Anonymous's story


Synopsis

PSA of 64 and DRE that was inconclusive started me on a long track encompassing ultrasound, bone scan, MRI scan, retropubic biopsy and transperineal biopsy. Biopsies were negative. Fortunately, neither biopsy led to infections as a consequence. PSA is now 2.1 (at age 58). I am now relaxed and am confident that I do not have prostate cancer, but I will have my PSA checked every 6 months.

Moral of the story

What I should have done after a PSA test result of 64 ug/L was to be re-tested, treated for infection, then had a repeat PSA test. That action may well have led to me not undertake a long series of expensive procedures and undue stress which led to mild depression.

Neither my GP nor urologist advised me on being tested for an infection as a preliminary action.

If you are concerned about the possibility of serious infection as a consequence of a retropubic biopsy then the alternative transperineal biopsy procedure can be undertaken in Sydney. Logistics are not onerous. I was impressed by the quality of care and professionalism shown by my urologist and the facilities that I accessed in Sydney.

Full story

In March 2014 my PSA was 64 ug/L. DRE undertaken by my urologist indicated possibility of a problem, but inconclusive.

In May 2014 I had imaging procedures: bone scan was negative; 3T MRI indicated possibility of prostate cancer, although not definitive.

In May 2014 I had 12-core retropubic biopsy undertaken at my urologist’s rooms in Canberra. Nil cores evidenced prostate cancer. I had started a course of antibiotics two days before the procedure, and continued the antibiotics for 7 days after the procedure. I had no infections following the procedure.

Two weeks after the procedure my GP arranged a PSA test. The PSA level was 1.8 ug/L. A second test arranged by my Canberra based urologist was 1.7. However, because of the MRI results I still felt uneasy about the possibility of prostate cancer. So in late May 2014 my urologist arranged for a transperineal biopsy to be undertaken in Sydney by a colleague of his who performs this procedure. I had an initial consultation with the Sydney urologist in May 2014. He is located at a major private clinic, which is adjacent to a major Sydney hospital. The urologist uses the MRI results to set up a template that guides the placement of the coring needles. He experienced some problems in getting the necessary MRI data from the imaging organisation that had undertaken the MRI procedure.

In June 2014 I travelled to Sydney, staying overnight in a motel close to the clinic. Next day I was admitted to the Day Surgery Unit at the clinic. I went into the operating theatre at approximately 9:00 am. The biopsy was conducted under full anaesthetic. 12 cores were taken. I was discharged the same day at 5:00 pm and returned to Canberra (as a car passenger). My urine had some blood in it (but that was classed as being “normal”) and it cleared up after four weeks.

One week after the biopsy I was contacted by a member of the urologist’s staff who told me that the results were all clear with nil cores showing prostate cancer.

In August 2104 my PSA was 2.1 ug/L. I will undertake repeat testing of PSA every six months.

Current medications: “Flomaxtra” (Tamsulosin) for BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia). I tried “Duodart” (Tamsulosin plus Dutasteride) for a while but that made me feel poorly, so I went back to Flomaxtra.

I am still meeting with a clinical psychologist to help with the latent depression that developed over the 4 month period of tests and consultations during which time I was convinced that I had prostate cancer.

14 October 2014