Sunday, October 28, 2012

Point Counterpoint

Since releasing my last journal entry, which in retrospect appears a tad panicky,  I discovered in my ever-growing stockpile of prostate cancer materials an article written by Dr Charles (Snuffy) Myers that reduces my concern. In a discussion relating to a rising PSA following  prostetectomy Dr Myers points out some patients will not experience serious health problems until PSA values reach between 1000 and 2000. He goes on to explain that a person with a doubling time of one year and a PSA of 3.96 like myself will not reach the danger zone for about eight years. To think it may be possible to continue my current quality of life without seriously jeopordizing my general health for this period of time is very. very comforting. My gosh, why has none of the experienced clinicians that I have interacted with since my PSA began to rise called this medical data to my attention? Phenomenal! Unbelievable!
With that said let me provide a little counterpoint as did Dr Myers. Just as I recently hedged my bet (refer to my previous journal entry), Dr Myers engages in a little scientific hedging of his own. Immediately following his statement about the absence of serious health problems until one's PSA exceeds the 1000 mark, he goes on to say "Despite this I begin treating my patients as soon as the PSA begins to raise". He supports this practise by citing a number of studies that suggest by doing so longterm outcomes are improved.
My case manager responded to my UFPTI inquiry as follows (paraphrased):
"Your PSA remains low: "Our advice for you is to stay the course, i. e., continue to watch and wait".
So where does this new infomation leave me? Emotionally I feel less panic stricken. Intellectually I still feel the need to locate a knowledgable prostate cancer specialist to serve as a sounding board and technical advisor. I intend to pursue this goal , perhaps at a more leisurely, less frantic pace.
An observation: The roller coaster ride is no less tumultuous than when I commenced this excursion several years ago. As they tend to  say these days: I can't make this stuff up

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