This is a tough one. I firmly believe that my screening allowed me to detect a medium-aggressive form of prostate cancer very early. So early that I was debating about doing anything. On the flip side, the smaller the cancer and the younger the man gives one better odds at not only side effects but also survival.
In discussing this issue with my peers at the Burnaby Prostate Group it seems treatment was doled out more indiscriminately years ago. I think doctors are more open to active surveillance now. It is still a tough choice to make.
Dr. Eric Hyndman says “The concern with the PSA test is that it doesn’t necessarily discriminate between low- and high-grade disease. We don’t need to identify these low-grade diseases. We do need to identify these high-grade diseases.”
He says men have about a one-in-six chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, but only a one in 30 chance of dying from it.
However Dr. Hyndman goes on to say “It’s still the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men,” Hyndman said.
I went ahead with surgery after six months of research even though I had no symptoms. The final pathology? Gleason 7 a moderately aggressive form of prostate cancer.