Monday, November 14, 2011

2) Better Prostate Cancer Tests, and the Power Color Doppler Ultrasound

In all fairness, I should begin by thanking the physician at Group Health for even suggesting I have a PSA test. Because of her diligence I started on the path learning about a potentially life threatening Cancer developing in my body. Now I have the opportunity to take action, and make the necessary changes (More on this to follow) leading to improved health.

Knowing I had an elevated PSA score, and the knowledge these scores often lead to unwarranted, potentially dangerous Prostate Biopsies, I started searching for new diagnostic methods to better confirm, or remove the threat of Prostate Cancer. I came across an article about the Power Color Doppler Ultrasound test out of Phoenix, AZ and sometimes available in Seattle.

The Power Color Doppler Ultrasound is used to produce sonographic images of the prostate. It is essentially a more sophisticated version of traditional ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves to produce a detailed image of the body's internal structures. One primary advantage of Power Color Doppler Ultrasound in the detection of prostate cancer is that it has a much higher resolution and the ability to highlight (hence the term "color" in the name) areas of blood flow in dense or soft tissue. This allows specific problems, such as tumors or inflammation, to be viewed and measured clearly. This sounded a whole lot better than perforating my prostate with a bunch of oversized needles. The local contact for this test was Dr. Eric Yarnell, ND. I made an initial appointment.

During the office visit Dr. Yarnell reviewed my medical records, diet, symptoms, and lifestyle. He then suggested I take a PCA3 Profile test performed at his clinic. This is a gene-based test carried out on a urine sample. The PCA3 test is actually a dual assay in which both PCA3 and PSA mRNA are separately quantified and the ratio of the two, the PCA3 Score, is determined. The ratio is used because the denominator, PSA mRNA, establishes the amount of prostate-specific nuclear material in the specimen. A low level of PCA3 is expressed by normal prostate cells, and if absolute concentration of PCA3 were used, a high Score might be obtained from a specimen rich only in normal prostate cells. Thus, the PCA3 Score tells the expression of PCA3 corrected for the background of normal or BPH epithelial cells present in the specimen. In early clinical testing, it was soon determined that the higher the urinary PCA3 Score, the greater the likelihood of prostate cancer. Taking the test sample requires another Digital Rectal Exam where the physician massages the Prostate several times on both sides. Then you immediately pee into a cup for the urine sample. The sample is sent to a lab for the screening. This test has a safe reference range of 0 – 34, so the lower score the better. Unfortunately my score of 38.6 came back over the safe level.

My next visit with Dr. Yarnell was filled with questions. I was hoping for the best, and wondering what it all meant. His opinion based on my test results was that I may have a slow growing Prostate Cancer and that I could 'Watch and Wait', or take the next step and get a Power Color Doppler Ultrasound to better define the problem. He also felt that a Prostate Biopsy was a risk I might not want right now because of possible complications including infection dangers and increased opportunity to spread Cancer Cells. What I have come to understand is that Cancer in the Prostate isn’t the real killer. The problem comes from when the Prostate Cancer Cells grow so profuse and use the lymphatic, or blood systems, or contiguous growth to spread. Perforating the Prostate during a Biopsy may also release an abundance of Cancer Cells into the body and blood. The Cancer Cells then may lodge in other areas of the body, often bones or lymph nodes, and start to grow a new colony uncontrollably. This could result in Prostate Cancer Lymph Node, or Bone, Metastasis, a life-threatening situation often treated with chemotherapy or external radiation therapy.

With that said he suggested I immediately start taking a ModifiedCitrus Pectin called Pectasol-C that has been shown to inhibited cell proliferation and apoptosis in Prostate Cancer Cells. It does this by interfering with galectin binding, which disrupts communication between cancer cells and thus inhibits the formation and spread of Cancer. Why more medical physicians do not know about, or recommend Pectasol-C is beyond me. I have been continuously taking Pectasol-C since that conversation and plan to keep it up. The best pricing I’ve found is on using their ‘Subscribe and Save’ program.

As I am not the type of person to just sit back and wait for the hammer to drop, I decided to proceed with the Power Color Doppler Ultrasound test. Unfortunately the equipment would not be available is Seattle for several months. So I made the appointment, booked the flight, and in days found myself on a one-day round trip flight to Phoenix, Arizona.

Next installment: Power Color Doppler Ultrasound the Test, Results, a New Surprise and Treatment.

1 comment:

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