Prostate Cancer - To Biopsy or not biopsy! ( or MRI scan)

This is the type of post and answers that make SF such a good forum.

To all of you that are having health problems, or have a loved one with health problems then I wish you a speedy recovery … :hugs:


I’ve just taken a look at OH’s records.

Quite by chance our Doc included PSA in a routine blood test… result 45+
(no symptoms were present)

Speedy investigations included Echography showing large tumour… and Biopsies… OMG

OH had had a heart attack the year before and the Consultant was loathe to operate until the heart had more strength… so medicated at first.

However, within a few months… all done and dusted… and we live to fight another day… phew… :hugs:


Was radiotherapy offered?

It was many years ago and the whole period passed in a bit of a haze… so I cannot say …

We have always had great faith in our MTraitant and, subsequently, the Consultants he directs us to…

So, although there certainly was much discussion, frankly we just left ourselves in their hands … and continue to do so.

Over time… this has proved a sound decision.

(I dread the day our MT retires… I have told him flatly… retirement is not an option… and he has promised to stay on as long as he can… :hugs:)

What type of biopsy? TRUS or Template? I was told that the bruising to the prostate from a biopsy can take 9 months to heal. MRI before biopsy can guide the biopsy, but the other way around, the damage from the biopsy makes the MRI images less clear. This is what I was told by my Urologist. Template biopsy is much more accurate than TRUS is my understanding.

Yep… Simon… the shared documentation/results coming on-line now, is excellent… :hugs:

but, the cherry on the cake… is having MT and Consultants picking up the phone to one another… in our presence … and discussing (without any delay)… that is so helpful… (waiting for results/decisions on any health problem, is often the hardest part)


I am almost 73 and I have been tested here in France but the Doctor didn’t really want to refer me. He pointed out that once I am 75 the test will no longer be available. In the UK my brother was knocking on 75 when he was tested and found to have a very aggressive form of prostate cancer and I know of others much older than him. His life was saved by an early diagnosis that could not have happened here in France.


If I have understood correctly…

Anyone presenting symptoms… or with a family history… will still be able to take the PSA test at whatever age (it’s only a blood test after all) … it simply will no longer be done “as standard” after 70 (?)… This is following new recommendations from (whoever/whatever) Medical Body.

However, each case on its own merits… as to whether or not further examination/biopsy/treatment etc after a bad PSA … is advisable/preferable…

There has been quite some discussion in the French Press about this, in recent months… something to do with age/slower speed of progression v intrusion/damage … I’ll try and find the bumpf when I have a minute…

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So sorry to hear about your brother however you’re wrong about PSA testing in France. It’s available to anyone at any time either on prescription from your MT or by simply walking into one of the numerous high street labs and paying for it - around 9€ at mine.

I’d most probably be dead by now if I’d been in the UK.


Hi Chris… you’ve been tested… and presumably the PSA was high… yet, you say your Doctor didn’t want to refer you … for what exactly ?..

Did he actually refuse… or rather, discuss the pro’s and con’s with you before going ahead with a referral…

Wow that is good and I am glad that testing will still be available after 75. Next time I will not always believe what my Doctor here in France tells me.

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Chris… what did your Doctor tell you ??? Rather than “not believing him”… I think you and he need to fully discuss… to be sure you are both understanding the other.

Can you explain what referral the Doc didn’t want to do… and his reasons…

Oh… and (sorry) can you clarify what language… (I know some folk get things twisted about a bit… me included sometimes)

Important to be clear… for future folk following this PC thread…

going off on a tangent… I have a condition which needs testing… system says every 3-5 years… my Doc likes me to be tested more frequently…depending on how I am getting along…

Whatever… the important thing to note is that, if the Doc is satisfied something needs doing, … there are always routes-around any system/guidelines (which may be saying otherwise) … :zipper_mouth_face:

My Doctor speaks excellent English so there is no misunderstanding between us. He has many English speaking clients. I told him about my brother having been diagnosed and his response was well we don’t really recommend the test at your age and after 75 we don’t do it at all. When he had a locum in I raised the issue again and she gave me a prescription for the PSA test which thankfully came out as very low. I don’t think I should have to find my way round the system or guidelines. The Doctor should have told me that I can get a test whenever I want just by paying. Next time I feel it is time for a test I’ll tell him what you wrote.

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What was your PSA level out of interest @chrisTW?

Because of my own situation, my brother was tested the day after my cancer diagnosis - he was only 50 at the time. Thankfully his initial and subsequent readings were/remain around 1.7ng/mL (current ‘investigatory limit’ in France is 3.1ng/mL) - he now opts for an annual test. Obviously it was very important for him to be tested as there ‘may’ be a genetic link.

It’s great that you’re taking ownership of your health and that you are indeed finding your way round the system and guidelines - you should. After all, your body - your life!

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Aha… It was the Blood Test… that he felt was unnecessary. Righto…

Your Doc obviously felt happy with his decision… whilst you were not… (understandably IMO)

Anyway, you have now had a PSA test… with a low result… so that is great.

Relax and enjoy life…

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Great article from Prostate Cancer UK about mpMRI scans (IRM-mp)

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I have recently been in contact with Cancer Support France to train as a volunteer.
If you possibly need more support while dealing with this issue, you might want to contact Cancer Support France - Nord.


Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous organisation - well done you Sam!

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Hi Sam and thanks for the link… just taken a quick look… excellent ! I was unaware that there was so much information, help and support… and I will surely not be the only one…

Here is the main link… for the whole of France…

and this page shows CSF “near you”… for everyone’s quick reference…