Willie Stewart – My Prostate Cancer Journey

I was approached by a fellow member. We were both regulars and he had not seen me for two weeks. When he asked me where I had been, I repliedmy absence was because of my brother’s death in Texas due to prostate cancer. He encouraged me to get a PSA as part of my next physical exam. After doing some reading on prostate cancer, I realized African American men have the highest prostate cancer death rate in the world. I encouraged 4 of my brothers and 5 first cousins to also complete prostate cancer screening.
During my next annual physical in 1992, I asked Dr. Weatherby, my primary care Physician, for a PSA blood test in addition to the digital rectal exam. My DRE results noted my prostate gland as without nodularity, induration or asymmetry. My PSAwas elevated at 25.
I was referred to Dr. William Dean for a biopsy. The biopsy results were positive. For prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 5. My prostate volume was 52.64cc. My bone scan was negative. If I had elected no on site therapy, my probability of progression was projected at 5-10 years.
At the time of diagnosis, Nov 16, 1992, my age was 56 years, 9 months. My IPS score 35, QOL index 6, SHIM score 29 and TPSAD 0.37.
Dr. Dean performed a radical prostatectomy Dec 9, 1992. Pathological findings revealed no prostate cancer in my lymph nodes or seminal vesicles and negative surgical margins. My tumor was found within my gland. There was extensive prostatic intra epithelial neoplasia found within non malignant glands. In the portions of the gland sampled, the overall percentage of gland which represents tumor estimated 30-50%.
It has been 16 years since my treatment. My most recent PSA was Jan 23, 2008 and was undetectable (less than 0.01). I take 2 mg of DETRO LA at bedtime to control leakage at nite only. I am impotent.
I believe the Tacoma Prostate Cancer Support Group is the best thing for assisting me in knowing that prostate cancer can be defeated.