Saturday, January 23, 2010
At his annual physical, Fritz's PSA numbers were higher than usual when the blood work was analyzed. His doctor said he should have a prostate biopsy and the results showed prostate cancer.
As you may know, this is the least aggressive cancer and patients are frequently told they will die of something else long before prostate cancer becomes a problem. But of the six samples taken throughout the prostate for biopsy, five were cancerous and their PSA numbers, while not in the "critical" range, were higher than in the "too low to worry about" range.
We sat with the oncologist earlier this week and learned all the options. Doing nothing and monitoring further biopsy results in future was one of the options, which Fritz rejected because of a history of cancer in his family (mother, older sister, younger brother). Other courses of treatment available: surgery to remove the prostate, freeze the prostate to kill it and the cancer in it, hormone treatment, low dose radiation. The first three, while effective, can have serious side effects, including incapacities of one kind or another.
The last one would work this way: a single hormone shot to shrink the prostate over a three month period (which will also "soften up" the cancer and make it more vulnerable to radiation) followed by six weeks of pinpoint accurate radiation to destroy the cancer, and perhaps a final hormone shot IF the oncologist feels it's absolutely necessary. Fritz, with the doctor's and my agreement, has chosen this course of treatment (statistically extremely effective with the fewest side effects) and felt there was no sense delaying it. He had the hormone shot right there and then; we will be seeing the radiologist on the 4th of February to discuss radiation procedure, schedule, etc. The oncologist is very positive about this course of treatment for a man in such strong health.
Fritz told me he may be up and down emotionally for a while and I told him that's just fine--we'll adjust and make it all work and we feel pretty confident we'll come out the other side OK.
Auguri di Roma
All the best.
All the best to you and Fritz.
I come from a family with history of such. So I know what you two are doing through.
After the emotions settle down, please get all the options - there are so many these days.
Whatever the options and way keep us informed.
i know you're both strong enough to beat this.
know you'll both be in our thoughts & prayers. sending love to you...
We're just beginning this process with as positive an attitude as we can. Yes, there will be updates as we go through all the steps. Your concern means a great deal.
All the best.
Best wishes to you both.
I can't find anything original to say so I will concur with all the preceding comments.
I send a little sun and warmth from SoCal. Bon courage to you both.
Warm hugs from Oregon!
I wish you the best and send you both all my love.