First Texting-While-Driving Charge?
From Thomas Hardy’s “Jude the Obscure”, published around 1900 give or take.
As part of my new GP’s process of establishing benchmark values for my health I trotted off to a Urology Clinic last week, clutching my referral form that said my PSA measured 7.3”. Whatever that means.
Prostate Cancer is the leading type of cancer in Canadian men. About 4% of the men who develop prostate cancer will die from it.
Bladder Cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in Canadian men.
I gleaned these facts from a coffee-table book in the Waiting Lounge (this is a snazzy clinic!) which book included a photo of the chair in which I was sitting while taking a photo of the photo in the book.
Life is never easy.
I have every reason to believe that the specialist, rushed as he was, is competent, but the brief conversation left me bewildered.
“Your PSA reading is above normal”. I knew that already. My GP told me that three months ago when he decided to send me here. What does that mean “Your PSA reading is above normal”?
“Well, your PSA is at 7.3. That is above Normal”. OK. I already grasped that, and have had three months to contemplate it. So. What is “Normal?”
“Well, a normal PSA reading for a forty-year old is around 4”. OK. You can see that, and the forms tell you that I am seventy years old. So. “What is normal for a seventy-year old in good health?”.
“Well, a normal PSA reading for a seventy-year old is 7.05”.
See? I am still no further ahead.
Is this on a linear scale (like cycles-per-second at the hearing centre) or is it an exponential/logarithmic scale (like decibels)?
Is this figure a ratio, or is it a unit measure? And if it is a unit measure, what are the units. Volume it turns out.
But then my volume is within bounds for a prostate my size. So. Is my prostate normal in size, or is it enlarged, and if enlarged, is it the enlargement that is the cause for concern, or do men’s prostate glands vary.
I tuned out around about this stage, and gave up, on this first visit, trying to get a basic idea of where I stood on this front.
I hate to do this, but I will have to go to the Internet to learn what a specialist cannot tell me, and that means I run the risk of trusting the internet more than I trust the doctors in Toronto.