Having had a heart attack six years before diagnosis, I ruled out any surgery as being too risky. A friend had proton radiation, described the experience and with more reading I decided that appeared less damaging and just as effective as alternatives.
Looking for site with best overall cancer expertise (in case I needed later follow-up treatment), I went to M.D. Anderson in Houston. The whole experience was "no sweat". Spent about an hour and half a day at clinic and wife and I played tourist the rest of the time. I'm not a person in need of great emotional or psychological support and found the treatment done with total professionalism and the technicians were most kind and pleasant.
I have had no side effects, no incontinence, no fatigue, and sex about the same as before treatment. I've put prostate cancer out of mind and PSA is now down to 0.6 at 18 months after treatment. Will have 24 month PSA at the end of February 2010.
In what may be the shortest update recorded, Al says his PSA is 0.48 ng/ml.
Diagnosed with PC in the fall of 2007 (Gleason 3+4). Proton therapy at MDA in Jan/Feb 2008. PSA showed steady decline to 0.5 after 3 years (Feb 2011).
In the spring of 2011 I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. My local urologist blamed the bladder cancer on the proton radiation but my Dr. at MDA said that was unlikely because it takes longer time than 3 years for radiation to cause cancer. I don't know who is right and there is no way to determine the cause of the bladder cancer. I am now being treated for that and face possible removal of bladder (plus radiated prostate and a bunch of lymph nodes) this summer if the bladder infusion treatments (BCG/interferon) don't work.
I haven't had a PSA done since the 3 year test in Feb. 2011. The frequent catheter insertions to treat the bladder probably make the PSA unreliable at this point.
I finally got a PSA done after a couple of years and it is 0.29 and this is about 5 years after the proton treatment. Looks good. The BCG/interferon treatment of my bladder cancer seems to be working and last exam at Hopkins showed no lesions in bladder. However, I continue to produce cancer cells from wash of right kidney. Another kidney/bladder exam scheduled for Sept 2013. Feeling OK but there is a problem someplace.
8/31/14 and the prostate seems OK. Haven't had a PSA for awhile. Bladder has been clear since BCG treatment 2 years ago. Still putting out cancer cells from right kidney but nothing seen in CT scan or upon visible observation of kidney interior. Continue watching every 3 months. Have put the protstate problem out of mind.
Although bladder cancer cells have been detected in urine from right kidney as well as bladder, no cells had been detected in biopsy of bladder or kidney. However, in spring of 2015 biopsy of bladder showed bladder cancer cells in bladder biopsy, some swollen lymph nodes and some penetration of prostate urethra. I will likely have surgery to remove bladder, prostate and right kidney in Feb. 2016. This is a very major surgery. It will be done at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Be aware that radiation of any kind to prostate will likely hit some of bladder, there is a chance for secondary cancer in bladder. I have no way of knowing if that happened in my case.
Al's e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org