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Apparently from what I read a few lower grade cancer cells ( gleason 5 or 6 )left over after surgery will have trouble taking hold anywhere and shouldn't pose a problem down the road. Higher grade cancer cells that are spilled are unfortunately more apt to start a new settlement and cause trouble at some point after surgery. That is why the most important thing if considering surgery is to use a surgeon who possesses great skill. One could extrapolate perhaps that 'watchful waiters' could be potentially at increased risk post surgery ( compared to when they were diagnosed ) if cancer cells are spilled as their cancers may become more aggressive as they wait. Delicate balancing act of risk vs reward.
At this point, I have no Gleason; just a high PSA and negative biopsy of a large prostate. That is a good thing for me, I guess. One upside is that NIH studies show men with higher prostate size generally see better LUTS results with drugs like finasteride. I'll get around to filling that script once the swelling has diminished. 10 days later still recovering from the needles (blood & very mild incontinence); pretty sure I don't envy you guys that have had real surgery.
My docs are flummoxed. While they agree BPH can cause high PSA, I'm way out there statistically. None want to say "yes" unless the pathology agrees, but I can tell in their faces they believe differently.
I've been around since my PSA jumped from 2 to 18+ in 2009... but with declining health I'd normally expect only with a cancer. Pretty sure BPH doesn't have that side effect, so I'm not going to chase my PSA any more. I need to stop worrying if only to keep what's left of my sanity.
If you have a G6 there is no reason to worry as G6 cancers rarely matastize. A higher grade cancer will mastastize and is highly dependent on tumor volume.
A cancer takes 44 doublings from inception to death. It can be detected at around 30 doublings when it is the size of a pin head. It stands to reason the more cancer cells you have the faster the tumor will double in size, so it stands to reason that smaller tumors are less likely to matastize than large tumors. Reducing the volume of a tumor through surgery or radiation will extend life expectancy unless the cancer has already matastized to other parts of the body.
There has been some really informative responses to this question! The more I learn about this disease, the more confused and full of questions I seem to get. Cancer is called a disease and yet it is something you don't "catch". It originates in your own body from a malfunction in (DNA?) as I understand it. Once "mutated" cells are allowed to move to another part of the body and establish themselves even though they are not the type of cells that belong there. Just doesn't seem right that they can do that and be allowed to survive. It is just a train wreck! After thirty times doubling, I just read, the tumor is only the size of a pin head! Does that mean this thing starts at a very early age and takes many years to become significant - if at all? Maybe this is why doctors are so hard to get answers out of. Are we just better off being blissfully unaware of details? The more we learn, the more we wonder about. Kind of a fruitless endeavor I guess. Best to all! Jon R.