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Sunday, September 30, 2007

My wife made the appointment for me: PSA test and prostate cancer prevention

Adam’s story:

My name is Adam. I’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 45.

There is NO cancer in my family. I had absolutely no symptoms.

In May of 2007 after some blood work from my annual physical a red flag occurred. My PSA jumped from 1.0 to 3.5 over a 2-year period. PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a test that screens your levels of protein in the prostate gland to se if there is danger of cancer. The rise in my PSA led me to see a urologist who had my prostate gland biopsied. It was this test that showed I have a very aggressive cancer (Gleason 9) growing inside me. The Gleason score of 9 basically said I had the most extreme form of growing cancer and the prognosis is NOT good.

This PSA test has been approved by the FDA to be tested for men over the age of 50 unless there IS cancer in the family. For some strange reason, my internist runs the test for every man over the age of 40. HE probably saved my life. Why??? Because I was tested early and often. Most people who get a Gleason score of 9 or 10 in their 40s do not have a good chance of surviving more than 5 years. The reason is that the cancer is growing so fast that it is likely spread to other parts of the body. Because I was tested, it looks like my cancer was caught early enough so that my prognosis is better than most with a Gleason 9 in their 40s.

The irony of this is that my wife made the appointment for me. You know you get wrapped up with work, family and life. Never seemed able to make the time. I just kept coming up with excuses. Thank God she made this appointment! Don’t be like me!

Adam’s advice to middle-aged men: Make sure you get your annual check-ups and make sure your doctor tests for PSA. They are already taking blood for other tests; they can do a PSA too.

Maybe this exam will save your life or a family member or friend. It most likely saved mine.

Read another story of how a wife saved her husband.

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