Here are the gloomy prostate cancer statistics: about 3.1 million U.S. men now have prostate cancer; 248,000 new cases occur each year; and 31,000 men will die each year from this cancer every year. Depending upon the Gleason score and PSA level, your doctor may recommend a “wait and see” approach. Basically, this “watchful waiting” means doing nothing and coming back in 6-12 months for further monitoring until the test numbers go up. Unless you believe in miracles, those number don’t ever go down. The prostate has a fairly strong capsule around it, that will retain the cancer for a while. But eventually you run the risk that some cancer cells escape. They likely will first migrate to your nearby lymph nodes. That’s their first stop. But after that, they can end up anywhere in your body. Then you are not only facing the prostate’s removal operation, but also radiation … and if its bad … chemo.
So the decision becomes, do you wait with an active cancer growing inside you and risk having to deal with it spreading. Or do you just get that cancerous prostate out of you and move on with your life. Its like dealing with a ticking bomb. Eventually it goes off.
I have known several men in the neighborhood that followed their doctor’s advice and did the “wait and see” approach. One died last year after 5 years of chemo and radiation and numerous transfusions, eventually becoming too weak to walk. Another, who happens to be the first guy’s neighbor, has undergone 4 years of radiation. The will to live and keep on going plays a strong role. But eventually you wait and you may gamble with your life to save that cancerous capsule.
So what do you do? Listen to your urologist who tells you to wait and see and keep monitoring it? Or don’t take gamble with your life? It’s not the urologist with cancer.