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Best news this year! (Update, go to latest post for latest SITREP)

  1. JimInOz Melbourne Australia Jul 26, 2022

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    Shit! Is this thread still going?

    After a few years of a steadily climbing PSA increase, my oncologist ordered a CT/PET scan last week to see if they could find anything to zap.
    The CT scan is basic, but the PET scan uses radioactive juice dripped into your arm and is supposed to show up traces of a tumor.
    The scan results were good, but a bit fuzzy in the area of interest, so off for an MRI.
    Went for that today.

    Things were going good until the guy stuffed up putting the canola into the back of my hand and I got all hot and sweaty and fuzzy so they got a crash cart and three more nurses and put me on a gurney. Put a new canola in my right arm and everything from then on was fine. Wearing those arseless gowns is probably the worst thing.

    Much different to a CT scan, a bit like lying in a 44 gallon drum while five people use the following to attack the drum:
    a buzz saw
    a drill
    a jackhammer
    a dental drill
    a submarine dive alarm
    All done in sequence and you wear earplugs and headphones but it is pretty noisy. I actually got to like it after a while though.

    After a deafening 30 minutes it was a pleasure to relax Beethoven's 6th.

    Anyway, enough rambling, SO if you've read this far..............

    MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR PSA PROSTATE CHECKS DONE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE A FAMILY HISTORY.

    A finger up the bum and some blood tests can either give you a clear flag, or the opportunity for early intervention.

    Diagnosis tomorrow, so stay tuned.

    AND REMEMBER!

    GET YOUR PSA PROSTATE CHECKS DONE, YOU ARE NOT IMMORTAL!
     
  2. lillatroll Jul 26, 2022

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    Wise words. A good friend of mine did not get his prostate cancer checked in time due to COVID. No appointments available, and he did not want to burden the health service. By the time he was checked, it was too late for him. He was given between one and three years.
    That was 18 months ago. He has just turned 51 and is now in palliative care. He was told last week that he probably won't last another three months. It is truly heartbreaking to know that he will soon leave this world. His biggest dream is watch Wales play in the world cup, he is hoping he can hang on until then.
    Life is precious.
     
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  3. JimInOz Melbourne Australia Jul 26, 2022

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    I think a lot of men have the "she'll be right" approach.

    Gash my finger with a chain saw, grab a bandaid "she'll be right".
    Headach after a rugby tackle, grab an Aspirin "she'll be right".
    Blood on the dunny paper, must be piles "she'll be right".

    So many of us want to be stoic and tough it out, or can't be bothered going to a doctor.

    It's time "blokes" started thinking of their overall health and taking action when they think something is wrong, not just for themselves, but for their families and friends.

    End of Lecture.
     
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  4. Engee Jul 26, 2022

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    Sound advice Jim, and it bears repeating, and repeating.

    Went for my battery of blood and poo tests last week. Thankfully nothing of concern except my cholesterol is above the level they like. I could've told them that.

    I am grateful.
     
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  5. RI Omega Fan Jul 26, 2022

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    Please know my “likes” represent 100% solidarity and support. I’m right there with you, brother! A cancer diagnosis is a total mind-fuck. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer last July (level 7, 4+3) and had a radical prostatectomy last October.

    Everyone has their own tale to tell, so I won’t get into my story here, but please heed the wise advice of @JimInOz and get checked regularly.
     
  6. STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Jul 26, 2022

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    Did have the bowel cancer test a heap of blood tests for my 50th :thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Had a blood test a few weeks ago…….and they found Strongyloides stercoralis Sooo was prescribed Ivermectin…(enough to kill a horse and then had to do the same 14 days later)

    Trump would be proud :whistling:
     
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  7. JimInOz Melbourne Australia Jul 26, 2022

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    Too much eating out in the bush mate?

    At least you won't contract covid with the residual Ivermc in your system.
     
  8. vintage hab Jul 26, 2022

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    Thanks for bringing up men’s health again Jim.

    serious question: is the annual finger test enough, or is additional screening recommended?
     
  9. JimInOz Melbourne Australia Jul 26, 2022

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    A simple blood test (PSA) as part of an annual checkup is a good start.
    Once you have a baseline PSA count your GP can advise you to get further slightly more "invasive" tests if required, e.g. DRE (Digital Rectal Exam), Ultrasound Scan, Transperineal Biopsy, PSMA PET-CT scan.
    I've had them all and they are nothing to be afraid of.

    You should also monitor your normal activities.
    Having trouble emptying your bladder?
    Waking up often in the night for a pee?

