If the results came back showing an elevated PSA, that would mean a whole new ball game. The PSA test is sensitive enough to detect the presence of cells containing the antigen, and those cells could be anywhere: the prostate bed (where the prostate used to be), the bones, the organs, the lymph system–anywhere.
So even though a PSA test can indicate the presence of cancerous cells, it doesn’t tell us where they are. We’d have to wait for the cells to multiply enough to where they may show up on an MRI, CT scan, or bone scan. So selecting the right treatment option with the least short- and long-term side effects can be a real crap shoot.
Knowing that is why I haven’t slept solidly since Saturday night.
The one thing that surprised me during the visit with the surgeon this afternoon was that he performed another DRE. And I joked with him that he must be giving wicked DRE’s because there were smelling salts taped to the exam room wall. “Just bend over and lean on the table,” he replied.
He wanted to make sure that nothing was growing inside that we needed to be concerned about. There wasn’t. I appreciate his thoroughness.
So we go through this exercise again on Ground Hog Day (2.2.12) for the PSA test and the results on 2.9.12.
So I’ll close with my version of a different kind of PSA (Public Service Announcement, not Prostate Specific Antigens):
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month!
Guys (and gals who love their guys), remember that September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
When’s the last time you had your PSA tested or your prostate poked? If you can’t remember, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with your favorite small-fingered doctor.
Thirty seconds of discomfort and a blood test saved my life. They can save your life, too!
If you want to learn more about prostate cancer causes, prevention, and treatment, this book was particularly helpful in educating me: