Mountain Landscape

Newly Diagnosed Class

Keep Calm and Take Charge

When you're first diagnosed, you may be quickly overwhelmed by the vast amount of information now available about prostate cancer. Our Newly Diagnosed classes are intended to help you find your way through all that information, so that you can advocate for yourself and take charge of your cancer.

A Newly Diagnosed Class is offered on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, beginning at 5pm Pacific Time

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86164783897

Come talk with us about your anxieties and your diagnosis

These meetings are intended for anyone who wants to learn more about prostate cancer - especially men who want to talk specifically about their own diagnosis, and for their families and friends, and even men who are not diagnosed but may be wondering if they should be tested. 

If you'd prefer not to talk, that's OK. You'll still learn a great deal about your diagnosis and options simply by listening to others.

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How It Works

Meetings are structured and moderated, but they are not lectures - everyone gets a chance to talk about their particular situation. The moderator (usually Ira Kaget) invites each participant to talk about their diagnosis, beginning with newcomers.

When you talk, Ira asks a lot of questions to help understand your cancer journey so far: your recent PSA history; your biopsy, if you've had one; your MRI, if you've had one; your test results; your "Gleason Score" (a way to grade prostate cancer), and so on.

After the questions, Ira and Dr. Metzger will usually provide some clarifications, talk about resources, and suggest options (not medical advice--that's for your medical team) based on their years of experience and on promising new technologies.

Although each prostate cancer diagnosis is different, you will hear similar recommendations: get a second opinion; use MRI-guided biopsy; advocate for yourself. You'll hear about local centers of excellence.  And you'll learn that you are not alone on your journey.

Your moderators

Dr. Charles Metzger, MD (ret.), VP of the Prostate Forum, is a urologist with more than 30 years of experience helping men with the disease. 

Ira Kaget, the principal moderator, is living with prostate cancer under "Active Surveillance" since 2009. He has followed the extraordinary growth in methods and technologies for treating prostate cancer in recent years and is a particularly knowledgeable resource for newly diagnosed patients.

How to Prepare

To get the most from the forum, we recommend you come as prepared and as informed as you can. Don't worry if you don't have all the information - we'll still be able to help, and you'll still come away from the meeting better informed, knowing the questions you should be asking.

You've probably already had some tests done and seen some results. We'll help you understand the results with questions like these. (Some of the terminology will be new to you, so you can find some basic explanations below.)

  • When were you diagnosed?

  • What is your PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) history? What is it now and how has it changed over the past year or so?

  • Have you had a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE - "the finger")? What did the doctor find?

  • If you've had a biopsy, have the pathology report with you. 

    • Was it a fusion biopsy (MRI-guided)?

    • How many core samples were taken? How many cores had cancer? What percentage of each sample was cancerous?

  • Do you know your Gleason Score?

  • Is there any indication that the cancer has breached the prostate capsule? Has it spread to other glands?​

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Terminology - the Basics

The list below explains the principal terms you want to know initially, and the page Take Charge of  Your Prostate Cancer will help you develop a measured and educated strategy. When you are ready to go deeper, you'll find more comprehensive definitions on the Terms to Know page, links to a wealth of helpful information on the Resources page, and  details of encouraging developments for prostate cancer management in our Presentations Library.

Active Surveillance

Sometimes called “Watchful Waiting,” this is an approach in which a you and/or your physician monitor your condition, allowing time to pass before medical intervention or therapy is used. During this time, repeated testing may be performed - regular PSA test and MRIs.

Biopsy

A sample of tissue is taken from the body to be examined microscopically to ascertain if cancer is present. A doctor will recommend a biopsy when an initial test suggests an area of tissue in the body isn’t normal. It is the most important procedure in diagnosing cancer.

Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)

Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) Finger wave! A health care provider inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum and examines the prostate for any irregularities in size, shape and texture.

Gleason Score (Basic)

A pathologist assigns a grade from 1 to 5 to the two most predominant cancer patterns in your biopsy and adds the two grades to give the  Gleason Score. In practice, scores are often expressed as a sum (e.g. 3+4, 4+3 indicating intermediate favorable and intermediate unfavorable).

Grade Group

This is an indication of the risk of your cancer, from Low (Group 1) through Intermediate (Grades 2 and 3) to High (Groups 4 and 5)

Grade and Stage of cancer

The stage of your cancer looks at where the cancer is present in your body. The grade of your cancer describes what the cancel cells look like under a microscope. See Gleason Score and Grade Group

PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen)

PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, is a protein produced by the prostate and found mostly in semen, with very small amounts released into the bloodstream. When there’s a problem with the prostate—such as the development and growth of prostate cancer—more PSA is released