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Thread: Advice for older men - get your prostate checked

  1. #1
    Cynical Facetious Heckler mancroft's Avatar
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    Advice for older men - get your prostate checked

    Recently discovered I've got prostate cancer. Fortunately the doctors diagnosed it at a very early stage so I just need to have tests every 3 months or so. With a bit of luck it won't develop into anything serious.

    Anyway, the message is, if you are male aged 50 plus, get your prostate checked and have a prostate biopsy if necessary.

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Yeah, I skipped out on mine last year.
    It just reminded me that I have no one to sit and wait to drive my sedated self back home.

    No issues with cancer in my family anyways. We die young of Heart attacks.
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

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    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    If you're male, and you live long enough, you'll get it. Last time I looked into it, the main treatment is telling you you have it--and monitoring it, just in case. Most of the time, any additional treatment would do more harm than good.
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

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    singularity precursor Limey's Avatar
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    Well that was close. I guess I should look on the bright side and consider that I still have ten years before I need to get a solicited finger in the anus.
    Chris Brown did nothing wrong

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limey View Post
    Well that was close. I guess I should look on the bright side and consider that I still have ten years before I need to get a solicited finger in the anus.
    Uhm, it's a bit more than just a finger.

    It kinda reminds me of that old movie The Longest Yard
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limey View Post
    Well that was close. I guess I should look on the bright side and consider that I still have ten years before I need to get a solicited finger in the anus.
    I'm not bothering. I'll just do bloodwork. The digital exam is such a sham. Here's a few fun facts:

    They're judging whether or not you have prostate cancer based on what they can feel through your rectum--but at most they can feel one side. Realistically, if you have prostate cancer, they have less than 50/50 shot of discovering it.

    Once they find it, the main treatment is telling you they found it, and then monitoring it. That either means more visits like the one you just endured, or sitting back and watching bloodwork. I believe the general protocol is to check PSA levels.

    It's pretty common for the doctor doing the DRE to not know what they're feeling for. It's like fishing: until you've felt and actual hit, you don't know what a hit feels like. This means that when they think they found a hit, they need confirmation--from a doctor who knows what a hit feels like. Which means a second DRE for confirmation.

    Once confirmed, it's apparently a common practice to take the opportunity to train as many doctors as they can about what a positive result on a DRE feels like--on you. That way, in the future, all those other doctors will finally know what the fuck they're sticking their fingers up your ass to do.

    Another dirty little secret: the PSA bloodwork tests are more effective than a DRE. But, allegedly, sometimes men will have a palpable cancer without measurable levels of antigens, so they do the DRE anyway. Or so available literature seeks to inform me.

    I'll take my chances with bloodwork, when the time comes. And I'll more than likely treat any positive result the same way I do my unerupted wisdom tooth: leave it alone until there's reason to believe it's life threatening.
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

  7. #7
    Here are the guidelines for the US from the more conservative end of the spectrum: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskf...ncer-screening

  8. #8
    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    I remember when my dad had this done. He started telling me about it, in his own inimitable style. It wasn't so much the content of what he was describing as his delivery, but I couldn't help but laugh. Me laughing made him uncomfortable, but he kept going with the story and (inadvertently?) ramping up the hilarity of his description. Finally, I had tears squirting out my eyes and I was clutching my sides in between gales of laughter and he stopped. He just said "Are you ALL RIGHT over there?" and huffed.

    I'm *really* not looking forward to this experience, just based on his narrative.
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    I'm not bothering. I'll just do bloodwork. The digital exam is such a sham.
    The DRE certainly leaves much to be desired, but so does PSA screening (per Musee's link).

    I'll take my chances with DRE for the time being.

    @mancroft - what test detected your cancer? Was it a DRE or PSA that led to further testing? And what further testing? A biopsy?

  10. #10
    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senseye View Post
    The DRE certainly leaves much to be desired, but so does PSA screening (per Musee's link).

    I'll take my chances with DRE for the time being.
    According to cancer.org:

    Quote Originally Posted by cancer.org
    DRE is less effective than the PSA blood test in finding prostate cancer...
    So, if you found the info in MdBA's link to be disappointing... Just remember PSA > DRE.

    Meanwhile, in her link you'll find that

    An estimated 240,890 U.S. men received a prostate cancer diagnosis in 2011, and an estimated 33,720 men died of the disease 35. The average age of diagnosis was 67 years and the median age of those who died of prostate cancer from 2003 through 2007 was 80 years; 71% of deaths occurred in men older than 75 years. Black men have a substantially higher prostate cancer incidence rate than white men (232 vs. 146 cases per 100,000 men) and more than twice the prostate cancer mortality rate (56 vs. 24 deaths per 100,000 men, respectively) 35.
    I'll likely have bigger issues than prostate cancer on my plate. Most of the people it actually kills are pretty damn old. Granted my thoughts are subject to change as I approach those numbers--the older you get, the less old old seems--except for those moments when you start to feel old.


    Most cases represent microscopic, well-differentiated lesions that are unlikely to be of clinical importance. Increased frequency of PSA testing, a lower threshold for biopsy, and an increase in the number of core biopsies obtained all increase the detection of lesions that are unlikely to be of clinical significance.
    My take-a-way from this is: if you look long enough, you'll find it, but for the most part, it's trivial. The low grade seems to be based on that observation, and that telling someone they tested positive for PC tends to bum them out--even more so when that false positive leads to getting more in their bum for biopsies.

    Until a better treatment is available... pass. I'd rather sit in ignorance than fret about something I can neither do anything about, nor be sure is actually a problem.

    I just assume I have stage I, and it isn't growing.
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

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