Not Everything That Happens is Cancer - 9 June 2012

I have to thank a couple of blog-readers for some inspiration for new posts.  First goes  to Ben, the Mobile Biohazard Man in Louisiana, who shared a recent diagnostic ordeal that reminds me of Sebastian's false alarm reported a couple of posts ago, way back in March of this year!  Another goes to new reader and "fraternity member" Steven, who correctly spells his first name the same way I do.  His prompting will lead to another new post in a week or two.

Back to Ben in Louisiana.  As part of his attention to general health, he went to his primary doctor (not the urologist) for a routine check up at the end of April.  Blood work was taken in advance to find that his PSA level had continued to elevate from 1.2 to 3.5 and now up to 5.4.  While this is not unusual for BCG patients, the doctor was thorough and performed a routine and quite unpleasant procedure used for men called DRE.  (As a side note, my PSA has remained low at 0.6 recently, and my DREs had all been negative except to note normal growth in the prostate.) 

Unfortunately for Ben, and the doctor detected a "small lump" on the prostate.  At this point the natural reaction is panic - there may be prostate cancer in addition to the bladder cancer.  Both Ben and his wife were very concerned.  In early May, Ben visited his urologist for a follow-up, and the second doctor confirmed the presence of the lump - estimated at 8mm in size (same as Sebastian's bladder polyp).  The specialist felt that his preliminary opinion was a clogged duct, small cyst, or perhaps a granuloma (which is quite unusual and not as serious as it sounds). 

The only way to be sure was to conduct a prostate biopsy, another quite unpleasant procedure - mostly due to the sounds one hears.  Ben's took place in late May, using the common "rear entry" method.  Here is how Ben described it in his own words:
Now for all those that have not had prostate biopsy, just let me say that is an eye opening and memorable experience. He punched 14 holes thru wall of colon and into prostate under local. Don’t let me exaggerate, really not much pain, but quite unnerving, the needle gun makes a loud click with ever shot.
Three days (and sleepless nights) later, the pathology results came in - NO MALIGNANCY, but inflammation, fibrosis, and granuloma, which in this case was a cluster of cells (probably BCG) that had settled in the prostate and became encapsulated by the body for protection - thus forming the small lump the doctors felt.  There is no treatment necessary as the body will slowly absorb and deconstruct the granuloma over time in its natural healing process.  So all is well that ends well!

Subsequent to the original posting, I learned that both Ben in Alabama and new reader Steven have had similar experiences, so this may not be so uncommon after all...

Ben's advice is, "Don't Panic!"  Lots of things cause PSA to rise, including BCG, and not all prostate lumps are cancerous.


El Calígrafo said...

Hi Steve
Very interesting. Especially the final message: do not panic unnecessarily.

El Calígrafo said...

Good luck for Ben F. next 18 !!!

Deb said...

Just a note - my husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer in November of 2007 and, after undergoing 4 TURBT's, multiple BCG treatments, ongoing cystoscopies (on a quarterly basis) and now - the last cysto produced a look at "something" in his bladder. In we go for another TURBT - long story short - NO CANCER - was necrosis from a bladder infection/stone. Was removed and sent to pathology just to be sure and the result remained the same - NO CANCER. On January 9, 2013 he will be FIVE YEARS cancer free! One more cysto to go before that time but we are full of faith that it will be just fine! Just wanted to share!!!

Ari said...

Hello, my name is Ari, I am a survivor (so far...) of two cancers, a widower of a cancer victim (now re-married..) and is dedicated to fighting cancer, and helping others do so.
I lived in Toronto, Canada (my family is in southern California), and last year, after marriage, I moved to the Philippines. I am majority owner of a Dialysis clinic, and built a unique cancer clinic, the one I dreamt of having when my first wife was struggling. I took her to Mexico clinics twice, for treatments (which were very successful!), talked to dozens of physicians, and always found lack of properly equipped clinics, which could do a lot better if they were.
Along the way, I have gained insight of how proper Hyperthermia should be applied. This is a method which doubles the success rate of conventional therapies, and alternative ones as well, provided it is done properly. I have purchased the most powerful device for this, and added two other types of devices, which when applied in the right order, prevent a process of DE-sensitizing of cancer cells to the effects of specific frequency hyperthermia. We also do mild whole body hyperthermia in order to strengthen the immune system (with no side effects),and help reach the right thermo-therapeutic levels within the tumour.(the right temperature simply destroys the tumour...). There are also other aspects to this, biological ones, which for lack of commercial incentive (UN-patentable..) is not pursued by multinational pharmaceutical corporations which control all medical research in the field.
I also introduced other forms of immunotherapy, and alternative cytotoxic elements, such as Helixor, a mistletoe extract, which has three times better success rate then most chemo agents, without the side effects.
I can give information about many clinics I learned about, (mainly in Mexico and Germany)
If you are interested in getting free advice, please feel free to contact me, @
Ari Idan