I am lucky. I have researched small-cap biotechnology stocks for 20 years and in doing so have stayed abreast of cutting edge developments. As far as making money… ehhhhhhhh… some great, some not so great, but overall very much ahead and thankful. However the real reason I am lucky is that I eventually did not allow my knowledge of the new technologies to override the insistence and experience of working medical practitioners.
You see, I HAD prostate cancer.
It all started when my regular Doc told me he was concerned that my PSA had tested at 4.4. I almost laughed out loud when he first told me this as I had bought into the “PSA is irrelevant” story. I had been following some of these bio techs for as long as I’ve been interested in stocks and knew that companies are working on much more accurate testing and treatment procedures. I even read a European research report that said up to a 4.5 should be considered “normal”.
I am only 54. But to please my insistent family Doc I went ahead with his recommendation and agreed to see the Urologist he referred me to, who just happened to be my neighbor also… boy was I going to enlighten him with all I knew and update him on what is going on. Well to make a long story short, my neighbor is as much of a butt head as I am and I eventually agreed to a biopsy… lost that argument – and good thing I did. Of the fourteen needles he used, only one was clear of cancer.
He referred me to a doctor at Vanderbilt University, who I believe is one of the best in the world for prostate surgery. And yes, I had the surgery. Why, you may ask? When you are facing the real thing you ask a lot more questions. The long and short of it is this… I believe the most effective treatment for me was surgery – period, no question about it – do the research as if you had the cancer (especially if you are young – like me)…other methods may be great for much older patients as something else will probably kill you before the cancer returns. Also alternate treatment does kill the prostate, good, but the remaining tissue is much harder to remove – (one doc told me it was as if you “rubberized” the tissue) and the removal may cause much more complications with recovery and decrease the likelihood of complete success.
MY post-surgery findings are that all of the cancer was removed and just in the nick of time as the cancer was just starting to break out of confinement. If I had waited much longer I might not have survived this cancer. My cancer was found to be an aggressive type and once it breaks out of the prostate, well, it will kill you eventually – as in a few years, much too soon for me!
I still have a few PSA tests to do in the future to ensure there is no cancer left, but the observation and experienced judgment of my surgeon indicates I am a very lucky guy. No cancer found anywhere else but in the prostate tissue… lucky.
Recovery, I am lucky, I was in good shape before the surgery and just a few weeks after, I am itching to return to work. No leakage problems, nothing. I still haven’t gotten an erection, but interestingly have enjoyed sex with my wife to the point of orgasm.
I am writing this embarrassing stuff so any guy looking at the future will realize it is not that bleak. I have not tried any of the erectile drugs or anything else yet and I may not have too… just so you know. The long and short of all this… continue to consider treatment based on the current methods – they may save your life. Research promising technology, but do not.. do not.. look to it as the only way or even worse – to wait on some possible future treatment. MY OPINION!
Submitted by Charles, a prostate cancer survivor on June 19, 2012.