Advice : friend needed

My father has been under watching regime with his prostrate cancer for a few years -  6 months ago his PSA level was 66 it’s now jumped to 220. Im scared and no idea what to ask - they are now saying the hormone treatment which 6 months ago was not recommended is now urgent and we are waiting for the team to meet to say he can have hormone blockers before starting injections 

At 89 he finds talking to consultant difficult on the phone and gets confused - nhs won’t see him in person due to covid

I just feel so alone as my brother died two years ago snd my husband keeps saying he’s 89 how long do you think he will live !

  • Hi,

    PSA is a fairly unreliable test; gradient is far more important than absolute level. In other words, they'd be looking at all his tests, and how quickly it was rising. So if, six months ago, there had been a small rise on previous tests, hormone treatment would not be recommended; a big jump to 220 tells a different story.

    You don't give much information (has he been treated before, or has he been on active surveillance?), but in either case, the hormone treatment could be effective for years. Again, hard to say without knowing more, but he is much more likely to die of something else than PCa.

    But hormone treatment has powerful side effects, and his age may make it a tough regime.

    Nobody can give a prediction of anyone's survival with any accuracy, we're all unique individuals. But he is 89!!

    - - -

    Heinous

    A healthy-looking decrepit, 69-year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful. I no longer have an urge to choke people who say "all you need to beat cancer is the right attitude" - better to smile and move on.

  • Thank you he’s had no treatment before just surveillance

    he is now seeing local consultant and with GP they have said once on hormone treatment you are on them for life but another one we saw privately in London  at beginning of this journey said he believes in coming off  injections when PSA level reduces for a couple of months then restarting and stop / start on a regular basis. Will see how my father copes with side effects just hope they start medication soon 

    he’s 89 and incredibly fit for his age but I think he will say quality over quantity if side effects of hormone treatment too difficult 

  • That all sounds very sensible. The side effects do vary tremendously from person to person, some are just annoying (eg hot flushes), but others can be quite debilitating, especially the fatigue. In my experience, the best way to deal with that is to 'work through it' - be active, maybe even more active than usual, rather than letting it slow you down.

    And if any side effects are troublesome, don't hesitate to go back to GP / oncologist / specialist nurse / whoever to see how they can help.

    - - -

    Heinous

    A healthy-looking decrepit, 69-year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful. I no longer have an urge to choke people who say "all you need to beat cancer is the right attitude" - better to smile and move on.

  • Hi SJS and welcome

    He must have had some tests before going on active surveillance?

    Perhaps a MRI scan or a biopsy or hopefully both.

    If so what is his Gleeson score(from biopsy) or/and what did the MRI say.

    Sorry to ask questions but it does help to give some hopefully more accurate advice.

    Best wishes

    Steve