Nancy Barber (nlbarber) wrote,
Nancy Barber

Seeing specialists

I think I last posted an update on my father's prostate cancer before the first specialist visit, so let's play catchup. Last Friday was the visit to the medical oncologist at Emory, Dr. Kucuk, where we expected the word to be "do hormone suppression therapy, which should slow this down enough for something else to kill you before it does". But surprise! (and I guess this is why you go see specialists), he said "you're healthy and strong--get this thing out of there". With a few hints of "it's an aggressive form of prostate cancer, and you really don't want it to spread to your bones...that would hurt. Badly."

So Dr. Kucuk consulted with his colleagues about the various removal options suitable to the patient, and the referred Daddy to Dr. Nieh, a urologist, for possible cryosurgery. We pleaded hardship for the travel back and forth to south Georgia, and got a double-booked appointment for today instead of one 2 weeks off. (And waited less time than we did with Dr. Kucuk.)

After hearing Dr. Nieh discuss how it would work, the chances for complications, and all that, the cryosurgery still seems the best option to remove the prostate and the cancer, though the TURP procedure that uncovered this cancer makes things a little more difficult. The possibility will remain for some cancer cells in the urethra, which is not touched by the freezing. Post-surgery monitoring will be hard, as this tumor is not producing much PSA (not all prostate cancers do, it seems). However, it seems like a good shot at eliminating the problem, without too many negative effects on Daddy's quality of life.

The surgery scheduler was out until Monday, but when she calls we'll be scheduling for sometime in April, to give time for things to heal completely from the TURP. Meanwhile I'll drive Daddy home tomorrow.

For those who want to get into serious TMI territory, here's an Emory page on cryoablation of the prostate. Avoid this if you have an aversion to needles, or are male. <g>
Tags: family, prostate cancer

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