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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-16-2011, 11:19 AM
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As it happens, I'm scheduled for a colonoscopy this Friday along with the prostate exam. Not the most pleasant way to spend time, but definitely worth doing. Its easy to put off until its too late -- don't.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:13 PM
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Brent, Sorry to hear about your dad. Thanks for the post. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 4 years ago(59) and was a mess. The treatment seem as bad as the cancer to me. My daughter found out about proton treatment, I did 3 months of treatment at IU in Bloomington and have been cancer free with NO side effects for 4 years now. If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer please check out proton treatment. Terry
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:20 AM
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Brent,

Very sad to hear that kind of news. I hope your dad is able to enjoy some moments still. We'll be sending good thoughts his way.

Tom
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:51 PM
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My dad passed away today. I was fortunate to be there to witness his final peaceful breaths. Sad, but happy to see the suffering is over.

Remember, get yourself checked.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:36 PM
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Brent, it's been nearly 20 years since I lost my Dad.

They stay with you every day.

Wished I could give ya a hug.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:09 AM
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God bless him, Brent... he's at peace now.

Condolences to the family.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:37 AM
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Very sad to hear this Brent.
God Bless you both.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:35 AM
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I remember the night I lost my Dad to prostate cancer like it was yesterday. As hard as it is, you performed a "good deed" by being with your Dad, making sure he was not alone in his passing.

May your memories of your Dad bring you peace...
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:43 AM
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So sorry to hear about your loss Brent. I hope you and your family will find peace during this most difficult time.
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:06 PM
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Sorry to hear about your Father Brent. I lost my Father in 1990 to prostate cancer that had spread. He was so busy he never took time to have physicals except for his pilots license. I lost a testicle in 1990 due to cancer so I have the evil finger (digital exam) every year along with the PSA blood test. I am a Nam Vet but none of my many ailments qualify for Agent Orange.

Brent, my prayers are with you and your Father. Hang in there.

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Old 11-21-2011, 04:23 PM
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Sincere condolences my friend. Lost my dad twenty two years ago and I think of him every day. You will too, and eventually, they will be happy thoughts. Take care.
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Old 12-25-2011, 01:55 PM
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Brent,

Sorry to hear about your dad. I lost my dad to prostate cancer over 22 years ago and he has been greatly missed. I'm 46 years old and have had to get checked since I'm 40 years old. The PSA test and Exam are nothing compared to what I have to loose if not detected early. He has missed my four kids being born and many many memories. I think all men should be checked the stakes are to high not too. Thanks for this post and enjoy every minute with your dad!, Merry Christmas to you and I will pray for your dad!
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:19 PM
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Default Prostate Cancer

G'day Forum,

I'm one of the fortunate males who has survived Prostate Cancer.

Here is a link to a site set up in Australia where men can share their experiences.

The site is called "You Are Not Alone Now" or

Prostate Cancer - Survivors Treatment Experiences


My story is set out at

Prostate Cancer Survivors

I am a mentor on that site. Feel free to look at it and read it - It just might save someone's life.

Also there is another site called

Prostatakrebs - Erfahrungsberichte

I have also logged my story at

Prostatakrebs - Erfahrungsberichte

PSA test is only an indicator but in my case the "spiking" of the PSA Levels over a period in 2008-2009 was enough for my vigilant GP to refer me to an Urologist.

I'm alive!! I have permanent 'twenty nine and a half minutes past six disease' but I'm alive and my wife and I are not stressed about me having NIL erectile function.

Don't be Male heroes - go and get checked

Best wishes to everyone


Mike
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:43 AM
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Default Prostate Cancer - My Journey

PROSTATE CANCER
PROSTATE ANTIGEN SERUM (PSA) BLOOD TEST
TO ME, IT IS A GOOD BLOOD TEST INDICATOR FOR POTENTIAL TROUBLE!

My journey!!.

Since 2003, I have been having annual Blood Tests to monitor my general health (heart, cholesterol levels, etc.). Included in the regime of Tests was the PSA Test.

In January 2007, there was an increase in the PSA reading to 2.7 (still ‘inside’ the acceptable margins for my age). In March 2008, the PSA reading was 4.5. In August 2008 I had a blood test primarily for another illness, my PSA reading was 5.4.

