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My dad and his symptoms

Posted 14 Aug 2017 at 00:26
Hi people.

My dad has recently within last 3/4 months been diagnosed eith PC. I am wondering whether he is at later stages. I dont even know what later stages means when i google this. Does it mean later in terms of his lide expectancy or the symptoms?
At moment he is no pain at all. Je does have other symptoms such as lack of appetite and fatigue. His mobility over last week has really struggled. His legs gave away last night goong upstairs. His feet and legs are swollen. Is it normal not to feel any pain? He isnt in any but his body seems to be detoriating. I feel like we dont know what stage he is at. I am a bit lost really.
Posted 14 Aug 2017 at 06:18

Hi Andy ,there will be plenty of people on this site that can offer good advice and comfort but if you could give us a little bit more info ,such as PSA ,Gleason score and any medication or treatment plan in place ,also age .google isn't the best place to look as I found out myself .a lot of the info is out of date.
Have you got any backup from medical staff that you can phone ?
Some one else will be along to help more if you can get any more info .
Best wishes

Posted 14 Aug 2017 at 07:32

Hello Andy and welcome

I totally agree with Debby about information and I also think that with what you have described, that your dad needs to be seen by at least his GP and as soon as possible.
Not because I fear his life is in danger or anything like that but he should not have swollen feet and legs and the weakness you describe.

These symptoms may well be signs that something other than Prostate cancer is causing them and you/he need advice about them.

Does he, for instance, also have heart problems?

We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
Posted 14 Aug 2017 at 09:02

Can you clarify Andy - is your dad reluctant to give you any more detail? Do you know whether he is on any treatment?

If your dad doesn't want his family to know his diagnosis etc then the doctors and nurses would not be allowed to give you any information. However, you may be able to persuade him to tell you more if you explain that depending on his diagnosis, legs giving way probably needs an ambulance and a trip to hospital.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
Posted 14 Aug 2017 at 09:29
Hi thanks for the reply.

His psa was nearly 1000. After his treatment which is hormone tablets it went down to 600, which i know is really high. No-one mentioned his gleason score? Dont know what this is. Doctor has been to see him about his swollen feet and legs. He has been given water tablets which helped. We think it is down to him not moving very much all day. We are trying to get him to move more but he is fatigued a lot of time. Feel like we dont know exact extent of his pc. We was told scan may not be conclusive due to his bad arthritis. Is it normal to feel no pain but your body to be getting worse.
Posted 14 Aug 2017 at 10:21

With a PSA so high they probably didn't need to do a biopsy - and you only get a Gleason score by doing a biopsy. It doesn't make any difference to the treatment.

Did anyone explain that he has mets - that means it has spread to places outside the prostate? If so, did they say whether it has spread to his bones, and really important whether it is in his spine?

Was it the GP that came out? Has anyone phoned the oncologist's secretary or the nurse specialist (if dad was allocated one)?

If it has spread to his spine, it is critical that you all understand the signs and indicators of spinal cord compression (SCC). This is when the tumour presses on the spinal cord - symptoms include tingling in the legs or feet, numbness in the legs and legs not working. If dad has mets in his spine and has these symptoms, you need to know whether a) the GP checked for SCC and b) if not, phone NHS direct or get an ambulance without delay. SCC can lead to paralysis so don't take any risks.

The other question is whether the cancer has spread to his lymph nodes. Did dad get a copy of the letter that the hospital sent to the GP when he was diagnosed? If it is in his lymph nodes, that would explain the swollen legs. Alternatively, as Johsan has said, lymphodema (which is what your dad seems to have) can be caused by heart problems or by the kidneys failing.

Is he still having the hormones?

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
Posted 14 Aug 2017 at 15:49
They said it would be too difficult to tell the extent in his bones as he also has arthritis. It has spread to his bones. I feel my dad would refuse to go back to hospital to het this scan again.

Yeah gp has been to see him few times. He has been assigned recently a nurse specialist. I will speak to gp asap about this scc. No he never got a letter when diagnosed. It haa spread to his lymph nodes we was told this. He has these dark blotches on his fists. Is this linked. What does it mean say his kidneys are failing? He did have small tumour on kidney but they said it was too small to operate and they was not concerned.

My brother and sister went in for the diagnosis and i feek there is lots unanswered things.

Thanks for response means a lot
Posted 14 Aug 2017 at 16:42

It would not be about going back to the hospital to get another scan. If he shows signs of spinal cord compression he must go to hospital urgently to prevent him being paralysed.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
Posted 14 Aug 2017 at 20:12
I do feel sorry for you that you don't understand where this disease had got to with your dad. Has he been offered chemo or one of the newer drugs alongside the hormone treatment?

My hubby, who has had this disease a long time now (over six and a half years) has swollen legs and feet but he doesn't usually have lots of pain. When he does, it tends to be sudden and horrible but not sustained at the moment. His bladder doesn't work anymore and they suggest that the oedema is possibly down to heart failure and yet no tests have proved that. I think it's the kidneys after all his bladder and kidney issues. I can't say where my hubby is in terms of stage, his cancer is spreading, it's in his lymph but he's starting a new treatment next week, Radium 223 which is for the cancer in the bones.

Fatigue is something nearly all men with prostate cancer will get but it can get worse in the later stages, especially if the appetite is depressed or they are sleeping a lot.

I think that if your dad will allow it, a chat with the specialist nurse or your hospice nurse, if you have one, would help a lot. Sometimes, men don't want people, even their family, to know too much and don't want to know too much themselves. I would honestly ask your dad if you can have permission to talk to one of his doctors. Maybe say that your mind is working over time and possibly making things appear worse than they are. Definitely please find out about potential SCC, it's crucial as others have said.

I hope you find out what you need to know.

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