The male belief that “nothing is wrong with me health wise” is crazy.
Men don’t realize the amount of emotional and financial damage they cause their families by not following up when they suspect something is wrong.
The male belief that nothing is wrong with me health wise is crazy. My husband’s refusal to visit a doctor early on had a devastating effect on me and my children. They lost a father, I suffered the impacts of an extreme loss.
All of this needless pain was the direct result of his refusal to ask questions and persevere when he knew something was wrong. He put it off and chose to ignore it. His fear of visiting a doctor early on resulted in stage 4 cancer that killed him. Today I am a breast cancer survivor and tell everyone it’s better to say … I got checked vs. saying I didn’t get checked. I pray more men would do the same.
I decided on doing surgery.
While on the wait list for a heart transplant, I needed to undergo a series of routine tests including a PSA test. Results of which showed my numbers were higher. A follow-up biopsy revealed cancer and the need to treat my prostate cancer first.
I met Dennis, heard his story and slowly began to feel more comfortable about what I might expect.
Later on, Dennis and I met with other men in our support group and spoke about the importance of speaking with first-degree relatives (son, father, brother, sister or daughter) about a prostate cancer diagnosis. Why? It’s possible a close relative might share the same BRCA 1 or 2 genes – increasing their risk of developing either prostate or breast cancer. After my son and I spoke, he decided a baseline PSA test in his 40’s was a good idea. By the way, I decided on doing surgery.
Communication is crucial when it comes to men’s health.
At 46 I learned my PSA was 6.5. My doctor said, “you’re too young for prostate cancer.” That bothered me. Three years later I asked my internist for another PSA test. This time the results showed a PSA of 11.0.
After seeing my new numbers, the urologist still insisted I was “too young,” but ordered a cursory biopsy (just 3 cores). Days later, cancer was found. I found a new urologist and started a treatment protocol.
My prostate cancer journey has included surgery in 1996, a recurrence followed by years of “active surveillance”, external beam radiation with hormone therapy in 2010. Since my last treatments, it’s been good.
My advice – Communication is crucial when it comes to men’s health. When a man takes an active role in his overall health care, research shows he will fare better. Speak up, be engaged. Don’t be passive.
Families really need to sit down and discuss this.
I’ve had several run-in’s with cancer, including prostate cancer. I decided not to treat it until my PSA reached 7. That worked for me, it may not be right for everyone. Never knew my dad had prostate cancer but found out later. Wow! Families really need to sit down and discuss this stuff early on. I’m having a serious sit down with my two 30+ year old sons to chat about the need to get a base line PSA test soon. Bad genes can be inherited. Hope it motivates them to do something early and not wait.
Something I suggest to everyone – do a one-page health write up. It’s a kind of a personal health history to give your doc when you go in. It gives them a great discussion tool and offers both of us an opportunity to bring up any health issues prior to treatment.
Because I caught it early no treatment was needed.
Sorry… I’m uptight about posting personal information or photos. My GP said your PSA up and to go see a urologist. I called Dennis and learned a PSA test is not a cancer test rather It measures the protein produced by the prostate.
I set up the appointment the urologist found something, and a follow up biopsy found prostate cancer. But because I caught it early no treatment was needed, I only have to watch it.
A few weeks later I went out to dinner with my older brothers and was surprised to learn they both had prostate issues but never told anyone. Needless to say, we talk more openly these days!
Today I know there are lots options if I ever need treatment. Until then I continue my regular chats with Dennis and meet with a prostate group he introduced me to.
I figured it was not worth my time to bother.
It came as a TOTAL SURPRISE! I am talking with my urologist about a kidney stone reoccurrence and he asks when I had my last PSA test. Turns out it had been years due to all of the unknowns surrounding the test. I figured it was not worth my time to bother. I do a new test and hear nothing. Have the typical guy reaction no news is good news! A few weeks later I get called to schedule another test. Last score was 8.2. The latest one is 8.4. No one says much. It’s time to find a new urologist. He discovers my high-risk prostate cancer. I swallow hard and opt for surgery.
My advice to young guys – get a baseline PSA test. Check it every few years. Wake-up and become proactive when it comes to your health. Remember your test scores, it can save your life.
Warning signs for early stage prostate cancer were unknown to me.
My trip down the rabbit hole began when the urologist said, “I don’t have good news for you and your wife.” I go home thinking – get my will and papers in order. Like my dad who had prostate cancer years earlier, I opted for radiation therapy along with hormone therapy.
Laboring over the many previous decisions I made in life is not my thing. That said at the time of my diagnosis, the warning signs for early stage prostate cancer were unknown to me.
Although not qualified to offer advice to men, it’s important for men and younger men in particular to take an active role in their lives. Be engaged in every aspect of your mental and physical wellbeing. You are not indestructible. Ignore any advice that says you don’t need to do a PSA test especially if you have inherited the BRCA 1/2 gene mutations.