In late 2008 at the age of 40, I learned I had an abnormal PSA level. In the months and years since, I’ve become familiar with all sorts of fun terms, like DRE, cystoscopy, biopsy, BPH, prostatitis, prostate cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer… This blog is an ongoing account of my personal experience with prostate health, prostate biopsies and prostate cancer screening. There are hundreds of comments with other men’s experiences, please feel free to share your own. If you like, follow my journey from the bottom up, starting with some history on January 5th, 2009.
Obviously, I’m not a doctor. I have no medical training and no basis to give medical advice. I didn’t even sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I only suggest that if you aren’t sure of what your doctor tells you, get a second or third medical opinion. Research on your own and make sure you are content with the treatment recommended by your physicians.
Though prostate cancer is now the most common non-skin cancer in the USA, it is not the only factor that results in prostate enlargement and high PSA levels. About a million biopsies are done every year. It’s a relatively quick outpatient procedure that costs over $1000. It is not free of risks, however. It is likely that many of these are necessary and critical to making the right diagnosis. Unfortunately, it seems that many are done prematurely, often passed down to the patient as a routine procedure that is the only option. Well, it’s not the only option. It may not always even be the best option. If you’re in my situation or a similar one, I hope you get a second or even a third opinion and do some research of your own before having a biopsy.
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