Prostate Cancer Survivors






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Re: Brachytherapy vs. IMRT

Joe (and all): I was offered a similar treatment here in my town - only with a new study that is only 5 total treatments. I have chosen not to do this because it is a trial and in meeting with a surgeon, I had my "A-HA' moment. I had been looking for a less intrusive way to handle my condition but a few other factors have opened my eyes. I have bilateral kidneys and both reside very securely by my hips and not up further where most people have them. When I met with the rad-onc last Thursday he said I would probably be okay but he could not guarantee that they would not recieve some "scattered" radiation. That concerned me although perhaps it shouldn't (I am diabetic - controlled by diet and exercise). The next day I went to see the surgeon at the same hospital. He was unlike most any other surgeon I have encountered. He took his time, laid out all options including radiation. A couple things really caught my attention. When he took a look at the CAT SCAN I had done, he got really curious and probably spent about 15 minutes just showing us frame by frame the entire scan. He was really interested in the kidneys but said that should not be a problem with Da Vinci from his perspective. Second - and most important - he said it is younger guys like me that make the good results on ED and long term incontinence go up. The younger patients by and large (with him anyway) have had very few SE and it is the older patients that bring the numbers down. He also mentioned that it would not be fun and he did not sugar coat anything - going so far as to describe the catheter (which I actually fear the most) but assuring me it hurts more going in but that I would be deeply asleep at that point. He has done over 2000 PC removals and around 400 on Da Vinci. He also had a sense of humor (which is very important to me). We sat down and went through a Sloan Kettering program which basically graded me 98% cancer free in 10 years. And it was around 90% in 20 years (equal to general population). Radiation could not give me that assurance b/c it has not been around that long. So now I am researching surgery - the one thing I really did not want to do! Anyway I look at it, it's going to be a pissy month or so (pun intended)- whatever month I choose. The next step is up to me. Sigh.