posted 02 Aug 2017 at 22:39

Well that's a relief for you all - early stage, contained, quite low level concern and depending on any other health conditions he may have, he should be able to choose from a number of curative treatments. Much will depend on how your dad feels about the various side effects, how old he is and how sexually active he is (which he may not want to discuss with you!!!!)

I am sorry that you suffer from anxiety but hopefully you will feel a bit calmer now.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 02 Aug 2017 at 22:50
From what I have read on doctor google which I wish I hadn't is that it is still quite aggressive but it's a relief hearing that it is localised. My dad is very fit and usually healthy with no other health problems so it has been a surprise.

We are a very open family and we have discussed all the options, he is mainly worried about being incontinent and the sexual activity will be affected.

His sister died of cancer when she was early 50's which the doctors had said was localised and it turned out not to be. This is something he and the whole family is concerned about.

Thank you for your reassurance.
User
Posted 03 Aug 2017 at 09:54

Hi 


As Lyn said you have some options with Gleason 3+4+7 that is less aggressive and the same as i had (click my avatar to see). I had a choice of Radical removal or Brachytherapy and went for Brachytherapy as it was less intrusive and as i thought maybe less side affects.


I found the operation no real problem and was out the following day and 10 months on doing well with PSA dropping to 0.59 and given 6 months to next blood test.


It is a worry for family but you have many options and no reason not to expect good results as that Gleason score is less aggressive and mid range for options.


If you need any more questions answered i will be pleased to help.


 


John. 

User
Posted 03 Aug 2017 at 10:12

Google is not always the expert. Even within the results that you have, the real situation can vary. He may have had one core affected out of 12, and only 5% of that core affected. Or he could have had 12 out of 12 cores affected and 70%.

In terms of aggressiveness, the word aggressive used in the context of prostate cancer does not necessarily mean what you imagine - it simply indicates the need to have active treatment rather than go for a more passive monitoring stance. 'Aggressive' is used to describe a) a PSA of more than 10 b) Gleason score of 7 or more c) an individual Gleason of 5 (e.g a G(3+3) would be low risk unless there were a few tertiary 5 cells hanging around) d) a PSA doubling time of less than 6 months e) T2c or above.

No point trying to guess - you need to wait for all the results. And try to stay away from Google!

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 03 Aug 2017 at 18:25

Hi Questions,

I'm sorry to hear the news about your Dad, but as these things go it could certainly be worse. I've recently taken the robotic surgery route on the basis of at first sight worse numbers than your Dad, in my case also completely "out of the blue". You both might be reassured by my recent post about some recent UK research findings about treatment for localised prostate cancer?

http://community.prostatecanceruk.org/posts/t13034-Leo-Robot-spares-some-nerves#post163468

Feel free to scroll up and read about "being incontinent and sexual activity" if so desired, but quoting from the conclusions to the research paper:

The ProtecT trial was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the three major contemporary treatment approaches to reducing prostate-cancer mortality and improving clinical outcomes in men with PSA-detected clinically localized disease. The results show that death from prostate cancer in such men remained low at a median of 10 years of follow-up, at approximately 1%, irrespective of the treatment assigned, a rate that is considerably lower than was anticipated when the trial commenced.

Edited by member 04 Aug 2017 at 17:18  | Reason: Not specified

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein
 
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