Wednesday, September 15, 2010

While on the road, in a diner, I get the "bad news" about my own PSA through my Blackberry

Well, yesterday (Tuesday), while “on the road”, and using my laptop wireless in a diner in central Pennsylvania, I got a Blackberry call from my doctor’s assistant about my fasting blood tests. I hate this business of a 12 hour fast to renew a prescription. Well, she told me my bad cholesterol was a little high, and not to eat red meat, eggs, milk etc (just as a cheeseburger was being served, with potato chips). And she told me my PSA, prostate specific antigen, was too high and that the family physician wanted me to see a urologist.

I couldn’t get a message down in the restaurant, and called back. I got the number as 5.22, ironic since I had been driving on US 522 in Pennsylvania. Normal is 0.1 to 4.00. I suppose that the amount of increase in the past 16 months, since the last test, is important.

I checked the National Cancer Institute’s page on the PSA test, which is here.

It seems that some elevated PSA’s mean nothing, and some indicate benign disease, and that most prostate cancers are very slow growing anyway. But a few are very malignant. My father died of prostate cancer on January 1, 1986, just before his 83rd birthday. But he was ill for only four weeks; his entire life was productive.

Some of the treatments would not be very acceptable to me.

Is a Blackberry a good device for getting personally troubling news?

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