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Cancer: Prostate Message Board

Cancer: Prostate Board Index

[QUOTE=Rider18;4133302]... The urologist performed a DRE and said that one side of my prostate felt a bit firmer than normal. He told me to get a new PSA test, both free and total, which I did this past Friday. The urologist also said that regardless of what my new PSA test demonstrates, I should have a prostate biopsy. I am scheduled for a biopsy next week, but I don't feel that I am armed with sufficient information to decide whether I should do it now.
Should I go through the biopsy and worry later, if necessary, or should I consider taking any other steps before I undergo a biopsy? ...

I want to move fast, but prudently. Unfortunately, I do not feel that I have adequate infromation to analyze whether my urologist is jumping the gun with recommending a biopsy this quickly. I would really appreciate any advice on what I should learn and do next.

Holler1 gave some good advice. Unless you have another issue with your urologist, I don't think that seeing another will tell you much more-- as you know, it's only the biopsy that can confirm whether cancer is present (and even then, it's possible to miss it, since the biopsy is a sampling- although you can discuss getting more cores than 12, but that's not a bad place to start).

If you had sexual activity within 2-3 days of your PSA test, or if your doctor performed a DRE prior to the taking of blood for the test, your PSA reading could be higher than otherwise. So for subsequent PSA tests, keep this in mind. I'd say you can wait 3 months and repeat the PSA tests if you want to put off a biopsy, but maybe you'll know something when you get the results from your latest tests. The fact that one of the doctors felt some firmness on one side of the prostate is one thing that might say the biopsy is prudent sooner rather than later.

There are many books on the subject of prostate cancer, and often there is some good discussion about screening and PSA tests and biopsies- so it wouldn't hurt to get one or two just for your education. There is a very good chance that you do not have prostate cancer, but getting educated is always good. One general book that comes to mind is by Patrick Walsh, Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer.

The good news in all this for you, once you get over the shock of what may or may not be the diagnosis, is that if you do need treatment for prostate cancer, there are many different choices. And catching this early is key. (I
was 64 when diagnosed and eventually chose proton beam radiation since it seemed to offer a similar cure rate to other treatments, but with markedly fewer side effects since it is a highly targeted form of radiation that spares nearby tissue for the most part- but this is getting way ahead of where you are right now.)

Please keep asking questions, as this board has some excellent participants.

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