Prostate Cancer Survivors






Return to Website

This forum is for the discussion of anything to do with Prostate Cancer.
There are only four rules:

  • No fundraisers, no commercials (although it is OK to recommend choices of treatment or medical people based on your personal research; invitations to participate in third-party surveys are also acceptable, provided there is no compensation to YANA);
  • No harvesting e-mail addresses for Spam;
  • No insults or flaming - be polite and respectful at all times and understand that there may be a variety of points of view, all of which may have some validity;
  • Opinions are OK, but please provide as much factual evidence as possible for any assertions that you are making

Failure to abide by these simple rules will result in the immediate and permanent suspension of your posting privileges.

Since this is an International Forum, please specify your location in your post.

General Forum
Start a New Topic 
View Entire Thread
Re: New Diagnosis - Looking for Advice

If you use a top surgeon your husband may be able to function relatively normally as he is young. Perhaps need to get assistance from Viagra etc. Lose about one inch from his erection. My operation lasted less than one hour and I had no real pain afterwards. Catheter is a nuisance and stool softeners are important for about a month afterwards. Patient needs to walk a lot after surgery to get rid of gas which could be painful. Your husband must use a very top surgeon however if he chooses surgery.

Re: New Diagnosis - Looking for Advice

Hi Rene…and all

I have done my best to keep this brief, but there is still a lot of pertinent information to cover. I do not have Dr. Marckini’s book, but I do have Dr. Patrick Walsh's "Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer". For the record, Rene, he is a world-renowned RP surgeon at Johns Hopkins, arguably, one of the best cancer centers in the world. They did a sexual function (and urinary incontinence) study of younger men with an average age of 57 (89% of these patients had both of their neurovascular bundles preserved). At three months, 38% of these men were potent. At six months, 54% were. At twelve months, the number increased to 73%, and at 18 months, 86% were potent (potency being defined as an erection sufficient for vaginal penetration and orgasm). Keep in mind that these figures reflect surgeries performed by top-notch RP surgeons on staff at the hospital. The doctor himself stresses what bobbyboy pointed out to you in his post, and that is that it is imperative to use a surgeon recognized for his excellence in this field in order to expect these kind of results.

The Dr. also has this to say on the subject in another section of his book, and I quote: "In most skilled surgeons hands, if both neurovascular bundles are preserved during a RP, potency should return in at least 80% of men in their 40s and 50s, and in 60% of men in their 60s". He is also quoted as saying that you should "be very patient. It can take up to four years for some men to experience FULL recovery of potency. Your body has been through a trauma; it needs time to recover". (FULL is the key word there as he points out that most patients experience an improvement in their erections over time, adding that the quality improves month by month).

Speaking of the quality of a man's erection after RP, he says that when a younger man undergoes a nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy, it's likely that about 20% of the nerves involved in erection are damaged, 60% are preserved normally, and 20% are temporarily disabled but eventually recover. So, at best, a younger man after prostatectomy has about 80% of these nerves left for erection. There is also another problem he points out with erections in men after RP and it is called "venous leak". In a nutshell (this is me talking since the quote is a bit long) the penis must be fully engorged for the veins to clamp down so as not to allow the blood to flow back out. Early on, after RP, the blood flow into the penis may not be rapid enough to cause these veins to automatically close. So, if a man never gets a full erection, there is a constant leak of blood out of the penis that affects the quality of the erection even more.

Now, in finishing, the Dr. has so much more to say, including recommendations for how you can continue to enjoy your sex life during this difficult transitional time, but that is something that you would have to buy the book (or check it out at your local library) to read about since it is far too detailed to go into here.

Best wishes
Alan M in the USA

Re: New Diagnosis - Looking for Advice

I'm attempting to get an authoritative answer from an author who thoroughly researched your question. See a copy of my e-mail below:

Today at 8:09 PM
D. M.

I'm in Texas without a copy of Marckini's book. I would appreciate knowing what he says about the DISAVANTAGES of surgery in order to answer a wife's question she raised on YANA.

I hate to inconvenience you like this. but I would like to answer her question. She is particularly interested in the likelihood of ED if her husband opts for surgery.

Regards Don O.

P. S. Maybe another participant on this site can provide us with MarcKini's research findings on this topic.

Re: New Diagnosis - Looking for Advice

I asked Bob Marckini if he could help me respond to your question; his response appears below:
"Huge mistake to do surgery for a Gleason 3+3 in my non-medical opinion, Don. One thing they should consider is Active surveillance. With surgery, including (and maybe especially) DaVinci robotic surgery, the likelihood of impotence is about 75% and incontinence about 35%."
Mr Marckini also sent references to 17 technical articles describing outcomes of surgery and proton therapy. If there is any interest on your part I will do my best to see that you get them.
Regards Don O.

Re: New Diagnosis - Looking for Advice

Remember that in ten years, when you may need treatment, the treatment will be better and the side effects less.

Re: New Diagnosis - Looking for Advice


When I was diagnosed in early 2014 my wife and I went on a search for information. Talked to our family Doctor, a radiologist, a urologist (laperoscopic) a urolologist (robotic) and several friends who had been through what we were going through.

In our quest for information we found a book called "The Decision" by Doctor John McHugh. He is a urologist who had Prostate cancer. The book is not about Prostate cancer per se but is about how he made his decision on what treatment to undergo. His decision making process helped us reach a treatment plan that was the best for us ... and probably saved my life.

Through all of this process keep this in mind. What worked for your friend or other Prostate cancer patients might not work for you. You must know your cancer details, you must understand the benefits and risks of each treatment, you must know your underlying health issues and you must know what you are willing to live with.

Doctor McHugh's book will lead you through the process of making the best decision for you.

best regards,


Re: New Diagnosis - Looking for Advice

Hello Rene

I have a couple of suggestions, from when I was in your situation in 2008. I'mow starting my 6th year following my Proton Radiation treatments and my PSA is 0.09. (You can find this also under my history page.)

I found a couple of books that were of great value to me. The first is by Robert Marckini, about Proton Radiation, which was my choice of treatment 6 years ago, and I went down to the Proton Center at the University of Florida at Jacksonville. Very powerful book which sent me in the right direction. Basically the proton beam travels only 1/2 of the way through the body, and when it reaches the target point in the prostate gland it explodes, instead of going completely through the body. A lame description I know but you can research a better definition.

Another book I examined was Dr. Patrick Walsh's Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer. Written in 2001 and updated in 2007, I suggest this book as it is, or was, the bible regarding prostate surgery, and it provides a number of drawings of the prostate area which show how delicate this operation is. Beginning on page 273 of this 500 plus page book there are 8 drawings of the surgery required for the removal of the gland. I found it very sobering to see these drawings, believe me. And one other book from 2005 is a Primer on Prostate Cancer, written by Stephen B. Strum and Donna Pogliano.

I wish you the best of luck......

charley coryn, 77, lancing, Tn. USA