Change in PSA Score is Critical in Detecting Prostate Cancer
by Mike Sisavic, Northwest Director
Summer 2011 Edition
I took the recommended advice and got my prostate check-up annually and still didn't detect my cancer in its early stage.
Now, after multiple treatments, my Stage III cancer is under control and I'm playing more softball than ever.
I've learned a lot about prostate cancer and want to share a few things with my softball friends.
PSA tests are a good indicator of PC, but not conclusive. About 25 percent of all men with PSAs below 1.0 have cancer and a large percentage of men with PSAs above 10.0 don't have it. A better indicator is the change in your PSA score. Begin to take action if your PSA goes up 20 percent in a single year. A biopsy is the only conclusive test.
The DRE (that finger thing) is uncomfortable for you and the doctor, and the instinct is to get it over with. But don't rush the urologist - encourage him to let his finder linger. Listen carefully to the doctor's comments such as "I feel something unusual, but do't worry about it." Worry about it.
Don't expect your regular doctor to notify you of a prostate cancer problem. You need to be proactive by keeping track of your annual PSA scores and be alarmed if the score begins to increase. With any hint at all, get a second opinion from a very good urologist.
Once cancer has been detected, get two or more other opinions. It may be a lot of work, but then again you're only dealing with your sex life, urine and bowel functions, and the possibility of softball heaven. It's a lot easier to just take your local doctor's advice, but the consequences of a wrong decision are pretty bad.
Please contact me with questions or ask for my detailed humorous report on my own prostate cancer experience. Mike Sisavic PDR/Fastsigns 70s (firstname.lastname@example.org) See you on the fields.