Archive for October, 2014

High PSA – What Now?

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

I’m the “younger” nephew of this web site’s owner (Jim Tuggey), and manage the web site, administer the WordPress blog software, and generally take care of all things tech. Our web site just hit 10 years, and it’s been very rewarding to provide this public service for others who are faced with anything related to cancer and/or the prostate. As a consequence, I’ve learned a lot about prostate cancer!

So imagine my surprise (and the irony) when I recently learned of having a high PSA reading (6.5 ng/mL). At 53, I knew I had been putting off the big physical you should undertake when you turn 50 – so I finally got off my butt and went in for my checkup. Unfortunately, it had been five years since I had last had a physical, so I didn’t have a baseline PSA reading to compare. (Now in Denver, I called my doctor’s office in Atlanta who informed me my records were in long term storage).

One thing was clear: I had a peace of mind knowing that if I needed serious treatment, proton therapy was the likely avenue I would pursue.

Off to the Urologist I went, and I liked the doctor I found – Dr. Alexander Philpott of the Urology Center of Colorado (TUCC). What transpired next was fairly typical – an exam, and recommendation of a biopsy, and then the biopsy itself. My exam was normal, but the out of the blue 6.5 with no prior baseline led Dr. Philpott to his biopsy recommendation. From 12 samples, we learned that there was no signs of cancer. While I knew right away that my PSA of 6.5 was not a death sentence, I also know that a negative biopsy might not mean I’m free and clear. So I’ll have to pay much closer attention to this moving forward.

In my next post, I’d like to write about a book that Bob Marckini recommended to me: Prostate Cancer Breakthroughs 2014 – New Tests, New Treatments and Better Options. It has the potential to be a another game changer, just like Proton Therapy has been. The screening and pre-treatment choices are advancing at a rapid pace, and if you’re at the stage where you are facing undergoing a procedure, this book is a must read.