On the 15 April 2012, I was told by my urologist: "Alan, you have prostate cancer". Well I was sort of expecting it, but the words were still difficult to absorb. I didn't hear too much more that the urologist said, other than he suggested that we should meet again in a few weeks after I have had the bone and CT scans that he prescribed.
These scans suggested that there was no signs of the cancer having "escaped the box" (the prostate and its capsular wall). My Gleason score was 7 (3+4) and I had intermediate risk PCa. However, I was starting to suffer from what I have termed the "Cancer Anxiety Factor". This manifests itself as a strong and almost overpowering need to rid yourselves of the cancer cells that were growing in your body as soon as possible. The "Cancer Anxiety Factor" on occassions sees patients commiting to aggressive treatments that might not be the most appropriate for their specific circumstances.
My next visit to my urologist came around pretty quickly. He suggested that I was a good candidate for a radical prostatectomy. I said no, and that I would continue to research the various treatment alternatives that were available to me during a trip to South Africa that we had booked months previously. Prostate cancer is generally a slow progression disease and as such, I had time to explore all possible treatments available. So began an extensive research 'project' that continued over 7 months, during which time I say two further urologists and a radiation oncologists, had a TURP operation to improve urine flows and investigated going overseas for either hyperthermia or proton beam treatment.
The key point of all the above, is that I had taken responsibility for my own condition and was determined to get the best outcome possible regardless of the still strong "Cancer Anxiety Factor's" presence. Sure I listened to my doctors, but after my research into my condition, I was able to be far more probing in my questioning of them as to my options, than I would have been had I not taken responsibility for my own condition. I was in a good phycological space. I had no concerns about my condition and did not feel depressed in any way.
I learned enough along the way, to come to the conclusion that I should share my 'knowledge' with fellow prostate cancer sufferers in the form of a book. Six months more research and the conclusion of my own treatment in South Korea, culminated in the publication of the eBook version of my book "An ABC of Prostate Cancer in 2015" at www.amazon.com in November 2014.
I feel this book has much in it that might greatly assist newly-diagnosed PCa sufferers and the families, to better evaluate their treatment options and not be rushed into perhaps too aggressive a treatment regime by their "Cancer Anxiety Factor".
To conclude, Dr C., a leading international radiation oncologist said about the book; “This is a story of a man who searches for the best treatment available for his prostate cancer while maintaining his post treatment quality of life. The author vividly illustrates his long journey as a patient from the diagnosis of his cancer to his treatment by proton beam therapy. Certainly, this book will help you and your loved ones, release the anxiety that you are experiencing and find hope for the future.”