Dear doctors: Prostate cancer is cancer, too
An April 19, 2022 Associated Press article, “Doctors suggest renaming low-grade prostate cancer” (Portland Press Herald, page A3), distressed me very much.
I am a prostate cancer survivor. I was diagnosed when I was 69 years old. I am now 79. I had no symptoms and my PSA was in the 5 to 6 range but was increasing a bit every six months. My urologist suggested I have a biopsy, which resulted in a Gleason 7. I elected to have special brachytherapy at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s in Boston. Had I not followed up with PSA tests, a biopsy and treatment, I probably would not have survived.
I totally agree that those with Gleason 6 should be offered active surveillance, which includes regular (inexpensive) PSA tests. I totally disagree with the doctors in the article calling any prostate cancer “the wimpiest form of prostate cancer,” and references to “eliminat(ing) the alarming C-word” are not being truthful and helpful to patients. I am sure the 34,000 men who die every year, and their families, would agree.