At that time, my Doctor at the Morphettville Medical Centre Dr Vince Signorelli alerted me to the rising PSA levels and strongly suggested I be referred to an Urologist for further examination. (I recall my immediate reaction back to Dr Signorelli was that “I felt fine, there’s nothing wrong with me!!!!”)

From the list shown to me by my GP, I selected an Urologist that was regionally near to my home.

I was seen by Dr John Miller, Urologist on 23 September 2008. At that consultation, he examined the Data Sheet of the PSA Blood Test Results that I had, he inquired about my general well being including any prevailing medical conditions and he performed a Digital Rectal Examination (DRE). (I state here that there is some discomfort but it is only for a minute or so. In the grand scale of Life matters, it is nothing!)

Dr Miller told me that he couldn’t feel any abnormalities on the Prostate during that DRE. (I recall again at that time that I said to Dr Miller that “I felt fine and everything was OK!!”) He said that may be true but he would like to be absolutely sure so he recommended without any hesitation that I should undertake a Biopsy to determine the exact status of the Prostate.

On 9 October 2008, I was admitted to Hospital as a Day Surgery Patient. I was given a General Anaesthetic that put me asleep for approximately 50 minutes. The Biopsy was performed by Dr Miller and he used the Transperineal biopsy method. (He selected this method because I had an existing medical condition which ruled out using the more widely used Transrectal biopsy method.).

On 15 October 2008, I, together with my wife, saw Dr Miller at his Consulting Rooms. He stated clearly from the outset that “you have Prostate Cancer!!”

(At this point I must stress to anyone reading this is that I believe it is absolutely essential that you take someone along with you to such a consultations/outcome meetings because the other person will hear and understand what is being said to you because you are in a form of Shock and you just don’t take in all that is being said to you).
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:46 AM
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Dr Miller advised that the Biopsy results indicated a Gleason Scale of less than 7 and the rating was T1.

T1 stage
The tumour is located within the prostate gland and is too small to be detected during a rectal examination, but it may be discovered through other diagnostic procedures such as the PSA test. Prostate cancer at this stage generally produces no symptoms.

Dr Miller offered two methods of treatment that I should consider as appropriate:

Brachytherapy Procedure – treatment by inserting 80-120 Radio-active seeds into the Prostate,
or a
Radical Prostatectomy – Surgery to remove the Prostate in its entirety.

(The third method that is often suggested namely External Radiation was not considered/favoured because of my pre-existing medical condition which is Ulcerative Colitis).

He carefully explained the different methods including the risks associated with each method. He also issued to me a series of pamphlets and brochures that explained the methods in greater detail. He gave me time to consider the options available.

On 10 November 2008 I advised Dr Miller that I would like to try the Brachytherapy Procedure. I explained that I had made that decision based on my Gleason Score (<7) and my T1 Rating. (Upon reflection, I am positive I was probably mentally dreading the thought of Open Surgery Radical Prostatectomy!!)

I was immediately checked in for a Bladder Flow Rate where Urinating Flow Rate of the Bladder is determined and an assessment is made about the physical condition and well-being of the Bladder.

After that Test, Dr Miller’s Staff negotiated an Initial appointment with Adelaide Radiotherapy Centre (ARC). The Doctor at ARC went through all the procedures associated with Brachytherapy Procedure. I can also vividly recall he also asked me “point blank” why I did not opt for the Radical Prostatectomy. (I believe the Radiologist was challenging me to see if I had objectively assessed what would be the better treatment option). I said, in my view that the Brachytherapy Procedure appeared to be the less invasive procedure bearing in mind that all evidence at the time suggested that the Cancer was confined to ‘within’ the Prostate.

On 29 January 2009, I was admitted to Calvary Hospital as a Day Surgery Patient so that the Brachytherapy Procedure “Volume Test” could be conducted. I think I was under General Anaesthetic for approximately 90 minutes. In the Recovery Room afterwards, I was advised by Dr Miller that the Brachytherapy Procedure option was not available/suitable to me because my Pubic Bone partly shrouded the ‘direct line access” to the Prostate that the Radiologist need to properly insert the Radio-Active Seeds into the whole of the Prostate.

My only option available to me now was a Radical Prostatectomy.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:48 AM
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I attended Dr Miller’s Consulting Room on 31 January 2009 where he fully discussed the outcomes of the Brachytherapy Procedure Volume Test.

He then proceeded to discuss the procedure for undertaking Radical Prostatectomy. He fully explained the risks and the scope of the Radical Prostatectomy. These procedures included Laparoscopic Prostatectomy where surgery is undertaken using robots. Also offered was the Radical Prostatectomy procedure (Open Surgery).

