Gleason Scores for rating Prostate Cancer have been around for a reasonable time, since 1966 when Dr. Donald Gleason, a pathologist created a scoring system on information derived from studies of the biopsies from around 3,000 patients with Prostate Cancer. It now provides a standard of measurement as to the severity of the Prostate Cancer. From a patients standpoint, the lower the score the better. It is important to note that the process is a bit subjective and depends on how the cells look to each individual pathologist under the microscope. About 1.5% of the time an inaccurate diagnosis of Prostate Cancer is made where none really existed. Generally speaking a Gleason score of 5 or 6 are generally low grade tumors, a Gleason score of 7 is rated as intermediate and moderately aggressive, while a Gleason score of 8, 9, or 10 are high grade tumors, very aggressive and fast growing.
The location of the Prostate Cancer is also very important when considering removal of the Prostate for treatment. In my case a Radical Prostatectomy because of the Cancer’s location would most likely damage/remove the nerves leaving me without sexual function but still with adequate urinary function. This option, if required, is still preferable to me over radiation treatment because of its long-term results. Too many Prostate Cancer patients previously having radiation treatment find themselves without options 5 to 10 years down the road when they have a relapse.
During our chat I felt best when Dr Zink looked at me and said, “Your Prostate Cancer is low grade and slow growing. You will not die of Prostate Cancer, there are so many treatment options.” Of course he was talking of all the accepted medical options including hormone therapy, various radiation treatments, and surgery, etc, while in my mind I was already exploring other alternatives.
Dr. Zink said there was no immediate action that needed to be taken and put me on a process he termed Active Surveillance. We scheduled another PSA test for 6 weeks out. He also recommended I have another Prostate Biopsy in 6 months and pending those results, another again a year from that one. I am weighing the risks and considering all options regarding scheduling these possible future biopsies.
With diagnosis in hand I went back to the Internet looking for answers. My research led me to Paul Reilly, ND at Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center in Renton WA, who co-authored along with Dr. Michael T. Murray the book: How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Natural Medicine, published by Riverhead Books. This is a remarkable book and a must read for anyone diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. From that book and other studies I began my treatment.
I also returned to Bastyr Center for Natural Health to explore other ways to improve my own immune system for natural healing. Their treatment has already improved my physical well being and their methods will be discussed here.
Next installment: Treatment Begins