my name is Frank. I am 61 years old/ I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November, PSA 4.6, Gleason of 3 + 4. After MRI and biopsy, my prestigious NYC urologist (who is also a surgeon) told me I should have I the prostate surgically removed. When I asked him what I could expect from the side effects (I had done my homework and knew the odds), I told him the surgery was not for me, he asked me what I had against surgery; I told him that the risk of surgery (due to side effects) for me was too great and that my future depended on the skill of his scalpel. I asked him about a PROLARIS test which he said he does not do. But he did tell me that he studied with Dr. **** at John Hopkins and that his articles are published monthly and that the National Society of Urologists defers to him for their guidelines.....the accolades went on and on.....hahahahaha
I very professionally told him that I was going to seek a second opinion. A second option or a third, is not unreasonable these days.... HIs reaction was incredulous "well if you think you can get better service somewhere else; go for it."
I called the PROLARIS labs directly and had them advise urologists near me. They gave me two which I visited to obtain the score based on biopsy and discussed the results.
I visited several other urologists and examined all the options, radiation, specifically cyberknife, cryogenics, Hi Frequency ( not yet approved by FDA., therefore insurance will not cover). I felt most comfortable with cyberknife. Non invasive and lower risk of side effects .
When I asked the Cyberknife urologist if he could give me some references ( a tall order for any doctor) he give me two pages of men who he has treated successfully. I called them all and they were happy to report no sexual dysfunction and no incontinence. Some from 10 years ago.
I joined a local support group and spoke with many men who have been recovering from prostate cancer, all varying degrees. Some in worse shape than others, both physically, psychologically and emotionally. I found that men who had surgery (robotic or by hand) were still suffering serious side effects (some after 11 years) of impotence and incontinence. These men had no issues prior to surgery (except that they had prostate cancer). The men who had the Cyberknife treatment were still sexually active and had no incontinence. their erections were their own, no drugs; pump or injections.
The Cybernife is non invasive, however still has minor side effects (dries up ejaculate). And depending on the degree of which the cancer has spread beyond the prostate and vesicles, offers less side effects than surgery.
I had pursued PROLARIS testing, which told me I had a 3.6 rating and put me directly in the middle of "intermediate". not "less aggressive" but not "more aggressive".
I have spoken at length to the Cybernife Urologist who has allowed me to stay in an "active surveillance state" for the immediate future. However I will need to have PSA checked every 3 months, and a biopsy every year.
The Cyberknife was my option of choice, and although at 61 I will not have anymore children ( had a vasectomy years ago) the erection and the ejaculate is how we define outselves as men, and although this sounds crazy, I did not want to give up even the ejaculate. Others have told me that after cyberknife they still had great orgasms, although dry...and that I should not get hung up on it.
Crazy, yes, I know....anyone else have these psychological issues?