Thursday, April 13, 2017

PROSTATE CANCER: ONE MAN"S EXPERIENCE

A devastating  as breast cancer is for woman, prostate cancer is for men. Of course being men we tend to ignore the signs. I'm writing this to share my own experience with prostate cancer and to encourage every man to go for a prostate exam.

I won't go into all the details about what the prostate is and does. If you're a man reading this post you know how important it is and how much trouble it can cause as men age. Most men if they live long enough will have an enlarge prostate. You'll begin having trouble peeing and needing to pee more often including getting up more times a night. Can you say "naps".

The classic exam for the prostate is the infamous digital exam. Your doctor inserts a finger up your rectum and feels around the surface of the prostate looking for and lumps and bumps. Most of us have probably endured this exam. You know the drill: Drop your pants and bend over. Believe me the doctor doesn't enjoy this anymore than you do!

The newer exam which should be used in addition to the rectal exam is a blood test to measure your PSA. PSA or Specific Antigen Test measure the amount of this protein in your blood. PSA is secreted by the prostrate and the higher the level the likely hood you have cancer.

Normally a level of 4.0 is cause for concern and your doctor will probably want to do a biopsy of the prostate. If you hate the digital exam just wait till you have a prostate biopsy!

So in my case my prostate had been rising for several years. Now I was 65 at the time and figured it was just a part of aging. However in 2014 my PSA Blood Test showed my levels had risen from 4.3 to 9.1. More than double in the course of a year!

So off I went to have a biopsy of my prostate. Which my doctor assured me that most men can endure it without any problems. The key word here is endure! I talked to several friends who had already "endure" a prostate biopsy and they ranged from uncomfortable to painful. One guy a retired carpenter who had bang thumbs and driven nails into his hand almost passed out during the biopsy. Oh Joy!

In my next post I'll go into more detail and my continuing journey into the wonderful world of prostate cancer.

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