Dr Miller advised he specialises in Open Surgery and he fully explained why he preferred this method. I elected to proceed with the Open Surgery. (I did this because of my confidence in Dr Miller’s capability and his honest and frank manner in all his discussions and actions he has had with me throughout. (For me, this enabled me to have the greatest confidence and respect for Dr Miller’s ability as a Surgeon.)

I made a commitment to Dr Miller that I would endeavour to get as ‘physically fit’ as possible prior to the operation (the exact date was not known at that time other than it would be approximately April/May 2009)

So in 10 weeks or so from 31 January 2009 to 21 April 2009, I lost 11 kg of weight and I rode a pushbike for a minimum of 20 minutes a day. (I missed a total of 4 days riding that bike in that period.)

On 4 March 2009, I had my PSA checked as a component of my usual annual Blood Tests – the reading was 5.2.

The date of 21 April 2009 was set by Dr Miller during a visit on 17 March 2009.

The Radical Prostatectomy Operation and thereafter

On 21 April 2009, I presented at Ashford Hospital in South Australia at 1.00PM. I had been fasting since 8.00AM that day.

At 6.40 pm, after a brief talk with Dr Miller, I entered the Operating Theatre.

My wife told me that Dr Miller rang her at approximately 11.00pm to advise her that he had completed the surgery and that I would not likely be conscious until the next day

I woke up in High Dependency Unit at Ashford Hospital at about 5.30 am on 22 April 2009. Tubes everywhere!!!! Two drain tubes immediately above the incision area, a Catheter, and a series of tubes in the neck region for administering pain relief drugs if needed. Additional tubes were still in the arm and wrist regions too.

High Dependency Unit

I was monitored very closely throughout the 22 April 2009. (I can recall being sent for an X-Ray early in the day of the 22nd to ensure that the series of tubes in my neck were correctly positioned.) The Nurses were constantly seeking feedback from me about pain, discomfort, etc. I was in pretty good shape I thought because I didn’t feel much!!


The Nurses assigned to High Dependency Unit when I was there are of the highest calibre and skills. I cannot express how highly I regard their care and attention.

I was in High Dependency Unit until late in the afternoon of Thursday 23 April 2009 where they decided that I was recuperating enough to be transferred to Mitcham Ward.

Mitcham Ward

I was again getting wonderful attention and care from the Nurses on Mitcham Ward. On Friday 24 April 2009, I was able to have a shower in my en-suite. I was able to sit down on a suitable chair and just run warm water over all of the body. It was just so refreshing! (I still had my Catheter and the other tubes attached to me and this took a little time to get used to as I shuffled from the bed to the en-suite.)

Late on that Friday I was ‘requested’ by the Hospital’s Physiotherapist to try to do some walking about the Room/Ward. I wasn’t doing that I can tell you!!

I was slowly showing interest in small quantities of food – namely small serves of steamed vegetables as a follow up to initial ice-cream and yoghurt!!

In the 4 day period (Tuesday 22nd – Friday 25th) after I awoke from the operation, Dr Miller and the Hospital took great care and interest in ensuring the Bowels were beginning to work again. I was given a proprietary laxative and stool softener to ensure that there would be NIL constipation after the Bowel ‘woke up”. The need for this is to ensure that any bowel movement does not create any unnecessary strain on the abdomen.

As the days proceeded in Mitcham Ward, many of the systems put in place during and a result of the surgery (tubes, medicines, etc) were being withdrawn.

Dr Miller called every day that I was in Hospital to check my progress and well being. On the morning of Sunday 26 April 2009, he said to me that the operation was successful. He also told me that he had to expand the area of the operation because he found that the Cancer was more aggressive than expected and he spent additional time ensuring that he has removed it all from all surrounding tissue. Dr Miller was very, very, very confident that I was “Prostate Cancer free.” Oh what a relief!!

After he had spoken to me, he said I could go home!! I still had the Catheter in place.

Hospital in the Home (HITH)

For the period 27 April 2009 to 3 May 2009, I was visited daily by the Nurses assigned to Ashford Hospital’s “Hospital in the Home” System.

These Nurses are the “on road” part of Mitcham Ward. Their role included ensuring that I was able to manage my Catheter, my medicines were being correctly applied and that I was coping and recuperating in a proper and safe manner.

