My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 63 so I began going to a urologist annually at age 50. I went seeking relief from an enlarged prostate. I was prescribed medications which treated that condition and continued going for an annual prostate exam and PSA testing. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 58.
It was considered insignificant disease. I chose the watchful waiting protocol during which I was directed to see a radiologist, surgeon, and seed specialist for treatment even though the disease was insignificant.
After two years of being shipped from one urologist to another I felt talked into having something done even though the most prudent course would have been to do nothing but continue to monitor this insignificant disease. It was as if the urologist was not concerned with my overall health or quality of life but in performing the procedure which our market driven medical system paid them the most money.
At age 60, I eventually chose to have the DaVinci robotic surgery procedure. The doctor who performed the procedure was most competent in his surgical skills but the fact that the disease was insignificant weighed against the post surgical complications and threats to good quality of life were never explained or a part of the post surgical experience. Issues of penile rehabilitation and quality of life issues post op were only addressed within the confines of which clinical trial they offered.
Two months after my surgery, the US Urological Association changed its protocol to suggesting that nothing but watchful waiting was necessary for folks with disease as insignificant as that biopsied from me. I feel I was a foregone statistic used to bolster the success of a procedure. Needless to say I still harbor a touch of anger for an unnecessary surgery and at age 65 while considered “disease free” suffer urinary and erectile difficulties which I did not have pre surgery.