I was offered a choice of radical prostectomy,3 D conformal radiotherapy and brachytherapy and I chose brachytherapy as this appeared to be least invasive with quick recovery (I was still running my own business at the time) with an an equal chance of cure compared to other treatments offered.
I was rferred to specialist oncology unit in UK who carried out ultra sound volume study(June 2004) and found that prostate was 57cc slightly too large for immediate Iodine 125 inplant procedure. MRI scan showed no spread of cancer and tumour confirned to prostate I had one month Casodex and a three month Zoladex hormone treatment.
In August 2004 I revisited the hospital for a further volume study and found prostate reduced to 37cc with a PSA of 0.2 ng/ml. The brachytherapy implant was arranged for October 2004.
Due to travelling some 380 miles from home an overnight stay was arranged prior to implant which was carried out next day - a one hour operation under general anaesthetic. On recovery oncologist explained that 77 seeds had been implanted and that all went well. A little soreness experienced between legs and around rectum but other wise OK. Passing water satisfactorily and on course of antibiotics and Flomax. Left hospital at noon next day with my wife driving us home. Urinating frequent and urgent with some difficulty and burning sensation.
After seven days urinary retention took place which necessitated fitting of catheter. Also constipated for a few days but took suitable medication. Catheter was in for eight weeks but learnt to cope with it well with help from local surgery nurses. No need to take Flomax. On removal of catheter peeing gradually got back to normal although with some burning and also some rectum discomfort. Generally however no major problems. No incontinence and sexual function and routine peeing gradually back to normal. Consultant at specialist oncology unit happy with progress and now referred me back to local hospital.
Had further PSA test in April 2005 which was 0.8 ng/ml. Visited urologist consultant at local hospital who carried out DRE and was happy with current PSA result. Further PSA tests in July and September 2005 with readings of 0.5 ng/ml. Due to visit urologist and his team for further consulation on November 2005. Now retired and enjoying life and hobbies. Dog walking, cycling, gardening and music with a very loving wife and family of four grandchildren. So far so good and happy to have decided on brachytherapy.
Three monthly PSA test carried out in January 2006. Result PSA still at 0.50 ng/ml as has been the case for previous tests. Consultant happy with these readings at present and has advised that PSA tests can now be carried out at 6 monthly intervals. Next consulation with Urologist Consultant in May 2006.
So far so good Living normal life style and fully fit with no adverse side effects. All functions normal. Drinking plenty of tomato juice and tinned plum tomatoes as part of balanced diet together with fresh fruit and vegetables. Exercising dog regularly and walking. Big reduction on red meat intake and eating plenty of oily fish and poultry.
I am now two years on since my brachtherapy treatment and at present I am doing fine and living a normal life style for my age, having now retired as a Consulting Engineer. My PSA readings taken generally at three month intervals since treatment have all been 0.5. I am due to see my Consultant Urologist in a few weeks time for a general appraisal and chat. I am particularly pleased that I appear to have suffered no long term side effects of the treatment other than very slight incontinence in bowel operation but I usually manage to reach the little room in time and the situation has never occured when away from home base. Water works are fine and potency no different than it was before treatment. i.e satisfactory for my age.
With a current PSA of 0.30 ng/ml, David says:
I am feeling fine in all respects and living life in retirement to the full. My consultant and his team are very pleased with my progress so far and now only wish to see me annually.
My current PSA remains at 0.30 (June 2008) and I am still doing well with annual visits to my Urologist and Oncologist Consultants.
Thought it might be useful to give all of my PSA readings since treatment in October 2004: December 04 - 0.4
March 05 - 0.8
July 05 - 0.5
January 06 - 0.5
April 06 - 0.5
September 06 - 0.5
February 07 - 0.3
September 07 - 0.3
February 08 - 0.3
August 08 - 0.3
February 09 - 0.4
May 09 - 0.2
September 09 - 0.6
The last three readings appear somewhat erractic but am informed from medics that no cause for concern. Another PSA test due on 29th October 2009 prior to annual visit to Urologist/Oncologist team.
Summing up on my 5th year since original treatment I am pleased to report that my quality of life is excellent to date and I am therefore pleased that I was able to chose brachytherapy as the form of treatment. The early side effects although anticipated were only temporary and in view of my age all parts of me are at a satisfactory state of functional quality.
I am pleased to report that I continue to make excellent progress.
My Urology Consultant signed me off in November 2009 as my PSA had been at 0.20 for six monthly tests over a period of 18 months after a previous lowest reading of 0.3-0.4. I now only need annual PSA checks and recently the result last month still stood at a PSA of 0.20.
For me at least the choice of brachytherapy treatment has so far proved successful although one always hesitates to use the word 'cure'. Over 6 years since treatment does however give tremendous relief. One always seems to be be anxious at every PSA test result that is awaited. I am living a fairly active life with few side affects remaining from the initial treatment other than occasional small premature water leaks!!!
My sexual relationship is also satisfactory other than the normal aging process which one seems to have to accept irrespective of having experienced prostate cancer.
I will try in future to remember to update my annual PSA result and general situation on this site as I fully appreciate that sufferers like to hear of long term progress on the various treatments for prostate cancer.
My best wishes to all.
All going fine at present latest PSA February 2012 was 0.17 ng/ml Now 9 years since original diagnosis and 8 years since treatment.
Regards to all
David Hill, England
All going along fine. PSA tests annually which were tested in February 2013 stands at 0.15.Still maintaianing good and active quality of life at 74 years of age.
PSA test April 2013 gave figure of 0.17. Life proceeding normally at present.
All going well at present after 10 years of the brachytherapy treatment. Active life now still enjoyed. Next check up due in September 2014.
All continues well at present with life much the same despite the growing old syndrome. Still active with age though and walking, singing and playing table tennis regularly.
All going well at present. PSA taken annually at same time as general health check.
Activities much the same as before i.e. table tennis, walking, singing, gardening but some age catching up on me at 77years i.e. knee joints. Intimacy with my wife still very active fortunately with no impotence.
David's e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org