My dad has prostate cancer, help.

  1. I am an ob/gyn RN. Yesterday my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He is 66 years old. His PSA level was 4.7, last year it was 3. something. They did a biopsy last Wed., and told him yesterday the sad news. I don't know anything about cancer. I was wondering if anyone could help me understand what might happen to him. He goes in on Thurs. to talk to the doc. about the next step. He was told that it has been caught very early. He was told it has not metastisized. I know it could be worse, but to hear that your dad has cancer is so scary. He wants to just have his prostate removed. Is this a good choice considering it hasn't spread? Will that most likely prevent any further problems? Please excuse my ignorance, I just really don't know anything about this. I want to help him and I thought someone here might be able to educate me so I can better understand what he is going through. Does anyone know the success rate of this surgery? Any info. will be more than greatly appreciated. I am so scared. I am VERY close with my dad, and I just don't want him to suffer. Thank you so much for any help. Brenda.
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    About Brenda-RN,BSN, WA.

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 42; Likes: 2


  3. by   KarenAR
    Brenda, I'm not an oncology nurse. I just found this site online:

    I hope it helps.

    My dad is going for an ultrasound of his prostate, and possible biopsy, tomorrow, so I'll be reading through this info too.
  4. by   hypnotic_nurse
    My dad had this almost 10 years ago now. He had radiation; when that didn't work, he had the surgery. He's been in remission ever since.

    It's a very slow growing cancer, something to keep in mind.

    The surgery can be very difficult -- it can result in loss of continence and sexual function.

    Of course Dad didn't tell me about any sexual problems, but I know he had to wear Depends for some time, and have 2 other corrective surgeries for incontinence, and he still has some occasional difficulty with it.

    However, Dad is comfortable with the results and he and Mom are still active now in their 80s.
  5. by   doobiedo
    My father was diagnosed early this year too (he is 68). He had a biopsy that showed a Gleason scale #8...apparently this means aggressive form of cancer..
    My parents found out about it....did all the tests and consults and then told us kids the story. He was initially encouraged by his urologist to have a prostatectomy but his cardiologist quickly put the squash on that idea and highly recommended radiation consult. My father is happy with his choice..he just finished radiation....

    He was treated at Fox Chase in Philly and the radiation oncologist and his team specializes only in prostate cancer. My father also has no mets at this point which we are all extremely happy about
    I talked with his radiation oncologist and was surprised to learn that essentially it is a wait and see type thing. They have him on hormone injections every 3 months for 1 1/2 yrs. They may do another biopsy along the way but essentially there is no real way for them to evaluate the effect of the radiation therapy at this time. His PSA will be normal while on the hormones and after he is off the hormones they will follow his PSA also and hopefully it will stay normal. (this is what I was told anyway...Oncology was never my forte'

    Needless to say we will be waiting with bated breath but in the meantime I am concentrating on spending more time with my parents as this hit us hard and I realize how precious my time with my parents are at this point.

    As the one post stated I have heard also that prostate cancer is slow growing. Good luck...demand the best doctors and gather all the info you can to give yourself peace of mind....I will be anxious to read other oncology nurses replies to assist me with putting my mind at ease...

    FYI....evaluate all options before deciding on the surgery...there are many side effects to the surgery...
    Last edit by doobiedo on Jun 29, '04
  6. by   leslie :-D
    hi brenda,

    cancer is so scary and i'm sorry for your fears. i've had ca pts with a psa level in the 70's....the saying goes that a male will typically die from old age before he dies from prostate ca. that's how slow growing it is. the prognosis is reputedly excellent. best wishes.

  7. by   Brenda-RN,BSN, WA.
    I just want to thank those of you who have offered advice, knowledge. I really appreciate your kind words, thanks again, Brenda.