What was your initial reaction to the diagnosis of prostate cancer?

What was your initial reaction to the diagnosis of prostate cancer?

Patient Jim Bertoni Transcript

Opening Title: What was your initial reaction to the diagnosis of prostate cancer?

I had a heart attack some years ago and as a result of that heart attack I had to see an internist twice a year, every six months. During these visits he would take normal blood tests and he noticed that my PSA level and climbed to over 4 which was a red flag. And with that he recommended that I go see a urologist who he recommended to me and have him take a look at it and do a biopsy. When I went to the urologist the first thing he did was he had a discussion with me. He did a DRE on me and what I remember the most about that DRE was that he thought my prostate was extremely enlarged.. He was also surprised at how often I got up to urinate at night.

So did the biopsy and he took 5 cores out of the left side and 5 cores out of the right side. And he found that 2 of the 5 cores on the left side, I believe it was the left side, were cancerous. The right side had 0 cores. My Gleason score at that time was 3, 3, or 6. He recommended I have a prostatectomy. And my first question as soon as I found out that I had the cancer I was devastated. If you’re not really familiar, and I don’t think that most people are familiar really with the prostate cancer, so when hear the word that you have cancer it’s devastating. And the very first thing in your mind, the very first question you want to ask the doctor is how long do I have to live. And it’s the sinking of the feeling. He let me know it was a slow moving cancer. I asked how much time do I have to make a decision and he said six months.

My immediate reaction was let’s take it out know. Let’s, you know, let’s get it out now.

Closing Title: Jim’s reaction was a common one

Patient Jim Bertoni describes his “gut” reaction to “cut it out” when he was diagnosed.
Patient Jim Bertoni

Jim’s reaction is a common initial reaction shared by many patients who finally decide to go with active surveillance. Jim was especially fortunate to join the Prostate Forum of Orange County,p California, a large and extremely active support group that often has leading experts in prostate cancer as guest speakers. Jim was able to benefit from the experiences of other active surveillance patients in the group.
Video reviewed and approved by Jim Bertoni, August 1, 2015