Tagged: PSA test
- This topic has 0 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Francis Booth.
- 12/12/2022 at 8:09 pm #235316Francis BoothParticipant
Simple answer – by the time they have a PSA blood test to detect the disease it is too far advanced for treatment to be life-saving.
I know that this because I was nearly one of the fatalities.
Let me explain my own recent experience:
For at least ten years I was aware of Prostate Cancer as a risk but ignored it; as most men of my age tend to do.
Three years ago, the reality became clearer when a close friend had to have an emergency operation to remove his Prostate. He survived the operation and an assortment of related medical problems and is still hacking his way round his local golf course. His health though hasn’t completely recovered
I soon bit the bullet and went to ask my GP if I could have a PSA test which is a simple blood test and the only way to detect potential problems.
My first PSA reading was just over 3, the point at which doctors start to get concerned.
The GP recommended no immediate action but six-monthly retests. The next three PSA tests, over 18 months, were between 3 and 4.
Then along came lockdown and no blood tests for well over a year. A PSA test in March 2021 was 6.2.
The GP suggested that I should have a scan to see whether there was cause for concern and this was arranged within weeks.
The scan, which is completely non-intrusive, showed an area of my Prostate which the Oncology team didn’t like and wanted to investigate.
Within days I had a biopsy – a procedure which wasn’t particularly enjoyable but from which I had recovered within days
My wife and I met with the Senior Oncologist soon afterwards to discuss the findings.
His first sentence was “Have you got Prostate Cancer – YES” the second was “Is it going to kill you. PROBABLY NOT”
His second conclusion was based on my undergoing a two-pronged course of treatment over a six-month period.
I received a slow-release hormone implant injection in early June 2021. The hormones suppress the production of testosterone which feeds the cancerous cells. I received the second injection in September.
In mid September I started a 20 day course of Radiotherapy which is highly targeted at the Prostate to kill both healthy and cancerous cells. The health cells recover but the cancerous cells don’t.
Both parts of the treatment are completely non-invasive
Side effects of the treatment have been inconvenient but no more than that.
My last PSA test in June 2022 was below 0.1
Why don’t more men over the age of 60 have PSA tests?
Many men have heard that PSA tests can produce False Positive readings.
This is true but GPs won’t recommend action unless the reading is high and, even then, only after further tests.
If the reading is around 3 then the usual course of action is a series of regular PSA tests to monitor the trend of readings
A Prostate biopsy, which is the only real way to know if any cells in the Prostate are cancerous, is unpleasant, even under local anaesthetic.
GP’s will only recommend a biopsy if a scan of the Prostate discloses concerns. The scan just itself involves lying on your back in a scanner for 15 minutes while the technology does its job
I feel incredibly fortunate to have had my cancer detected early. Without the problems my friend suffered I might have continued to ignore the risk and only started having PSA tests at some point in the future.
If that had been the case the second sentence from the Senior oncologist might not have been as positive!
Think about the impact on your family if you had Prostate Cancer and didn’t have a test until too late. Speak to your GP and having a PSA test now, it could be the best thing you have ever done for your family.
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