Fine tuning the PSA sledgehammer

San Diego Dan has posted a link to an interesting article on various approaches to refining the PSA test. As I said a while ago a raised PSA really only shouts “Have more tests” since it is possible to have prostate cancer with a PSA of zero and to not have it with a PSA of 4,000. Factors such as how much time you spend on the saddle of a bicycle will have an impact on your PSA level. Then there is the question of whether the cancer is aggressive or not. If you can tell this then a lot of unnecessary treatment can be avoided. While I wouldn’t say avoid hospitals and treatment at all costs (and in the US personal costs can be significant) certainly if unnecessary treatments can be avoided not only does it save money it also avoids all the various side effects and risks associated with any medical intervention. The article explains that researchers are developing genetic tests, imaging tests, and algorithms in an effort to reduce the more than a million men a year who have prostate biopsies and, even more important, reduce the thousands who get treatment they don’t need.

https://www.statnews.com/2017/05/04/prostate-cancer-research-psa/

 

ICE, paper and blood

Some years ago someone came up with the idea of ICE numbers in your mobile phonebook. These would  be numbers to be called  In Case of Emergency  which  worked well until it was necessary to type in a PIN in order to access the phonebook.  So now it became a bit more challenging – if I was found unconscious by a cryptologist they could crack my PIN code find my phonebook and call my ICE contact. Otherwise I would be stuffed. Continue reading “ICE, paper and blood”

A new word

When we were on holiday I wondered whether I would have anything to say to keep my blog going. Yep, looks like it won’t be a problem.

Today’s new word is thrombocytopenia. We had timed our holiday* so that I could go for a blood test before seeing the oncologist on Monday (looking at the all important PSA levels). I had been going to go first thing Friday morning but a meeting had come up at our daughter’s Day Centre (rumours of it closing) so I had popped over to phlebotomy on Thursday afternoon. Continue reading “A new word”

Why do wombats do cube shaped poos?

Now that is a question you don’t get every day! So having caught your eye I will give you a quick catch-up. Last Friday I saw my GP for an update and she showed me the results of Monday’s blood test. I thought that they couldn’t have been a cause for any concern because I had heard no more from CCHU. Continue reading “Why do wombats do cube shaped poos?”

Three days, three needles

The needle-phobic members of my family can look away now (you know who you are). On Monday I had a ‘phone call – can you come to Wycombe for a CT Scan on Thursday? Well I start chemo on Thursday so it might be a bit tricky is my reply. Oh, well we can fit you in at 5.15 tomorrow. So the next day it was granddaughters in the morning, dog to the vets for her annual check-up then me for a CT scan (mustn’t get these mixed up). Continue reading “Three days, three needles”

Hang on, let’s just step back a bit.

What has been going on – well life as normal except that, as it was later described, I had a few months history of lower urinary tract symptoms (i.e. I had found I had an issue peeing especially first thing in the morning). Liz must have been prescient when she bought me Bill Bryson’s latest book for Christmas. Continue reading “Hang on, let’s just step back a bit.”