Today’s meeting with the urologist went about as I expected it would. In a nutshell, we agreed to punt for another three months and see where we’re at with a new PSA test at that time.

We talked about the clean PSMA PET scan results and the fact that we remain in this inconclusive gray area right now that doesn’t bode well for making decisions about the next steps. He did suggest that I could start ADT [androgen deprivation therapy; also known as hormone therapy] now if I wanted to do so, and he debated about whether it would be appropriate to start ADT with abiraterone. He leaned toward just starting without abiraterone if ADT is what I wanted to do, but I also sensed that he felt no need to rush into this given the negative scan results.

One interesting comment that he made (and I wish I had taken better notes) was along the lines of ADT alone has not been shown to extend life expectancy. The unsaid implication was, “Why go through the side effects of ADT now if studies show there’s no discernable difference in the outcome?” That’s something that I need to dig into a little more.

One interesting thing that’s popped up in my conversations with others in prostate cancer forums or here is testosterone level testing. In all my years of being treated, my testosterone level has never been tested, so we talked about that. It’s something that we can do just prior to starting ADT to establish a baseline reference point.

I mentioned my email conversation with the radiation oncologist, and talked about the possibility of zapping a lesion should it show up on a PSMA PET scan in the future. The urologist seemed a bit indifferent to that approach (probably an occupational hazard).

During the conversation, I mentioned that my PSA doubling time using the last four values was at just over six months, and he commented that that was “not insignificant.”

We did discuss whether there was value in knowing where the cancer was located at this point, or to just know that the cancer is somewhere and proceed with systemic treatment without knowing its location. My concern is that starting ADT would make finding the location next to impossible on a PSMA PET scan if my PSA is knocked down to near zero.

He kept using the term “metastatic” throughout the conversation which, I suppose, is technically correct. If the cancer is someplace other than where it started, it’s metastatic. But I’ve also learned that there is a lot of gray area in the prostate cancer world when it comes to classifying how and what your cancer is.

I also asked for a consult with a medical oncologist to get his/her insights on where I’m at and what should be done next and he was going to put that request in for the consult.

I have a three-month follow-up appointment and PSA test scheduled for 14 May 2024, so the saga continues.

About an hour after I returned home from my appointment, the PCRI posted this very timely video on micro-metastatic prostate cancer.

I’ll probably publish this video as a stand-alone post so it’s easier to find.

This post originally appeared February 13, 2024, on Dan’s Journey Through Prostate Cancer. It is republished with permission.