I found this site very helpful in my search for answers after diagnosis and hope I may be of help to others.
My PC was found through PSA testing at my annual physical exam. A slow but steady rise over a 10 year period that I attributed to possible BPH although I was never diagnosed with that. My MD convinced me to have a biopsy done in July 2015.
Biopsy results were 1 out of 12 cores positive at 55% of that core. Gleason 7 (3+4). About the biopsy, I have read reports of slight discomfort, for me it was painful. The anesthetic used was inadequate and only numbed half of the prostate and the other half felt like little pieces of flesh were being ripped out one at a time. (that's actually what was happening). After the biopsy I was extremely sore but only til the next day when everything seemed back to normal. Until I had sex. The first time was actually painful and there was a lot of blood. This decreased over a 3 week period. and went back to normal.
My urologist said the "Gold Standard" for PC of my type was RP. and that the cure rate was 80% over 15 years. This, at the time, sounded good to me. 80% was good odds. He suggested we schedule it without further testing, that did not sound good.
By this time I had begun my research about prostate cancer. To Schedule surgery without a color Doppler ultra sound or an MRI or any other discussion or testing hit me as wrong. I attended a PC support group and found out about all the other treatments and active surveillance. I read a book called "Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers" and found that one of the authors, Dr. Mark Scholz, was local to my area and made an appointment. There, at his PC center in Marina Del Rey CA, we did the color Doppler ultrasound, genetic testing, and had an MRI done at UCLA Medical Center. We sent the biopsy material to Johns Hopkins for a second opinion. None of this changed the original diagnosis but I felt more confident of the results. It made me feel better.
Dr. Scholz and his team are prostate oncologists and don't perform the treatments themselves, they go over all the options with you and help you decide which treatment is right for you. I settled on the least worse option of brachytherapy (radioactive seed implantation) and was referred to the Seattle group and Dr. Grimm who had performed over 5000 such procedures. I was very confident at this time, with such a team I would cure my cancer with no side effects. Two weeks later the Seattle group called to cancel my appointment, Dr. Grimm had died.
I am fortunate to live in Southern California. Here you can find anything you could ever want. Beautiful beaches, deserts, snow covered mountains and weather that is the best in the country. This attracts some of the best people from around the country live and work here, in my backyard. So, I interviewed 2 prostate radiation specialists. Dr. Mack Roach in San Francisco at UCSF, and Dr. John Einck in San Diego at UCSD. Both men are very impressive and I felt very comfortable with both of them. I chose Dr. Einck for his expertise in brachytherapy and location. San Diego being closer to me in Orange CA than San Francisco.
The "Volume Study".
Before seed implantation, a volume study is performed to determine the size, shape and location of the prostate and surrounding structures. This is how they determine if you are suitable for Brachytherapy and how many seeds to use. This is achieved by means of medieval torture devices and techniques that would make the Marquis de Sade proud.
Naked and afraid. Legs securely strapped into stirrups and hoisted into the air, a large ultra sound camera (like a medium sized dildo) is shoved in. Then the nurse comes in and puts a catheter into the penis and up into the bladder. This hurts, and burns, bad. A team of Drs. and Medical students gather at your rear and discuss the anatomy for about 5 minutes. After it's over the Dr. says "Thats the last time you'll have to have that done awake." I don't know why I had to be awake for it that time.
The "Brachytherapy Treatment".
One month later. This is a full year since my diagnosis. During that year my PSA has gone up from 7.1 to 7.58. It's now time for the treatment. No eating-Check. Bowel cleanse-Check. No drinking 6 hours before procedure-Check. I arrive at the hospital at 1:00 pm, on the table and sedated by 3:00. Awake and in recovery by 6:00 ( I think, kinda foggy on waking up) in a hotel room in San Diego by 7:00. I have a catheter and pee bag strapped to my leg. Im out for the night. Wake up once in the night to empty the pee bag. Next morning feeling OK except for the catheter makes it hard to walk without feeling irritation on the penis. But no worries, I'm off the the follow-up appt. to have it removed at 9:00am. Laying on my back on the table the nurse says "Take a deep Breath" and YANK. oooooooo. OK. OK. I'm OK.
Since then... It's been one week since I had the treatment. Recovery so far has been good. On the third day I played 18 holes at Torrey Pines Golf Club and the next day 18 more at Temecula Creek.
It's Monday 7-25-16. I'm back at work today. Feeling normal. Pee is a little slow but the Dr. has me on flowmax for a while to help out while the prostate shrinks back to size.
It's hard and a little scarry sometimes (cancer) but WOW; If this has cured me of cancer it's a walk in the park.
What remains to be seen is the result and side effects of the treatment.
I'll keep you posted. J
It's been a year since the seed implant and all is going well. A little burning sensation during urination sometimes. It comes and goes. I'm eating better now (lots of salads) so it suprised me when I developed a hemorrhoid. It also came and then went away after about a month. PSA down to 1.1 after the 9 month mark. It seems that the side effects of the radiation come and go. Nothing that I didn't expect. Good luck with your decision, this I believe was the right one for me. Jay
Jay's e-mail address is: jaybergerdds AT gmail.com (replace "AT" with "@")