Sorry you join us due to your Partner's PCa diagnosis,
My suggestion which I would make to all people with little knowledge of this disease is to learn about it. This can sometimes help, particularly when it comes to knowing about the pros and cons for various treatments. A very good place to start is to download or obtain a hard copy of the 'Toolkit' from the publications section of this charity.
Most of us here are more familiar with the the Gleason score way of assessment and you may see this more frequently referred to. This from Prostate UK shows the comparison.
Your doctor might also talk about your "Grade group". This is a new system for showing how aggressive your prostate cancer is likely to be. Your grade group will be a number between 1 and 5G see table).
What does the Gleason score or grade group mean?
The higher your Gleason score or grade group, the more aggressive the cancer and the more likely it is to grow and spread outside the prostate. We've explained the different Gleason scores and grade groups that can be given after a prostate biopsy below. This is just a guide. Your doctor or nurse will talk you through what your results mean.
Gleason score 6 (3 + 3) All of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow slowly (grade group 1).
Gleason score 7 (3 + 4) Most of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow slowly. There are some cancer cells that look likely to grow at a moderate rate (grade group 2).
Gleason score 7 (4 + 3) Most of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow at a moderate rate. There are some cancer cells that look likely to grow slowly (grade group 3).
Gleason score 8 (3 + 5) Most of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow slowly. There are some cancer cells that look likely to grow quickly (grade group 4).
Gleason score 8 (4 + 4) All of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow at a moderate rate (grade group 4).
Gleason score 8 (5 + 3) Most of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow quickly. There are some cancer cells that look likely to grow slowly (grade group 4).
Gleason score 9 (4 + 5) Most of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow at a moderate rate. There are some cancer cells that are likely to grow quickly (grade group 5).
Gleason score 9 (5 + 4) Most of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow quickly. There are some cancer cells that looklikely to grow at a moderate rate (grade group 5).
Gleason score 10 (5 + 5) All of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow quickly
Please note that this differs from 'staging',.which is a measure of how far the disease has advanced rather than the group or Gleason score which assesses how far the cancer cells have mutated from normal cells.
The pros and cons of various treatments have often been discussed. It's not just a question of how effective a particular treatment is but of various potential side effects, a man's age, fitness, the type of PCa he has, where he has it and the extent.
If you have any general questions, do ask and we do our best to answer but your partner should ask specifically related questions of himself of his consultant.
Is your partner in the UK - you don't say? We have members from outside the UK where slighhtly different systems and protocols can apply.
Edited by member 14 Jul 2018 at 23:13
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Excellent advice from Barry. Take your time considering your options well, particularly the potential long term side effects.
The diagnosis is indicating that you have identified the cancer at a very early stage, so you should remain optimistic about getting it sorted
Thank you very much for your kind reply, yes we need to know more ....thank you. We need to wait for Monday now obviously and I really don't know how you all can do it,but the wait and not knowing its killing me inside...
Hi, yes partner is in the UK. We both are and according to the NHS there was no need to investigate but luckily I pushed to have further test and he has got private insurance so he did and that's the result. How bad it is that if we didn't have the resources we wouldn't have known under the NHS? Thank you
The nhs seem very inconsistent. I had no symptoms, yet my GP wanted to do a blood test just in case. This gave a PSA of 4, and so here I am, scans, biopsies and radiotherapy all complete in good time and I'm confident we've nipped it in the bud.
On the other hand, men have higher risk if their father or siblings have had PC, and doubly so if they have a twin brother with PC.
I have a twin brother, who I persuaded to go and talk to his GP (not the same one), and was told they don't like to do investigations because it might open a can of worms, such as a raised PSA might set off the procedure of doing scans and biopsies when it's not necessary.
My mind boggles!!!
Can you please provide more details of your partner’s diagnosis details, such as his age, Gleason score as mentioned by Barry, and staging T2a, T2b, T3.....etc?
This will be a great help for people here to offer you advice and experienced counsel going forward.
Hi and thank you to all. At the moment I can't as I had no idea of all this type of scoring before going to dr and neither did my partner. Doctor only said was level 3 and only 5 out of 56 of biopsy had cancer. We are hoping to try and find out on Monday as I realised that we can't really make a decision without having those numbers....thank you to all, this is an amazing way to try and make sense and you all are amazing.
My partner is 61 we have been together just a year but we want to spend the rest of our life together but I am not his next of kin yet and that makes it very difficult for me as I am an outsider even thou I go with him to every appointment. But I will not be entitle to time off at work to look after him or more ...that worries me a lot...
Anyway thanks to all
In the light of your latest post I would just add that your partner has been offered surgery (as well as RT which is often what is offered when it is thought to be quite possibly beyond what surgery can achieve.) Being offered surgery does indicate that this may well be curative. It does mean that apart from a relatively short stay in hospital (the duration of which may vary due to the type of surgery) there are a few subsequent weeks when a man has to take it easier particularly as regards lifting etc. So he would not take a great deal of looking after. Alternatively, should he have radiation, which is likely to be accompanied by HT, both of which have varying side effect potential, there is even less chance he will need to be looked after. I managed quite easily to have my RT, travel to the hospital, collect my shopping, cook,and hand wash my clothes by myself for all but one of the 7 weeks of my RT treatment in Germany. My wife joined me for one week for company and a holiday as I could have otherwise coped well for that week too. I was also some 10 years older than your partner at the time. Some men do experience side effects that make it more difficult but I think it unlikely that would need much looking after.
There is always the possibility of further down the line treatment being needed in some cases at some point. However, it is not until/if a man becomes severely affected, possibly years later, that he may need someone to 'look after him'. So please be optimistic about this.
Edited by member 14 Jul 2018 at 23:52
| Reason: Not specified
Thank you to all and today we had our Gleason scoring with is 4+3. We are very prones to go for surgery. My partner is fit and usually very healthy and does lots of sports activities. he is 61 years of age and yes we live in the UK . the possible side effects after the surgery can be helped and I think that its the best option. All the family agrees and that's a bonus .
Thank you to all as you are a very good source of information and explain very well all the scoring as they can be very confusing...thank you to all
Thank you for your reply and sharing .
I do not mi d looking after him, I would do it anytime. My worries is my work and the need to work. But I suppose that things will eventually come together...
Hi Madeva, Most people are pretty good after the op. There are things like temporary catheters and urine bags that need changing for a week but I did that myself, don't recall any assistance from my wife on personal matters. Although I didn't drive for a few weeks while things healed and didn't lift anything at all heavy. If my wife had worked I'd have said take no time off.
It was only 2 days in hospital and my wife only came twice, I was walking round the ward no problem. She drove me home at discharge which seems to be a standard 6pm in the hospital I was in.
If he has radiotherapy it involves daily trips to the hospital 5 days a week but from what I read many do that without help.