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Dealing with my fathers diagnosis

User
Posted 12 Oct 2020 at 20:42

My father was just diagnosed with prostate cancer. We won't know what kind until November. My mother, older sister, and older brother are a mess over it. I haven't even graduated highschool. I didn't even imagine having to deal with this, let alone this early in life. I feel like I have to be strong for my family. I don't know what to do or how to process. Help!

User
Posted 13 Oct 2020 at 09:26
Don't panic! A diagnosis of 'Prostate cancer' covers a wide spectrum, from 'only just' to 'really developed'. He will (should!) now undergo a series of tests to determine how extensive / aggressive the cancer is and where it is - MRI, bone scan. Once you know this, the doctors can come up with proposals for treatment. These will range from 'active surveillance' (i.e. watch and wait) to prostatectomy or hormone treatment / radiotherapy to brachytherapy. Generally speaking, prostate cancer is slow to develop and spread, and responds well to whatever treatment he chooses. Most men over the age of 65 have it. My oncologist once told me that it is something which men die with, rather than of. It is normal that you should be concerned, but at this stage, try to keep calm, listen to the advice / information coming from the specialists, and tell yourself / your father that he will beat it.

best wishes for some good news,

Hermit

User
Posted 13 Oct 2020 at 15:05

I suspect it may be his PSA score

If it is 5 then its likely its been caught pretty early

I had a PSA of 5.8 at 55. Had about 2 1\2 years where it was monitored but that was all. Eventually had an operation to have my prostate removed and fully recovered now.

The biopsy will give a far better indication of what type of PCa ( Gleason score) he is dealing with and how extensive it is.

 

 

User
Posted 13 Oct 2020 at 15:12

The 5 could be a PIRADS or Likert or PSA score, or something else, so I think there's no point trying to guess.

You are all in shock, and none of you have worked out how to handle it yet, so you need to cut each other some slack. Give your brother time to vent and calm down, you will need each others' support so don't go burning any bridges. Let your mom and dad know you love them, even if they can't talk about it yet. Look after yourself too, maybe there's someone you can talk with who will listen and maintain confidentiality.

You might want to read though Support for family and friends, although country-specific advice may be different.

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User
Posted 13 Oct 2020 at 09:26
Don't panic! A diagnosis of 'Prostate cancer' covers a wide spectrum, from 'only just' to 'really developed'. He will (should!) now undergo a series of tests to determine how extensive / aggressive the cancer is and where it is - MRI, bone scan. Once you know this, the doctors can come up with proposals for treatment. These will range from 'active surveillance' (i.e. watch and wait) to prostatectomy or hormone treatment / radiotherapy to brachytherapy. Generally speaking, prostate cancer is slow to develop and spread, and responds well to whatever treatment he chooses. Most men over the age of 65 have it. My oncologist once told me that it is something which men die with, rather than of. It is normal that you should be concerned, but at this stage, try to keep calm, listen to the advice / information coming from the specialists, and tell yourself / your father that he will beat it.

best wishes for some good news,

Hermit

User
Posted 13 Oct 2020 at 13:29

Emmy,

Sorry you and you're family are going through this.

You are at a very anxious point - just discovered this, which has come out of the blue. You probably don't know much about it, don't know what's going to happen, so you're imagining all the worst possible outcomes.

Can you tell us what procedures your father has had, what his PSA is, any diagnosis you already have, and what test (or maybe a consultation) you're waiting for in November? We can explain what these are, and what to expect next. Even just explaining the diagnostic pathway to you can help to start to understand what's happening, and less of a feeling of it all being out of your control.

I note you are based in the US, and some of the diagnostic procedures are done in a different order than in the UK.

Edited by member 13 Oct 2020 at 13:32  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 13 Oct 2020 at 14:03

Thank you! He's waiting for a biopsy to tell what kind it is. I'm not entirely sure what test he had done (my mom doesn't like talking about it and my dad's trying to pretend everything is normal) but I know he got a score of 5? My oldest brother found out after me and is mad and calling me a bad sister for not telling him right away. This hurts a bit bc I've always looked up to him. I'm trying not to worry too much. My dad's just always seemed so young, I can't imagine what will happen if it's a type 2-5 which it likely will be. Thank you for your support!!

User
Posted 13 Oct 2020 at 15:05

I suspect it may be his PSA score

If it is 5 then its likely its been caught pretty early

I had a PSA of 5.8 at 55. Had about 2 1\2 years where it was monitored but that was all. Eventually had an operation to have my prostate removed and fully recovered now.

The biopsy will give a far better indication of what type of PCa ( Gleason score) he is dealing with and how extensive it is.

 

 

User
Posted 13 Oct 2020 at 15:12

The 5 could be a PIRADS or Likert or PSA score, or something else, so I think there's no point trying to guess.

You are all in shock, and none of you have worked out how to handle it yet, so you need to cut each other some slack. Give your brother time to vent and calm down, you will need each others' support so don't go burning any bridges. Let your mom and dad know you love them, even if they can't talk about it yet. Look after yourself too, maybe there's someone you can talk with who will listen and maintain confidentiality.

You might want to read though Support for family and friends, although country-specific advice may be different.

 
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