Prostate Cancer Survivors

 

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This forum is for the discussion of anything to do with Prostate Cancer.
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Just diagnosed

First, thank you for setting up this website. I just scanned through and read selected sections of "A Strange Place." It was very helpful. I sincerely appreciate this resource.

My Dad had PC at almost the same age as I am and had a RP with over 20 years of no recurrence and low PSAs. He died of a different cancer. Bone scans showed no migration. My cousin on my Dad's side also had it last year (a year older than I am). My Granddad and Dad's to brothers didn't live long enough to contract it, apparently.

It appears to be genetic so I've gotten regular PSAs for many years. Mine went from high 2's to 4.3 in about a year and a half. Biopsy shows 5 of 12 cores positive on the left side, 3+3=6 Gleason, T1c.

A long, very detailed and informative consultation with a radiation oncologist gave me all the facts, I think, about radiation or seed implants.

I'm overweight and 63 which mitigate against surgery and the oncologist recommended seed implants stating that the apparent position of the cancer indicates it has not migrated. He said placement of the seeds would ensure that the "envelope" around the prostate was also treated so any migration would probably be halted.

I'm leaning towards seed implants but think I would prefer surgery because it is more informative and nerve sparing.

I'm in DC and the surgery would likely be at either Sibley Memorial Hospital or George Washington University Hospital.

I've researched my urologist and the oncologist and they both appear to be top notch.

Since I went through this with Dad, since my cousin now has almost zero PSA following his surgery, and since I've had what I think are worse scares in my life (including surviving a year in Viet Nam), I find that I'm not particularly scared, but rather annoyed more than anything, which I think may be a bit strange-sounding, but there it is.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone with similar numbers, family history, and who has led a life of less attention to physical fitness as I have (that is changing as I write this, by the way), 6'4", 250 lbs, high blood pressure, high cholestrol, a weakness for ice cream and blueberries, and really good red wine.

I would like to know if you vacillated between surgery or seed implants and what made you decide on your ultimate treatment.

Again, to the authors of this site, many, many thanks for your very comforting and valuable work.

Re: Just diagnosed - Live in Washington, D.C.

I forgot to preface my original post with my location as requested in the forum rules.

Re: Re: Just diagnosed - Live in Washington, D.C.

G'day Tom,

I'm on my way out (again!) but woncer if you have started to browse through the 600+ stories of men who've made their choices ahead of you and which are on the site?

They can be found, indexed by choice of treatment at TREATMENT EXPERIENCES - there are other indexes that enable you to "match up" your diagnosis with other men, by age, PSA and Gleason Score.

I'm off now.

All the best

Terry in Australia

Re: Re: Re: Just diagnosed - Live in Washington, D.C.

Hi Terry,

Yes, I've scrolled through the lists of fellows who have recorded their stats and histories on this site. I looked through my age group with particular interest but didn't want to start emailing right away until I read a little more and browsed through the message board.

At some point, I will probably contact some of those fellows directly, especially those who had brachytherapy.

Thanks for the info.

Re: Just diagnosed

Hi Tom ... I'm still fairly new to the healing process or so I've heard.

I had the seed implant procedure in 10/07 followed by five weeks of external radiation in 12/07 & 1/08.

My numbers were somewhat higher than yours with a PSA of 115, gleason 7 & T1c. Six months after completing the radiation treatments my PSA was 3.0.

I was 60 in 2007 and had no symptoms whatsoever. My Urologist and Oncologist told me that the recovery process would last "a few months".

It was at this very forum that I discovered just how wrong they were.

The day after the implant procedure when the catheter came out I experienced the typical symptoms ... pain, burning, frequency and urgency but nothing else.

I was started on Flomax and it helped a little. I consider myself 70 to 80% improved at this time.

Impotence continues to be a problem but, as with the urination, does appear to be improving.

One note: I was told just the opposite ... that the seed implant/radiation was the least likely to have long lasting/permanent effects. Then again, these are the same folks that told me the recovery process would last only a few months ... go figure.

Good luck Tom in whatever you decide ... it's a crapshoot, a flip of the coin and everyone is affected differently it seems.

My story is under radiation, Phred X. My email is there, write if you want, I'll be happy to discuss the details further.

Re: Re: Just diagnosed

Thanks Phred - I'll check out your story. I've set a couple of weeks from now as the decision point and I continue to be surprised by how much new information I'm finding.

Re: Re: Re: Just diagnosed

If you are thiking of seeds read Dr Michael Dattoli's book, "Brachytherapy and IMRT" it contains a lot of useful information.
Also the PCRI.org web site has a lot of information on all treatment options, click on "newly diagonised"
Gooog luck in your choice.
JohnT

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