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Been noticing a lot of mention of breast growth from ADT treatments for prostate cancer. I have heard some being told it is unpreventable and some have had their "breast buds" radiated to prevent this. What is the real truth of the matter? Is radiation a safe and logical solution to this problem? What is the downside of doing this? There is always a downside to everything connected to this disease. As much as we lose to this disease and its treatment already, is it necessary to have to endure further transformation from our manhood? (As much as I like breasts, I just don't see them as being attractive on myself!!)
Is this sort of preventive radiation paid for by insurance? If I ever need to progress to this sort of treatment for cancer, I want to know the facts before getting there. Jon R.
Based on personal experience I recently posted the following report in my on-line journal "A Layman's Mini-Primer on Radiation for Gynrscomestia". It's
content appears below:
"For those of you with a special interest in radiation for the treatment of gynecomestia I thought it may be of value to provide the information contained herein. Some of this material appears in earlier entries; some of it is new.
Let's begin with a common sense criterion for determining the need for treating gynecomestia, i. e.,"when a guy's breast size has developed to the point (no pun intended) that he is reluctant to swim in public or exercise bare-chested outdoors." A compassionate college professor provided this guideline in response to a thread I initiated on an internet PCa site..
The following findings of a research paper captured my attention early on:
" In 2003 Widmark et al conducted the largest randomized trial on use of radiation therapy for prevention of gynecomastia (n=253) and found a reduction of gynecomastia rates from 71% to 28% when radiation therapy was given. For the treatment of existing gynecomastia, radiation therapy resulted in improvement or resolution of gynecomastia in 33% of treated patients, with 39% experiencing improvement or resolution of breast pain."
The following discussion with a Radiation Oncologist played a key role in my determination to proceed with radiation:
Pt.:What kind of outcome can I expect,
RO:--An eighty per cent reduction in the size of your breasts.
--A temporary reddening of your breast tissue
--No damage to the heart, lungs or breasts.
Pt: Please address the risk of breast cancer.
RO The:likelihood of causing such a cancer is ten thousand to one, and it would take thirty years to develop.
Pt: Please explain the science underlying this approach.
RO: It accelerates the cell atrophy process.
Pt: What about underlying heart and lung tissue?
RO: We use only electrons which enables us to control the depth of penetration.
Pt; How long before we will see the results of treatment?
RO: The benefits of treatment should be apparent in four to six weeks. Reduction in pain and sensitivity usually precede the reduction of breast size.
I initiated and completed treatment the week of July 11th..Treatment consisted of three very brief (one or two minute?) exposures.
Thus far the improvements have been quicker and better than expected.
I will provide periodic updates as addendums to this entry based on personal experience. Stay tuned."
As you can see this report is a work in progress. For more detail and future developments see: http://protondon.blogspot.com/
Don; Thanks for the info, it is helpful. If a person knows he is about to start this drug treatment for cancer, can this radiation be done before to prevent breast growth or must one wait till he actually has the problem of breast growth before they will do this? Jon.
Although this is a known possible side effect I wouldn't worry about it. In our large support group it is seldom mentioned as a problem and we talk about everything. I suspect keeping your weight within a healthy range and exercise might help. I had ADT; the hot flashes and weight gain are the more common issues, which I did experience. I've found that my fear of the cancer treatments so far has been much worse than the actual treatments. I would wait and see if you do get breast growth and then have the doctors deal with it.