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Terry has covered this subject, better than what I've read to date. Prostate cancer can't be compared to broken bones, colds, etc. When you jump to quality of life after PCa diagnosis, treated or not, we enter the biggest unknown that ever existed.
The pain scale usually is a question of how you rate your pain, 1 to 10 being the worst. In recovery after an operation, I listen to the guy next to me (behind closed curtains) complain about his pain. He insisted that it was a 13. When they asked me, I was hurting, but I had not passed out yet, so I said 8 as I curled up clutching my wife's hand. What I'm trying to say here is that each of us has an interpretation/perception of reality as to what is happening to us. How far from reality our thinking really is, is clearly seen in shows like "So you think you can dance, sing, etc...?"
With PCa you can say, starting with these particular conditions, here is the bell curve showing the results (quality of life) for 100% of the men. And if you look closely you might find yourself in that last 98%.
I've been communicating with a fellow, who no mater what I say continues to think/feel that if I would have had proton beam therapy, my out come would have been better. From what little info he has shared, he could easily be a PBT salesman or marketing manager.
I thought I might rant a bit about flawed medical studies. The flaw in this study is that the full effect of radiation treatment is not usually felt for 3 to 5 years so to do a study with an end point at 3 years doesn't seem to make sense.
Another one is the usefulness of the PSA testing studies. It usually takes about 12 years (but not always) before you die of prostate cancer so announcing that PSA testing has no benneficial effect after doing a ten year study wouldn't make sense.
Another is the circular logic found in some papers on the rate of PSA rise and how long before biochemical recurrence will occur.
I always wonder who is doing the peer review of some of these papers. You always have to read medical research papers with a grain of salt....I guess that is why my doctors always appear to roll their eyes when I start quoting the latest research paper.