It is still early days, so I'm not sure how things will "pan" out. My PSA reading was 7.9, but my free PSA was recorded as 7. Anything below 15 is regarded as dangerous. A biopsy showed that I had a 5mm cancer on the prostate, with other areas regarded as PIN.
My urologist referred me to the major hospital in Perth Western Australia, where I was asked if I would be prepared to go into a trial. I agreed and as a result, the computer selected me for 6 months of hormone treatment ( two injections of Lucrin) plus a daily tablet of Androcur-100m. The cancer is contained in the prostate at present.
I had the first injection on May 24, 2007. I will have the next injection on August 15, 2007. Before that date I will have two blood tests to see how my PSA and Testosterone levels are.
In October I will commence 23 days of EBRT (External Beam Radiation Treatment) and sometime after that a spell in hospital when I will receive two doses of brachytherapy injected into the prostate. This is the situation at the June 6, 2007.
When I originally posted in June 2007 I was in the early stages of Androgen Deprivation. I had two lucrin injections, one in May and another in August.
These brought my PSA down to 0.02 and my testosterone down to 1.2. I was also on Androcur 100mg daily to offset the side effects of Lucrin.
In October I commenced 23 days of external beam radiation therapy, which was quite bearable, though I did finish up with radiation enteritis. Before that commenced I was given a "flow test" by the urologist who discovered that my flow rate was poor, though I did empty my bladder down to 10mm.
On December 3 I was admitted to hospital for High Dose Rate brachytherapy. An epidural was placed in my spine and 20 needles inserted into the prostate. On December 4 I had two sessions of brachytherapy with a third session on December 5, after which the needles were withdrawn. I had a catheter, which was removed later in the day and once I proved that I could pass urine naturally I was discharged from hospital on December 6.
My treatment program worked on the principle that Hormone therapy would starve the cancer by reducing my testosterone, the EBRT would shrink the cancer with HDR Brachytherapy being the knock out blow. That seems to me to be a rational sequence of treatment. Time will tell.
As I write thise I still have discomfort in passing urine and with bowel movements, but as it is less than a week since treatment finished, it is to be expected. I will be on Flomaxtra for at least 6 months to assist urine flow.
I will update again in 2008 after I have had some follow up visits to the hospital.
Eight months on from the HDR brachytherapy I appear to have no ongoing after effects. The PSA is 0.04, testosterone 9.1, which I am told is about right for a man of my age. I do have ED but that was my situation prior to being diagnosed.
I had an appointment with the oncologist in November 08. Blood tests showed PSA .03, testosterone still 9. Just before Christmas 08 I had a return of the symptoms that I had immediately after the brachytherapy. The hospital told me to see my GP, who did a urine test in case of a bladder infection, but that proved negative. As it was over the Christmas period I bought a urine alkalizer medicine and by early January the problem had cleared up.
I saw the oncologist again in May 2009. Blood tests showed PSA down to .02 testosterone now up to 13 but still have ED. I remarked on the problems in December 08 and was told that this can often happen after the HD brachytherapy. All other blood tests OK and I should add that the urologist who I saw in August 08, did not wish to see me until August 09. I have no problems with bladder or bowel and think that my walnut must have shrunk to the size of a peanut.
I consider myself very lucky with the treatment option I accepted and as I approach 76 years of age I feel very well.
A big Mea Culpa would be in order because I received an email from California earlier this month asking about my treatment and in my reply to him I realised that my story needed updating. I was holding off until the end of November because my follow up treatment consists of an annual visit to the Urologist, usually in the month of August and six monthly follow ups with the radiation oncologist and my next appointment is on November 23.
I saw the Urologist in August 2009 and August 2010 and he is more than happy seeing that my PSA is 0.01 or as he puts it, "almost undetectable". On both occasions he has given me a rectal examination and been happy with that. The situation is similar with the Radiation Oncologist. I have blood tests before visits to both specialists and as I have already said, the PSA is excellent.
Testosterone around 10, which I am told is normal for my age of 77 other tests which they make, neutrophils etc fine. I have not suffered any bad side effects from the HDR brachytherapy, the occasional stinging sensation when I urinate and sometimes a bit of bowel irritation, but I did suffer from the latter for years and have had colonoscopies on a regular basis since my mid 50s.
My general health is good, I do not know how good it should be, as I've never been 77 before but at times I feel like a 47 year old. I still have E.D. but that again was evident before the treatment started and as for having to get up in the night, on average it would be once.
I will post any results from my next visit to the Radiation Oncologist on November 23.
