Friday, January 6, 2017

Little snippet of good news

It was three years ago today that I had my prostate removed due to stage 2 (Gleason Stage 3+4) prostate cancer.  The pathology from that day showed that the cancer was fully contained within the prostate and the amount of Gleason pattern 4 cancer (the more dangerous type) was very minimal.  In retrospect, I might have been able to put off surgery for years, although doctors want to treat people my age very quickly for prostate cancer, given the expected lifespan of a male in his early 50's.  In hindsight, especially with everything I know now, I would have have held off on treating the prostate cancer, but there are no do-overs.

Even though the final pathology report was good, and despite much more pressing concerns at the moment, I still need to have my PSA level checked every six months.  And, because I'm a testosterone user (it's only been in the past few years that prostate cancer patients have been allowed to use testosterone after treatment), the doctors are extra cautious about the PSA level.

So, this past Monday morning, I had three blood tests - a hemagram, PSA, and testosterone level.  First, and most importantly, my PSA remains undetectable at the 3 year mark post-op.  According to online nomograms, I have a 99% chance of not dying from prostate cancer in the next 15 years, and a 91% chance of being free of prostate cancer in 10 years.  My testosterone level is solid and my blood isn't too thick - something that can happen with high doses of testosterone -  higher doses than I use.

Doctors don't like to use the word "cured" with prostate cancer, and certainly not before the 5 year mark.  But, these test results give me some hope that I shouldn't have to worry about that beast again.  Besides, I have a bigger opponent these days.

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