Saturday, June 7, 2008

In the beginning, a diagnostic timeline

I will attempt to capture the timeline of events that lead us to my current diagnosis. About 3 years ago, I noticed that I had to go to the bathroom many times during the day including waking up a few times in the middle of the night and running to the bathroom. This was very disruptive in my life. I wasn't sure what to do with this and thought it was normal so I didn't do anything for a while.

Late in 2006 I made an appointment with a local Urologist to discuss getting a vasectomy and I then told him about my "going problem". He did an in office test and said that I possibly had an enlarged prostate and he prescribed me "Flomax". At this time he did not do any screening of my prostate. I took the medication for about 1 year and it did help a little in the beginning but I did notice that it was going back to the same pattern. My wife was concerned and asked me to ask the doctor at my six month follow-up about taking a PSA blood test just for peace of mind and my doctor said I was too young for this test. He also did not do a digital rectal exam. Almost a year and a half later I discussed it with my local PA (Physicians Assistant) and she suggested we try a different medication for 30 days to see if it would improve and said if it didn't improve that she would send me to a specialist. Well, after taking the new medication the symptoms did not improve and she referred me the Urology Center at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. Since I am a UF Football Booster and season ticket holder and was happy to be going to the Urology center at UF. My first appointment was on April 22, 2008 and first saw a PA and Nurse Practioner which spent about 30 minutes with me going over my history. The PA did a digital rectal prostate exam and found 2 nodules on my prostate. He seemed concerned which concerned me. When the doctor came in he rechecked me again with the same result. The doctors name is Sijo J. Parekattil, M.D and he is the co-Director of Robotic Surgery for Prostate Cancer, Kidney Cancer & Director of Male Infertility and Microsurgery/Vasectomy Reversals at Shands hospital at the University of Florida. I really liked him,becuase of his awesome bed side manner and the bow tie he wore. He made me feel really comfortable and was very thorough. He explained to me that there are two screenings for prostate cancer, the digital rectal exam and a PSA test. (Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a substance released into a man's blood by his prostate gland. A PSA test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood). He said if either of the test come back abnormal then its recommended to do a prostate biopsy to confirm the evidence of cancer. So in my case he recommended a biopsy becuase my digital rectal exam was abnormal. He did go ahead and order a PSA test and my PSA level was a 1.4 which was good news to me becuase anything over 4 is cause for concern. He felt that the biopsy would be routine and felt that my chances were very good for not having cancer becuase I was 41, and had no family history of prostate cancer along with a PSA result well in the normal range. My next step was to get the biopsy and will discuss in my next blog...

1 comment:

Beth Caldwell said...

We just found your blog and are very grateful to be able to read your story. My 46-yer-old husband was just dx with a PSA of 1.5 and one nodule found during a DRE. He's scheduled for sx at Barnes in STL Aug 19 - robotics procedure like you had, with Dr. Sam Bhayani.