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Case Stories: Frank and Paul

As we recently talked about different treatment options and new molecules to treat prostate cancer, the next few articles will be interspersed with case histories to compare treatment options based on different diagnoses. We believe that, unless you have no choice because your cancer is aggressive, taking the time to make the right decision is much better than blindly choosing a treatment and regretting it later.

That’s why the relationship between you and your doctor is of fundamental importance. This relationship must be based on trust and healthy communication. In this regard, opening the discussion with your doctor and understanding all your options will help you make the decision that is best for you.

Here are the stories of Frank and Paul (Jean-François et Michel in the French version), from the new book edition Prostate Cancer – Understand the disease and its treatments, 2019. 

“[…] Frank, 63 years old, Retired Accountant”
“Frank is retired and in good health. He keeps busy with leisure activities, sports, volunteer work and his grandchildren. He has always been concerned with good nutrition and watches what he eats. During a routine examination, his doctor detected a lump extending beyond the prostate and found his PSA level to be 23.0 ng/mL, five times higher than normal. A TRUS revealed a suspicious abnormality that appeared to extend beyond the capsule (envelope surrounding the prostate). Several biopsies were done in this area, and the pathologist determined that Frank has a grade 4+5 (score of 9) cancer. Frank had a CT scan that revealed the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in his pelvis (close to the prostate). A biopsy confirmed the presence of cancer in the lymph nodes. The bone scan was normal.

What’s going on? Frank has fairly advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the pelvic lymph nodes (N1) but not yet to the bones (M0). It is now up to him and his doctor to choose the appropriate treatment, which may include hormone therapy and possibly radiation therapy. The chance of cure is low, but given all the options to treat his cancer, Frank is likely to live many years with a very good quality of life. It is important to remain optimistic even if cure is not always possible. Progress is being made in changing prostate cancer from a life-threatening disease to a chronic and controllable disease.” (Fred Saad, MD, FRCSC and Michael McCormack, MD, FRCSC, 2019, p. 74)

“[…] Paul, 56 years old, Mail Carrier”
“Paul is in excellent shape. However, he recently discovered that he has relatively aggressive localized prostate cancer that is at stage T1 and scores 7 (grades 3 + 4) on the Gleason scale. His PSA level is 9. Paul’s doctor suggests radical prostatectomy, adding that he may also need radiation therapy depending on what is discovered during the operation. Paul doesn’t hesitate. He is about to become a grandfather for the first time, and he wants to see his grandchildren grow up. He is aware of the side effects and complications of treatment but reckons they are a small price to pay for being able to continue enjoying his family in the years to come” (Fred Saad, MD, FRCSC and Michael McCormack, MD, FRCSC, 2019, p. 110)

Also take the time to visit each of our pages on this website, as well as our YouTube channel, in order to get familiar with the disease with our expert lectures, our section on available resources, the support that is offered to you.

Don’t hesitate. Contact us at 1 855 899-2873 to discuss with one of our nurses specialized in uro-oncology. It’s simple and free, like all of our other services.

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Sources and references
Prostate Cancer – Understand the disease and its treatments; Fred Saad, MD, FRCSC and Michael McCormack, MD, FRCSC; Fifth edition, entirely revised and updated, 2019. © Fred Saad and Michael McCormack, 2019 – Annika Parance Publishing

Written by PROCURE. © All rights reserved – 2020

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