    Best thing is a discussion with your GP during your check-ups so that even if you have no symptoms, you can understand and identify any changes.
     
  10. Joe_A Jul 26, 2022

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    I completely missed this thread and I am about to tell my own story for the benefit of any men who may read it.

    If the doctor does not feel a nodule while probing around - DRE, it does not necessarily rule out cancer on its own. One should take into account such things as age, family history, symptoms of BPH, if any, and PSA.

    Less invasive and a reasonably good predictor of risk is this fairly new test, if available:

    https://www.4kscore.com/

    The 4K score will help determine how much further you should go.

    Mine looked like this about a year ago:

    Snap1.jpg

    I thought perhaps the above was enough?

    But not in my case, as my grandfather had prostate cancer in his early 60s that spread to his bones. He died at the age of 71. My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer at mid 60s., but was treated with radioactive seed implants and he lived until the age of 82 when something else got him.

    So, in my case, I was sent to get a bladder and kidney ultrasound and also an MRI. If anything had been detected in the ultrasounds, it may have meant metastasis, but all was OK. It turns out that I have a kidney stone in my right kidney that hasn't given me any trouble (yet.)

    Then . . .

    It was off to have an MRI which turned out like this:

    Snap2.jpg

    The important stuff as far as I am aware is that there was no sign of suspicious lesions and no sign of vesicle invasion and my PIRADS score was 2. If you are interested at this point - and you should be if you are a candidate for testing, read up on PIRAD scores. The chart below is suggests that cancer is unlikely. I'd have been satisfied, but my urologist was not.

    Snap4.jpg

    I thought that I was done at this point, but a PIRADS score of 2 is of some concern given family history.

    How accurate is a PI-RADS score?

    So in a study of men with lesions, almost a third of them had prostate cancer even with a PIRADS score of 2. I hadn't had a biopsy yet and though I did not know it at the time I read my "glowing report," I was about to have one.

    A biopsy of the prostate is not fun, but living is fun - or should be - and it is for me. I'm over 70 now and I'd like to be around as long as possible.

    You're naked from the waist down; you've been shaved; you are on your back and in the stirrups, you've been injected with a local anesthesia and the doctor comes in and goes through a Q&A checklist and you happen to mention you'd taken baby aspirin a day ago. Oh no!

    I had to come back a month later to get prepped again. Do not take anything that could be a blood thinner for this procedure!

    The procedure itself is not painful beyond the challenge to one's dignity. I got lucky so far.

    The twelve core samples taken during the needle biopsy came up negative for all 12 cores. This time.

    My PSA is now just a little above 4, and if it continues to climb, I will choose to go through the diagnostic process a second time if there is any doubt expressed by my urologist.

    Something else will get me at some point but I'm determined it won't be prostate cancer.

    Cheers,

    Joe
     
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  11. Dedalus05 Jul 26, 2022

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    Good luck on the newer test, JimInOz. Keep us posted. In the meantime an anecdote:

    So I go get checked out reasonably often for a 50 year old. A couple of hundred euro for the works every couple of years (which recently included a CT scan of dye running thru the ticker). I'm in good shape according to the most recent set of results. But anyway...

    I'm at the doctor. And he has a habit of asking me if it's ok he is going to check this or ok to check that. So he takes my bloods and is filling out the required forms all the while asking:

    "So, dedalus05, I'm going to check your cholesterol. Is that ok?"

    "Fine", says I.

    "And I'm going to screen for STIs. Is that ok?"

    "Not a bother", I says.

    "And il going to check for prostrate cancer. Is that ok?"

    "Eh...", I get caught off-guard by this one. "Actually doctor, I've not showered this morning".

    "IN YOUR BLOODS DEDALUS05!! In your bloods".

    I'd assumed the works meant the finger probe. It didn't. Bit of a waste of €200 ;)

    EDIT - apologies if this is a touch flippant given the subject matter.
     
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  12. mydeafcat Jul 26, 2022

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    So pleased to read these positive test results. If I may, in addition to the prostate screenings absolutely get a colonoscopy. My first in 2015 (at 53) was clear; the second in August 2020 very likely saved my life. No polyps but evidence of a precancerous appendiceal lesion - thankfully the gastrointestinal specialist who did both my 2015 and 2020 scopes was thorough. Given my previously clean scan, she felt it necessary to share her findings with colleagues, one whom is a renowned gastro-oncology surgeon who suggested I see him immediately. I did. He brought two internal med students with him as my situation was very unique they said. Jesus. CT scan a few weeks later showed a mass in the appendix. Had my appendix removed in Jan 2021, 6 months to the day of the colonoscopy. So far, so good!

