Treated 2003 • Posted 2004
If I have one suggestion it is do your homework. Take some time and do your research. Look at all options and select the one that is best for you.
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June of 2003. My PSA went up over 4 years from a 2.8 to a 4.3. My doctor suggested this could be a signal and suggested I see an urologist even though a DRE (digital rectal exam) was normal.
I saw an urologist and he suggested a biopsy should be taken to determine if cancer was present. We discussed the procedure and he said it was my option. At first I thought we should wait and see if the PSA goes down in the next blood test. After much discussion with the urologist I decided the biopsy was the best option to find out if a yay or nay.
We did a biopsy, and three of the eight samples came back positive with a Gleason score of 6. The shock of cancer being present in this healthy body was mind blowing. HOW COULD THIS BE??? I asked for a 2nd opinion from Dr. Epstein at John Hopkins University and he came back with 4 of 8 positive, with a Gleason score of 3+3=6.
Now the decision as to what to do. When I talked with the urologist and guess what he suggested - surgery and said this will take care of it. I immediately responded, “Whoa! What are my other options? He suggested I see a local radiologist. So I made an appointment with him and also located a local Support group here at Del Webb Hospital in Sun City West Arizona. The group was run by a terrific facilitator by the name of Rex Zeiger. He was very helpful in giving me information about Prostate Cancer and where I could find additional info on the disease, such as US TOO!! Web site. There are many web sites out there, which provide information to help you make that intelligent decision.
One of the best things that came out of going to the support group meeting was I met BOB member, Leonard Cumley who went to Loma Linda in 2002 for the Proton treatment. He raved about the treatment and the minimal after effects. He was helpful and we had many discussions on the treatment. I had found another option for my list.
I went to the radiologist and guess what he suggested how to take care of this problem. Radiation treatment (IMRT). Then I went to another radiologist who has done over 3000 seed implants and guess what he suggested.!! Seed implants.
During my 2 months of research and information overload I decide to go to Loma Linda for a consultation. That’s another story, because My Insurance company - Secure Horizons- denied me authorization to go there. But after appeals and phone calls to my former employer and Secure Horizons, they finally authorized the consultation visit.
I went to Loma Linda and was impressed with their operation and facility and guess what they suggested-Proton radiation treatment.
Now let’s look at what happened and the options;
1. Urologist suggested surgery
2. Radiologist #1 suggested Radiation IMRT
3. Radiologist # 2 suggested seed implants
4. Loma Linda suggested Proton radiation treatment
I came to this conclusion, do your homework - the decision on treatment is yours and only yours. These well-educated and intelligent doctors could not agree on what treatment was best for me. They all suggested the treatment that they were doing and of the first three, none knew anything about Loma Linda University Medical Center and Proton treatment.
I joined the BOB web site and got names, telephone numbers, web site addresses of people who went to LLUMC (Loma Linda University Medical Center). I contacted many different people from around the country and heard their praises of LLUMC and the minimal after effects.
My wife and I went to LLUMC for my consultation visit and at that time I decided this was the treatment for me. The next day we did the POD measurement and the scan. A week later I returned from Arizona to start my treatment. It is now 4 months after my treatment, I feel terrific, with no after effects. And my PSA dropped from 4.3 to 1.6.
If I have one suggestion it is do your homework. Take some time and do your research. Look at all options and select the one that is best for you. Do not take only one man’s/women’s opinion and run with it.