I have no family history of cancer that I am aware of going back three generations. It came as quite a shock to me and really knocked me off balance. I think I am beginning to find acceptance and some confidence based on the advice from the urologist and oncologist. I am assured the success rate is quite high and my cancer is judged to be "low risk".
Apparently I am Stage T1c and, based on the advice I have received from the medical community, I am slated to undergo brachytherapy on the 23rd of November. My Gleason score is 6. The urology surgeon had suggested "active surveillance" as the "intelligent" choice but on an "emotional level" if I would find this difficult to live with, then brachytherapy would be the appropriate response. I did all my pre admin today at the hospital and all is well to proceed; also earlier this week the oncologist did an internal exam with imaging to ensure that I would be an appropriate candidate.
I am 75 years old and my most recent PSA (a few weeks ago) was 3.28; it had peaked at 4.54 earlier this year but has since dropped down in stages. I have been vigilant over the past 10 years or so by insisting on PSA every year in connection with annual physical exams. I have enjoyed good health, take only 10 mg of Lipitor over the past 4 years and have never had an operation. My family physician indicated that he felt some roughness on the prostate this past May and accordingly arranged a meeting with a urologist (a different one than I am currently dealing with) in September and this led to a biopsy. There were three cores with some evidence of cancer on one side only.
After some hesitation, I have decided to go forward with brachytherapy and this is now scheduled for the 23rd of November. The recommendation of the Head urology surgeon was "active surveillance". After much reflection, I just felt I could not live with "active surveillance". I needed to have the assurance that something pro-actively was being done now!
The lead oncologist who works alongside of the aforementioned surgeon feels I am making the right decision. My Gleason score is 6 and the cancer has been assessed as T1c. I would certainly appreciate hearing from any other members relative to brachytherapy in terms of their experience and what I might expect!
Nervous but hopeful.......... Leo
Three weeks have now elapsed since I had brachytherapy in Ottawa, Canada. Some 92 seeds were implanted (iodine 125) and the impact on my life has been minimal. We drove our car to Florida six days after the procedure without any undue difficulty.
I generally have to get-up twice during the night to relieve myself. The flow is a little less than prior to the procedure and sometimes there is a burning sensation. BMs can occur twice daily and this is most unusual for me. I intend to discuss these circumstances with the oncologist on the 6th of January, when I will fly back to Ottawa for a one day assessment, involving chest X-ray, MRI etc. I will post again following that visit.
In the meantime please note the change in email address should anyone wish to contact me. The Canadian address, i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org is suspended and the USA address email@example.com is valid for the next 4 months.
Approximately five weeks following brachytherapy, I flew back to Canada from our home in Florida for a 24 hour visit to have a Chest Xray, MRI and CT Scan, all of which are required by my clinic to determine if any seeds have migrated. This information is fed by computer to the oncologist instantly. There is no evidence of migration and so my next appointment will occur at the end of April when I will have a PSA reading.
The oncologist asked me about side affects and I indicated there are none really I need to unrinate at night once at least and sometimes twice. Bowel habits are unchanged now from the pattern before brachytherapy, i.e., once daily on rising in the morning. The oncologist asked me if I experienced diarrhea to which I replied "no".
I feel the same as before the procedure - just fine!
This is the first opportunity I have had to update seed therapy undertaken on the 23rd of November, 2009. After an interval of just a little over five months, I met with my oncologist. The PSA reading was 0.26, which he felt reflected excellent progress (the last reading before therapy was 3.26). My next visit will occur in October.
There is some urinary dysfunction, represented by the urgent need to relieve myself, particularly after drinking coffee in the morning. Most nights I do not need to use the bathroom. As for sex, I feel my libido has now diminished but after 52 years of marriage, this is not a big event for me or my wife. There is not much else to tell. I feel wonderful and very active, sailing, golfing etc. The oncologist prescribed Viagra but I have not filled the prescription as yet.
Today I received the results of my latest PSA from the Cancer Clinic and that number is 0.26, i.e., exactly the same as I last reported (I believe in April). It is now close to 11 months since I underwent seed therapy and my doctor felt that the numbers are reflective of an excellent prognosis. The next scheduled blood test will be done in April, 2011.
As for side affects, there is often (but not always) a requirement to get up once only at night to urinate.
Following our return from our winter home in Florida, I was assessed by my oncologist in May, 2011, i.e., six month interval. The latest PSA reading was 0.26 and this is unchanged from the last two readings over the past year.
I have no side affects whatever. There is very little need now to get up at night to relieve myself and otherwise I lead a very active life, sailing and playing golf.
There is not much to add..................
My last visit to the oncologist in October 2011 revealed a slight increase in the PSA level, i.e., from 0.27 to 0.47; his response suggested there was no cause for concern. I have a blood test scheduled for later this month when we return to Canada from Florida and I will post the results and his comments. I feel great and have no side effects whatever.
I was advised by my oncologist today that my latest PSA reading (April 23rd/12) was .07. This is significantly lower than the last one (October, 2011). The oncologist suggested that he saw no need for me to continue with my 6 month interval appointments with him. Annual PSA testing will henceforth be monitored by my GP. He advised me that he would not expect PCA to be an issue for the remainder of my life but, of course, there are no guarantees.
I feel excellent and take no medications whatever. My current age is 77 and it has been two years since I underwent brachytherapy. I lead an active life, sailing, golfing and maintain a weekly exercise regimen. Current weight of 175 pounds (height 6 feet) has been unchanged for many years. There are no post-brachytherapy issues whatever, i.e., other than reduced libido.
I am most grateful to this list and would be pleased to correspond with anyone interested in more details.
Today (October 4th, 2012) I received my latest PSA test and the number is 0.03, reflecting a continuous decline from the time of therapy in late 2009.
No change. PSA recently assesses @ 0.023
Each year I have my PSA checked and the number is consistently about the same, i.e., 0.02/3. I can only say I am delighted I chose brachyterapy. It is all becoming a distant memory and frankly I never think of it anymore. We are reconciled with the absence of sex (now 79 years old). Health is otherwise excellent and I hope to be making contributions to this website well into my 90s!
We are now into 2015 and my situation is unchanged; it is over five years since brachytherapy. My health is excellent so far as I know and I take no medications. I intend to post annually to this site for the benefit of others to follow. My winter email address is <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It is now six years since I underwent brachytherapy on my 75th birthday. My annual PSA results continue to reflect virtually the same number (0.023) and the thought that I once experienced prostate cancer really rarely even occurs to me. There is not much further that I can add to the foregoing comment but I will, in any event, faithfully update my story on each anniversary date for the remainder of my life. I am extremely active and often will bike 40 or more miles, play golf and walk on an almost daily basis.
Having returned from a 6 month absence to Florida, I underwent the ususal "due diligence" tests in May 2016, which revealed no health issues whatever. My PSA reading continues to reflect the same number as in recent years, i.e., 0.02. In another few months it will have been 7 years since I underwent brachtherapy.
Leo's e-mail address is: leocrowley4 AT gmail.com (replace "AT" with "@")