In hindsight, their most wonderful and endearing asset as Nurses was their capacity to steer a person (me) who has just had major surgery with significant outcomes through a roller-coaster series of emotions!!!

We men are aware of women experiencing post-natal “blues” – rest assured it happens to men too as we try to grapple with our own differing emotions!!! I have no hesitation in saying, “Thank you Nurses.”

Last edited by mmciau; 12-27-2011 at 12:51 AM.. Reason: spacing
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:49 AM
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Catheter and Incontinence

On Monday 4 May 2009, I was re-admitted to Mitcham Ward as programmed so that the Catheter could be removed. The removal of the Catheter took but a few seconds. The next 3-4 hours was spent ensuring that the Bladder was functioning properly and in particular, the Bladder could hold an acceptable volume of Urine and that it was able to be passed in a proper time frame. I wasn’t going anywhere until Dr Miller was satisfied.

I kept a Log of the period 4 May 2009 to 19 May 2009 when I was due to see Dr Miller. Looking over the Log I kept, it reveals that I had little control over what was happening during the daytime. Nearly every time I moved, there was an uncontrolled ‘squirt’. I was waking up 2-3 times during the night with varying experiences but generally, I was able to control what was occurring at night.

What was good though was that the “brain” was waking me up so I would go to the toilet. There were instances where I didn’t wake up in time and I had to change the pads but that was at a minimum.

I used two pads – an absorbent pad embedded in a throw-away set of underpants (Depend Underwear) and an absorbent pad (Hartmann Molimed) which I placed as an additional safeguard.

At the visit on 19 May to Dr Miller, he recommended that I see a Physiotherapist that specialises in Pelvic Floor Muscle exercises.

On 1 June 2009, I had a first meeting (of several) with Mrs Virginia Gill, a Physiotherapist. She was able to tell me what exercises I needed to undertake to try and get back Control.

Over the next several weeks I was getting better at Control and I next changed the layers of Pads to use the adhesive “Molimed for Men”.

On 6 August 2009, I did away with the Pads ‘cold turkey’. I was getting annoyed at the rubbing action of the pad on the Penis and so I decided to give them away!!

I have had a few little mishaps since then but the amount of leakage is almost negligible in the scale of things. Only once in that whole time did I have a small showing on my clothes.

Erectile Dysfunction

Dr Miller advised from the outset and continually reminded me that there can be varying degrees of Erectile Dysfunction after Radical Prostatectomy. Aside from the Prostate being removed in its entirety, there are other organs, nerves and tissue that is removed or affected temporarily and/or permanently during and after this surgery.


Dr Miller offered Cialis 5mg tablets as a means to try and obtain an erection. I do not get an erection as such but the foreskin does become sensitised after stimulation. My wife and I both accept that erectile function will not occur with me in the foreseeable future. Life is too precious to be hung up about such matters!!

SUMMARY

It was a period of 28 weeks from confirmation that I had Prostate Cancer until my operation. In that time I thought that I would be able to be treated by using Brachytherapy Procedure. I found out I was not able to use that method and about 16-18 weeks went by.

I have said to Dr Miller that perhaps it would have been better for me if I had just elected to go straight to Radical Prostatectomy from the outset. (I think in hindsight it’s perhaps being ‘scared’ of major surgery!)

I’m extremely grateful that I was looked after by a highly committed, highly competent and a very focussed Urologist.

I also received care and attention at Ashford Hospital’s High Dependency Unit, Mitcham Ward and “HITH” of the highest order. I could not have asked for better attention from the Nursing Staff

I also believe that I may have been in a more difficult situation now if my GP had not insisted in mid 2008 that I be referred to an Urologist when the elevated PSA was evident.

And I received and was given tremendous support from my wife and children – they were very supportive when I experienced some low periods after the Surgery.

My 4 post-operative PSA readings so far have been <0.04, <0.04, <0.05 and <0.04 respectively.

I am on a schedule of 3-monthly checks with Dr Miller. This may be reviewed after the 12 month period from the date of the operation.

I hope my experiences are able to assist someone in the future.



Michael J McInerney
12 January 2010


UPDATE 6 April 2010.

I visited my Urologist 6 April 2010 for my 3-monthly check-up and any development/trend discussion.

My PSA Blood Test undertaken on 31 March 2010 returned <0.04 result.


