Saturday, October 20, 2012

Roller Coaster Express

My latest PSA came in at an alarming 1.6 which represents a doubling of value in the past nine months. Many of the readers of this entry will realize that a doubling of one's post-treatment PSA within a period of one year is generally associated with biological failure or recurrence and an indication of aggressive progression. My initial reaction has been one of extreme anxiety. Once again, I thought, my quality of life is under attack. A limited research effort served only to reinforce this deep-seated fear.
Then comes a spirited data exchange between me and my case manager at UFPTI. The most recent UFPTI standard, she advised me, focuses on (1) each patient's PSA baseline, i.e., the first result immediately following the cessation of treatment* and (2) a patient's PSA trendline over an extended period. She regards the doubling of my PSA over the past nine months as a short-term phenomenon and therefore relatively inconsequential. Furthermore, she reiterated, " I see nothing unusal or out of line with your PSA history".
Based on our conversation my state of panic has subsided substantially, although I admit to a wee bit of skepticism. In action and in deed I will consider myself as having dodged another bullet, that is, until and unless I receive clear evidence to the contrary. My next regularly scheduled PSA is due in April.
*My baseline score of 2.41 provides a degree of reassurance.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I hope everything turns out well for you in April. I have been following your post Pronton Therapy reports because my husband was diagnosed with Prostate cancer in December and is trying to make a decision on his treatment.
His PSA was 4.7 in Nov when he was referred to a specialist. We were given a book with treatments illustrated in it and asked to choose what he wanted to do. Proton Therapy was not listed there, I found it myself during a search on the internet.
His doctor completely discouraged us on using it. He mentioned the newest reports about the post findings of there being no difference between PT and the other treatments and the fact that our insurance probably wouldn't cover the cost so he didn't recommend my husband using it.
My husband will see a radiation specialist on Friday who will go over the radiation part of treatment and then he has to make a decision.
If you were to go through this again for the first time, knowing what you know now, would you take PT over regular radiation?
Thank you for your honest updates you have made here to help others. I don't feel there ar enough people like you out there including doctors.