I am 63 and had my first PSA test when I was 60 in 2018. I had no symptoms, but because quite a few celebrities had been advising men to get tested as they themselves had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, I thought why not. Prior to having the blood test, my doctor did his finger up the bum trick and reported that although my prostate was a little larger than normal it felt fine. My NHS PSA came out at 3.58 (a private test a couple of months earlier gave a reading of 6.26) and because I had no symptoms and the prostate felt normal no action was taken.
I decided to go for testing again this year and in March my PSA was 5.32. A further test a month later and the PSA reading was 5.76. Because of the increase I was put on a fast track pathway and had an MRI scan ( a 1.5 cm lesion was found and my prostate was deemed to be 55 cc in size) and then a local anesthetic biopsy. The biopsy found that the cancer was all on the right side and was in 3 of the 13 cores taken. It was graded 3 +4 (Category 2). I opted for Active Surveillance, with a further PSA check scheduled for September.
I had another PSA blood test on 06/09 and this found that my PSA was now 6.01. I was, as a result, booked in for a general anesthetic and had this on 16/09. This found that the cancer was all over the prostate and was in 15 of the 19 cores take. The cancer was still graded 3 + 4 (Category 2). A subsequent CT scan confirmed that the cancer was still contained within the prostate. At my follow-up with the consultant, I was told that it was now best that action was taken as I was now more likely to die of prostate cancer rather than of something else. I was given a choice of surgery or RT. I have, because I have never liked the idea of having RT; because RT usually means that you cannot subsequently have your prostate removed and because I like the idea of -hopefully- the cancer being completely removed, to opt for surgery. This is likely to take place in December- at Addenbrookes.
Since being diagnosed, I have learnt that some ex-work colleagues and neighbours in my village of 300 people have had prostate cancer and all are alive some 10 or so years after being treated. All had surgery, though one had to have some follow-up RT treatment as a cancer spot was, 8 years later, found on his pelvic bone.
Tempting as it is to do nothing (I was hoping to be on Active surveillance for a number of years, hoping that a simple injection or pill would then be available to treat and eradicate the cancer), I know that by taking action now I am likely to live longer than if I had decided to do nothing.