    Now, I’m 5’11, 160lbs, ride road bikes, in the gym 3x/week and play drums in 3 bands. I eat no fast food or packaged meats, say. For a guy turning 60, my doctor says I’m fit as a 25 year old. Whatever.

    It means fack all. Cancer and other diseases (I’m now fighting Polymyalgia Rheumatica) don’t give a shit. My dad? Lung cancer at 77 (after 3 heart attacks). Mother? Pancreatic cancer at 58. All aunts and uncles on both sides: prostate, lung, liver, colon and breast. Some lived to 100. Others, not so much.

    Please. If you’ve not already, get checked. Now.
     
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  13. sxl2004 Jul 26, 2022

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    Unfortunately, cases like this are the unseen health burden of the pandemic.
    Best to all.
     
    Edited Jul 26, 2022
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  14. Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Jul 26, 2022

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    I will be losing a friend within the next year or so due to Prostate Cancer (he felt he was healthy no need for any doctors) and will be survived by both parents in their 100's, my Dad survived testicular cancer in his 60's, and I am currently undergoing CRC screening due to some warning signs at 45.


    Do not put things off friends.
     
  15. Joe_A Jul 26, 2022

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    Hoping for the best outcome results in your current testing Jim.

    I was hyper-vigilant because of my family history, but perhaps a number of men reading this thread will heed the call.

    Last night in speaking with the Missus, she mentioned that the husband of her friend Linda was just diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had gone to the chiropractor for lower back pain and somehow the Chiropractor sensed something was not quite right and sent him off to the doc who, after tests which were unspecified to us, determined he'd had cancer for some time and now it was in his spine.

    Hopefully he'll have some good years ahead, but I could not help thinking that the cancer could have been caught earlier. I've no idea what symptoms he may have had as I don't know the fellow very well.

    In my own case, I felt a certain stoicism about this illness and began to take the matter seriously in my later 40s. I began tracking my PSA test results!

    PSA Tracker.jpg

    Snap4.jpg

    You should have seen the expression on the urologist's face when I handed him the chart!

    I never actually obsessed about the possibility. I felt I was taking the proper care of myself and I was able to put it out of mind between check-ups.
     
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  16. JimInOz Melbourne Australia Jul 27, 2022

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    Got a call from my oncologist today. Even though the MRI scans were extremely clear they could see nothing to indicate a tumor or affected lymph nodes etc. Therefore, the plan is to continue surveillance at six monthly intervals and monitor PSA levels until there can be some certainty they'll find something. Next review will be at the end of the year.
     
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  17. p4ul “WATERRROOP” to 50m Jul 27, 2022

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    Sounds good, mate.
    Best wishes.
    Carpe diem!
     
  18. JimInOz Melbourne Australia Aug 10, 2023

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    Well, after a hiatus due to current scanning technology being unable to pinpoint the location of the spot causing my elevating PAS levels, I underwent a new scan method.

    I different type of radioactive tracer and a new machine, the Siemens Healthineers Biograph Vision Quadra PET/CT scanner. After that scan, and a standard CT, followed by an MRI I commenced a month on a Varian Halcyon. Here we are at the half way point, I seem to have lost a bit of weight over the last two months, probably a good thing :D.

    VarianHalcyon.JPG

    And today I completed my last ride without any problems, as a result, I got to ring the bell!

    tempImage59c2nu.png

    So, after a couple of months drinking only water and eating bland FODMAP foods I'm getting ready for dinner tonight.
    Some pre-dinner Guinness, followed by wine and a couple of home made pizzas (a Margherita, and a Meat Lovers loaded with extra salami/pepperoni, olives, prosciutto, ham etc). Afters will be strawberries and blueberries with Greek style yogurt.
    That will be enough to prepare me for a large Dalwhinnie before I hit the hay.
     
  19. JimInOz Melbourne Australia Aug 10, 2023

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    So, why am I posting this old thread?
    To update people who thought I'd fallen off the perch?

    No.
    It's to draw the attention of younger members, in fact, ALL male members, to the elephant in the room.
    The thing that too often gets ignored.
    The thing that can kill you if you ignore it.

    So if you haven't had your PSA/Prostate check done, schedule it in for the immediate future. There's some good information from other members in this thread, so have a read and make PSA surveillance part of your annual medical check-up.

    Now, is it too early for a coldie?

    :D
     
  20. Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Aug 10, 2023

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    Congrats!

    And as a reminder ask for the camera while you’re at it!

    too many people I know put that off as well, and some of them are no longer with us.