I just returned from the doctor and was told that I have stage 1 prostate cancer. I am only 25 years old. I am really over weight and live a very unhealthy lifestyle, which the doc told me can be one of the contributors to prostate cancer. The doc told me that prostate cancer in people my age is extemely rare, like less than 1%. Should I get a second opinion? Has anyone heard of a man this young having prostate cancer? Any knowledge would be apperciated. Thanks.
You just returned from the doctor and were told you had prostate cancer?
If you're being told that without a biopsy, never see that doctor again.
It would be very rare for a 25 year old to have prostate cancer, but not impossible. Why does the doctor think you have it? Did you have a rising PSA and then have a biopsy? What is your Gleason score? What is your PSA history? Why led to your examination and diagnosis in the first place--were you having urinary problems?
Only 1 in 10,000 men under age 40 are diagnosed with prostate cancer. ( http://bit.ly/Hj0z9 ) I don't have figures for men under 30, but the simple answer to how often it happens is "almost never".
It would be so unusual to have it at 25 that I would apply Occam's Razor: when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras. The simpler explanation is usually the one that is true.
I would definitely get a second opinion from a center of excellence. If you had a biopsy, get those slides re-examined by a lab like Bostwick or Jonathan Epstein at Johns Hopkins University. If you have NOT had a biopsy, you have not really been diagnosed with prostate cancer--instead, your doctor has made a guess.
I have never had a biopsy. I have one scheduled for next week. Here are the events leading up to this day. About 2 months ago a started experiencing really bad pain in my lower back. At times it was unbarable. Around the same time I also started having trouble while urinating. I would have to go pee really bad, and when I got to the toliet the pee would trickle out and come out in spurts. When i felt i was done urinating I would notice that the urine still came out, and I could not feel it come out. I told by another doc this might be a sympton of a new medication I was taking for ADHD. I went into my physician last week for the back pain as it was getting worse and he had a ct scan done. Today when I went in to go over the ct scan my doc came in with another doctor, a urologist. He preformed a rectal exam (fun!) and had me do a blood sample. It was at that point the urologist started to explain to me that there is some sort of growth on my prostate that might be cancer. I got a little concerned and he explained to me that it is early enough to catch it, and that it is in stage 1. He didnt say probably stage 1, he said IT IS in stage 1. He mentioned something about a watch and wait period. He was talking as though I had prostate cancer, not as if he wanted to test to make sure. He went over treatments, stages, monthly rectal exams, and things like that.
I have called a cancer center and set an appoitment to get a second opinion. Should I stop seeing the doctor I saw today? Was he out of line for talking like that? I am just very confused and scared. Everything I have read says I am way to young to have prostate cancer, and that it could be a list of other things.
Okay, that's much clearer now. You haven't really been diagnosed with prostate cancer but unfortunately the signs are pointing in that direction. Don't fire your doctor. If I were you, I would get the biopsy, get your PSA, and *then* you will probably want to get second opinions.
It sounds to me like you're getting prudent care. Your doctors are following up.
If the urologist found your rectal exam to be abnormal, and he's an experienced urologist, he probably knows what a cancerous prostate feels like. The biopsy will confirm or deny.
If there's a silver lining, it's that recent studies show that young men who get diagnosed are no more in danger of having a shortened life span than other men.
Sounds like there's still a chance you don't have it, but a good chance you do, in spite of your age.
This is a lot for a 25 year old to take, I know. Lots of us have been down this path before you, though (although at later ages). Even though it's a big challenge, it's not the end of the world.
I have some practical tips for you.
For the biopsy, find out if the urologist is going to use a local anesthetic. If not, insist upon it. It will turn a potentially painful procedure into one that is merely uncomfortable. (And undignified, but nothing you can do about that). If you think you are going to be overly anxious, ask for a couple of Valium--one to take at home and one to take at the doctor's.
Since you're probably going to have more rectal exams (called DREs in shorthand) in your future, here's a way to make them more comfortable. First, realize this is no big deal for the doctor. He's not embarrassed--he does these all the time. So you should not be embarrassed either. When you "assume the position", put your weight first on the balls of your feet, lean forward, put your forearms onto the exam table and then shift most of your weight onto your arms. This will help you relax from the waist down. Relax and don't tense up.
Read up on your prostate. In the sticky post at the top of this forum, entitled "Prostate Cancer Basics" I have posted answers to some of the more common questions, and I include a reading list at the bottom. I am personally a big fan of Dr. Walsh's book, but I have tried to include other books that members of this forum suggest.
This is a relatively quiet discussion forum (I kind of like it that way). If you want to be involved in a more active one as well, I suggest the Prostate Cancer Infolink social network at http://prostatecancerinfolink.ning.com/ . They have a special discussion forum for younger men, and I'm sure they'd be glad to have you join them.