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Survivor Stories - Dave's Story

In November of 1998 I went for my annual physical with my primary care physician. The digital rectal exam was fine, but a few days later he called an informed me that my PSA was 5.4 ng/ml. He suggested that I immediately see a urologist.

I made an immediate appointment with a physician at Mt. Carmel - West. This new doctor said that sometimes errors are made by the lab doing the work-up and suggested another blood test be sent to his lab. This was done and a few days later he called to tell me that, in fact, an error had occurred and that my PSA was 2.3 ng/ml. So, I naturally quit worrying about the matter.

Now comes another annual check-up in 1999. Once again, the digital exam was fine. However, again the report form my primary care physician came back with a PSA number of 5.6 ng/ml. Another trip to the same urologist and again we sent the blood work to his lab. This time they confirmed that my PSA was in the area of 5.6 ng/ml. Apparently, I did have prostate cancer!

This prompted a biopsy which confirmed the diagnosis and labeled my cancer as especially "aggressive". I discussed the options with the urologist and was told that with my level of cancer, chemo and radiation would only put off the inevitable surgery! So, In January of 2000, I went in for radical prostate cancer surgery.

Upon awakening I was informed that the surgery was totally successful and that they had got all of it out and none had spread to any other organs...Hooray!

As for November, 2012, I am now 13 years into being cancer-free as far as prostate cancer is concerned. The point here is that continued testing is very important. If after the error I had decided to skip the testing in 1999, I would possibly and probably not be writing this little piece.