It all started towards the end of 1998 when my G.P. suggested that I should have a PSA test when I was having the other “normal” tests that were to be carried out in connection with my annual physical. I was 59 years of age. My doctor explained in the necessarily simple terms, what a PSA test was all about. At that time, I am not sure that I even knew that I had a prostate gland, let alone where it was or what it did.
The initial PSA level was sufficiently elevated to warrant the scheduling of a further test a few months later. When the level was at 6.5, my doctor referred me to Dr. Kozak for further investigation. As all survivors will know, this entailed a biopsy, or in my case two biopsies. Only six samples were taken in those days and because the samples were inconclusive, Dr. Kozak thought that because I had enjoyed the first biopsy so much, he would let me have another!
The net result of the two biopsies was to confirm the presence of cancer cells. The relevant numbers were: Stage T1C; Gleason Score – 7/10; 2 of 6 cores positive; 5% of gland cancerous.
The options for treatment, apart from watchful waiting, which wasn’t really an option, were radiation or surgery. There was no P.C.C. in existence at that time. Dr. Kozak lent me a copy of “Prostate Cancer” by Dr. Goldenberg, which I found to be quite helpful to me in deciding that surgery was the way for me to go. My prostate gland was removed in the summer of 1999 and I have never second guessed myself on the decision that I made.