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Snipper

Prostate Cancer

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Have you had, or do you suspect you have prostate cancer? Is it a problem other family members have suffered from?

Ok you can worry, who wouldn't but it can be dealt with. Best not to ignore it.

It might be helpful to have the input of those who have had the problem to help others.

Regards

Snipper

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On my fathers side there's a history of heart problems however they also have something factor 5 which causes blood clots so it may not be heart problems per say. Fortunately i don't have it. 

 

On my mothers side there's a history of mental illness but no major anythings before pension age that i'm aware of (i.e. probably old age stuff rather than anything i should worry about if i'm healthy). On the mental side it's speculated that i may have very mild Aspergers (i'm a bit weird and have displayed other symptoms) however its not something that bothers me so i've never explored it with my doctor. 

 

So no issues with prostate cancer here.

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Unless there are symptoms or you are tested you will not know.

I had no symptoms. My elder brother was diagnosed with prostate cancer, my father died from it. Thought it was best to be tested. Blood test was inconclusive but with family history it was recommended I had further tests. Hey presto I had an aggressive cancer. Thank goodness it was caught early.

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I don't have any family history of prostate cancer; my father dies of an aortic aneurysm and both grandfathers smoked themselves to death...But, like Summer Blizzard, I have Aspergers; hence the black-and-whiteness of my replies! :D  

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My Grandfather died of a blood clot in his heart in his 30s, My father died of Prostate cancer in his 70's, luckily I'm female so the Prostate shouldn't be a problem, but I will certainly have my son get tested when he's older, of course it will be up to him, but I'll advise him too. 

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They should be tested from 40 years of age. But you can only suggest.

Very easy for some people to stick their head in the sand. Then it might be too late.

There are a number of potential options for cure.

It is the most usual cancer in men in the UK.

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I was diagnosed with suspected prostate cancer 3 years ago, then went through the process of getting a biopsy, which wasn't very pleasant but had to be done and this diagnosis was confirmed.

 

I was given a choice of 3 treatments - surgery, radio therapy with a radio active implant inserted strategically afterwards and the third was radio therapy again but breathing a carbon dioxide and oxygen mixture whilst this being done. This was a trial treatment but I was informed that similar treatment had been carried out with, I believe bowel cancer patients, with an improvement in the success rate of 13%, so I opted for that. At that time my PSA reading was in the 20's and parts from the biopsy were rated as getting towards aggressive.

 

There were a number of scans, one of which was to determine whether the cancer had spread to the bones, fortunately it had not. A by product of the scans was that it was discovered that I had a 'horseshoe kidney' i.e. my kidneys were conjoined connected at the top which appeared to be something I was born with but I have lived all of my life not knowing this but can't say it ever affected me.

 

At the same time I was given injections to deter the production of testosterone which apparently encourages the growth of the cancer, then there were 37 sessions of radio therapy and just prior to each instructed to drink one and a half litres of water in order to fill the bladder - this is quite difficult - it is not like drinking beer.

 

For quite a time afterwards I could have pee'd for England and run a 10 second 100 metres pro rata to get to the loo in time but this is now settling down.

 

The process for me last for 5 years and I am just about half way through - the good news is that my PSA readings range from 0.1 to 0.2 which is well within the safe range - I go for a check up every 6 months at the hospital and have the testosterone injections every three months.

 

It was not an easy process which at times made me nauseous and tired but considering the alternative the treatment was a 'no brainer'.

 

When I consider the costs of all this treatment including the machinery it must have cost the NHS a small fortune - I was always treated well and with consideration by the staff and have a lot to be thankful for.

 

The trial lasts for 5 years from the end of the initial treatment and I am not sure what will happen after that but I do have a yearly check up with my GP so I will ask that my blood is continued to be subjected to a PSA test in addition to the other things they look for, just in case.

 

So if any have any cause to suspect something wrong in that department my advice is to get checked out as soon as possible. As previously said prostate cancer is the most common form amongst men - the frightening thing about it is that there is a 10% mortality rate but if it is caught early enough it is quite treatable and there is no reason why a full and active life should not be had after treatment with the possible exception of the things we wished to do all night when were young, then it took all night as we grew old but as we age it's importance diminishes anyway, so that is no great loss.

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Mike,

All good info. Each case on its own merits.

Your story is more along the lines of my elder brother. Not quite sure of his treatment in detail. Unlike my problem the cancer had escaped from his prostate. Fortunately from the care and attention he is in remission.

Mine was contained and it was removed. It would appear after 2 years of monitoring, since its removal, the diagnose was correct. But you still worry.

There is collateral damage from having the prostate removed as does other forms of treatment. But the alternative does not bear thinking of.

So if you have a problem with peeing or have a family history get it checked out. Sooner done the less of a problem.

Snipper

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Sound advice ,I just turned 50 and will soon be going to screened (my doctors keen on this ) !!!

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Runs in the family. My Dad's brother and my dad's nephew have had it.

I've been tested but the PSA test is only 25-30% accurate according to my GP.

When it's a v low number it is prob accurate but anything borderline or just over needs checking BUT...

can mean false diagnosis and then....unnecessary invasive examination, sometimes resulting in an op that isnt required.

My GP says we need a more accurate and robust test to replace the PSA test.

Meanwhile take note of not being able to pee properly esp if it continues to cause probs for days and weeks. And if u get the sensation of wanting to pee straight away after a pee, thinking you aint emptied yr bladder properly. All clear? Right.....

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Runs in the family. My Dad's brother and my dad's nephew have had it.

I've been tested but the PSA test is only 25-30% accurate according to my GP.

When it's a v low number it is prob accurate but anything borderline or just over needs checking BUT...

can mean false diagnosis and then....unnecessary invasive examination, sometimes resulting in an op that isnt required.

My GP says we need a more accurate and robust test to replace the PSA test.

Meanwhile take note of not being able to pee properly esp if it continues to cause probs for days and weeks. And if u get the sensation of wanting to pee straight away after a pee, thinking you aint emptied yr bladder properly. All clear? Right.....

Agreed the PSA test is not accurate but in my case it was followed up by getting a biopsy in my case which involved getting access to the prostate via the anal passage - as far as I know this is routine where prostate cancer is strongly suspected. It is not a pleasant procedure but it can be carried out as an out patient. Since the samples taken are physically examined for cancer cells I do not believe there is that much chance of a wrong diagnosis.

 

As I understand it the usefulness of the PSA readings means that the cancer once diagnosed can be kept under surveillance as it is in my case.

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