Month 50 – Four Years Cancer-free & Cancer Death Rates

Okay, I’m the first to admit, that’s an odd combination of topics in the title.

First, the good news: My PSA remains undetectable four years and three days after that prostate was plucked from my body.  My birthday was this week, so still being cancer-free is a great birthday present.

I got my latest results online this afternoon, and I have an appointment with my urologist on Tuesday.  We’ll see what she has to say about the frequency of monitoring.  This result was at an eight-month interval; prior to that, I was being checked every six months.  Who knows… Maybe she’ll say come back in a year.  (Honestly, I’m not sure how I would feel about that.)

Aside from that, my sexual function issues and mild stress continence remain the same as before–no real changes to my “new normal.”  I’m generally okay with that.

Oh.  I haven’t had time to create it yet, but look for a new page on the blog, “Life After Radical Prostatectomy – 48 Months Later” coming soon.

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As you can tell from my last post, I’m focusing a bit less on the physical aspects and a little more on the emotional aspects of being four years out.  I never really threw myself into the dating pool after the surgery, because I had it in my mind that I was “damaged goods” and that no one would want to deal with that.  It’s taken me quite a while to beat that thought into submission, and I’m ready to try.  Who knows what will happen.  I may get rejected 9 times out of 10 once the person learns of my issues, but it’s the one person who says that it’s not a problem that will likely be the best one to hang onto.

So dating is one of my New Year’s resolutions, and the other is to lose some weight.  I really think that’s been a contributing factor in some of my stress incontinence issues.  Since 3 December 2014, I’ve lost 11.5 lbs / 5,2 kg.  Not bad considering the amount of food thrown at me during the holidays.  Will power.

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On a different note, the Prostate Cancer Foundation recently published a story talking about the decline in cancer death rates over the last 20 years.

Jemal also noted that during the past two decades, deaths from colon and prostate cancer have been nearly cut in half, and breast cancer deaths have dropped by a third.

“Really, it’s due to screening, as well as improved treatment,” he said. “It’s really remarkable.”

One thing that will be interesting to see is how the death rates are affected by the recent changes in prostate cancer screening guidelines.  I hope that there’s not a reversal in that trend as a result.

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