I discussed with Dr Miller a matter that I could not fathom re the ‘discrepancy in understanding ‘between the methodologies used for obtaining the Biopsy Tests of 9 October 2008 results and the ‘failed’ Brachytherapy Volume Test of 29 January 2009 (Pubic Bone ‘shrouded’ part of the Prostate and therefore Brachytherapy Procedure was not a consideration in my case.)

He advised, using a model on his desk to illustrate how the Transperineal Biopsy was conducted and on a particular ‘plane and angle’ of inserting the Biopsy Needles and the different ‘plane and angle of the ultra sound probe’ for the Volume Test.

A case of a “X Axis” and a “Y Axis” would be a best way of visualising how the two probes were undertaken.

I told him I continue to have NIL Erectile Function but I do have a strong sensation at the Foreskin Region of the Penis.

He asked if I wanted to consider Injections and I said to Dr Miller that my wife and I accept matters as they are at the present. No Erectile Function but alive and with a PSA number of almost NIL value.

He has now recommended that I see him again in 6-months.



Mike McInerney
7 April 2010

Update 18 August 2010

Called at GP for normal 6-monthly renewal of Prescriptions. Blood Test for pre-existing conditions and PSA undertaken.

PSA Result is <0.04

Next Blood Test for Specialist is set for late September 2010 for 6-monthly visit on 5 October 2010.



Mike McInerney
3 September 2010


Update 5 October 2010

PSA Blood Test for Specialist was undertaken on 23 September for 6-monthly visit on 5 October 2010.


Met with Dr John Miller at his Rooms, 116 Partridge Street Glenelg, South Australia at 0900 Hrs.
He informed me that the PSA Blood Test result shows a PSA Value of less than 0.04 and as expected.

I discussed my progress regarding my health and well-being and in particular my continuing “being free from any uncontrolled or unfathomable Incontinence issues.”

I also discussed my continuing Erectile Dysfunction and that the current situation poses no problems for me (and my wife).and I am not worried about it. My wife is not concerned.


I also informed Dr Miller that i had made contact with friends and Website:

YANA - YOU ARE NOT ALONE NOW
PROSTATE CANCER SUPPORT SITE
Prostate Cancer - Survivors Treatment Experiences


He said awareness amongst Males of Prostate issues was important.

He said that he will see me again in six months and if any urology issue should arise, I am free to contact him immediately.

Next meeting scheduled for 5 April 2011.



Mike McInerney
5 October 2010




RADICAL PROSTATECTOMY

Update 5 April 2011.

Visited the Urologist Dr John Miller today for what turned out to be my final visit for the Radical Prostatectomy undertaken 102 weeks ago on 21 April 2009 by him.

He said that my recovery is as complete as it will be and he sees no reason to continue unless there is an urology matter that might arise in the future.

PSA reading was “less than 0.03” which Dr Miller suggests in next to NIL present.


Mike McInerney
5 April 2011



ONGOING PSA CHECKS
My GP continues to monitor my PSA Levels on a six-monthly basis.

My last check in October 2011 showed my PSA Level to be <0.03


Mike McInerney
3 November 2011
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2013, 11:28 AM
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Brent,
Your extended family is beside you and your Dad without fail.
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:29 AM
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I know this is an OLD thread and sticky, BUT . . . especially for Vietnam Vets, it is a very serious subject. The reason Vietnam Vets are more prone to get prostate cancer is exposure to Agent Orange. And, unfortunately, the cancer that Vietnam Vets get is almost always VERY AGGRESSIVE and can kill you within a very short amount of time, unlike the general population. Most men with PC die of natural causes prior to diagnosis; herbicide exposure exponentially shortens that time frame.

My diagnosis was "Advanced Stage III, with T3B tumors", it doesn't get much worse than that without being Stage IV, which is terminal. I was fortunate, in that the cancer hadn't traveled anywhere else in my body yet, but it would only have been a matter of a few weeks or months and I would have had no options. I had radiation, and have been cancer free for over 3 years. I have PSA tests every 6 months to make sure it isn't coming back. So far, so good. PC is a silent killer, much like heart disease. It won't give you any warning.

Please, please, please, if for no one else but your loved ones, get a PSA test! Do it regularly after age 50. If you are a Vet, start earlier like at 40. If you are a Vietnam Vet, do it IMMEDIATELY! It may save your life.

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Old 02-26-2018, 11:39 AM
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And while you're at it, don't forget a colonoscopy.
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