Oncology (General Cancer)/Prostate cancer


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I am an eighty-two year old white male who is in excellent health and very active. About ten years ago I had prostate cancer and had a prostatectomy followed by thirty-nine radiation treatments and at a later date hormone therapy. My PSA has been less than zero for the last four years. It is now seventeen. I have an appointment next month with an urologist. Two questions: What should my expectations be? Also, if need be are there new treatments for prostate cancer?

Thank you

If it went from 0 to 17 in less than a year, that suggests a fairly aggressive tumor.  I don't know if you are currently receiving hormonal therapy; that would make a difference in what treatment to consider next.  It's also important to find out where the cancer is -- if it's in the pelvis in the area previously irradiated, the treatment would be different than if it had metastasized to bone.  So you need a bone scan, and if that's negative, probably a CT=Pet of the pelvis (or an MRI).  If the only cancer is in the pelvis, there may be a role for brachytherapy.  If you have disease in the bone, there are many options after hormone therapy fails, including secondary hormonal therapy.  There are chemotherapy drugs which work quite well in prostate cancer, and are well tolerated, even at your age.  It's unlikely that the disease can be cured, given what you've told me, but there is a strong likelihood that with the right medications you can live with it (and keep your quality of life) for a long time.  Hope this helps, and keep me posted.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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