As promised after some prompting a few weeks ago, I had my six monthly check up, with the radiation oncologist on November 24th. All blood tests were good, PSA was 0.01, testosterone 12. It will be three years since my final treatment, in early December 2007 and I still remain convinced that I was given the best treatment I could have had, I note, for ME. That does not necessarily mean that it could be the best for other sufferers.
I am on a trial which will finish at this time next year 2011, so I will keep posting, provided nothing else gets me, until then.
Since my last visit to the radiation oncologist, which took place today May 11, 2011 the situation is unchanged. In fact when I was ushered into his room at the major hospital in Perth, he just smiled at me and said "no change". He was referring to my recent blood tests.
I was asked the usual questions about burning sensation when urinating and gave the usual answer "occasionally". The same was asked about bowel problems and I have none. Erections, a thing of the past, no broken bones, general health, "good".
I mentioned in earlier updates that I am on a trial scheme. I was asked to send in the X-rays taken at the start of treatment and those taken after three years. I have not got them back yet, but apparently some patients on the trial were treated with a medication for bone density when having the hormone treatment, which I had at the start of treatment. I was not given this medication and the X-rays will be examined so that a comparison can be made between those who had the bone density medication and those who did not. Hence the question each time I see the oncologist as to whether I have broken any bones.
I will be seeing the urologist again in August and will post an update after seeing him.
I saw the radiation oncologist on May 25 having had a series of blood tests previously. (PSA, testosterone, neutrophils, etc) PSA is still undetectable, testosterone still around 9.5 and no comment was made about any other tests. The fact that it now five years since my Pca was detected, the people organising the trial I agreed to take part in at diagnosis, now only wish to see me on a yearly basis. I have my annual appointment with the urologist in August and suspect that may be the last, unless further problems arise.
I can only repeat what I have said before, that the treatment I received was absolutely right FOR ME. That is not to say it would be the same for other patients. I have been invited to take part in a trial that determines the lasting effect of the androgen deprivation, which was part of my treatment. I am not sure that any input from me would be of value, as immediately after completing my treatment in December 2007, my wife had a stroke and I have been her carer for the last three years. The trial is to assess if tiredness is the result of ADT. I admit that I do get tired, but I will be 79 in a couple of months and being a carer is "full on", so tiredness could be caused by many things!!
After 6 years, PSA still undetectable, no urinary problems, once a night most nights. Occasional bowel urgency, but not enough to effect my lifestyle. I did ask if the occasional skin irritation in the pit of the stomach, was a result of the EBRT, but the oncologist did not think this to be so. Erectile problems persist, but approaching 80 I have no desire to emulate Charlie Chaplin.
Apologies for not updating sooner, but as a full time carer for my wife, who had a stroke two weeks after I finished my pca treatment in 2007, life is pretty full.
I had a check up in June 2013 and PSA; was undetectable and I had no symptoms of prostate cancer. In 2007 when I was first diagnosed, I volunteered to go on a treatment trial. That trial was wound up in February 2014 and nothing had changed since June 2013. I also had a DRE and this was good!
Approaching my 81st birthday, (I was 73 when diagnosed) my general health is good apart from a few creaking joints. I did have a deep skin cancer removed from my scalp in May 2014 and radiation therapy was required, which was kindly supervised by the radiation oncologist who treated my pca.
My treatment was certainly "right" for me. I say this especially as I am at present viewing over the internet an American program "The Truth about Cancer" which seems to "poo poo" conventional treatment and advocates alternative therapies. They may be right, but I only know the results of conventional.
Despite the fact that the trial has been wound up, I will still have an annual check up. Next appointment February 2015. I will try to remember to update.
Apologies for not updating after my annual check up in February. To tell the truth I don 't even think about Prostate Cancer any more as for me it is just something that happened eight years ago. I have been more concerned about the fact that I have just completed 30 days of radiation therapy for a cancer of the throat( it's still trying to get me) and the fact that my wife is now in a nursing home, as a result of stroke she had, just as I had completed my prostate therapy. To those who have not been as fortunate as I, my commiserations. I shall have another PCa check in February 2016. If I am still on this mortal coil, I will try to remember to update.
Apologies for the delay in updating. The prostate cancer is to all effect cured. However cancer has not given up on me as I am at present having chemotherapy for a cancer in the throat, one of the side effects being, sore finger tips, which make typing uncomfortable. This cancer is totally unrelated to the prostate. It was caused by leaving a "zenker's" diverticulum in the throat, untreated.
The prostate cancer is history after nine years. I still have the annual check up and DRE and everything is normal, and I will always say that the treatment I received was "right" for me. Sadly other events still occur after prostate cancer, like the present cancer problem I have and the sad fact that my wife Cathryn passed away in July. I suppose at 83, one must expect these events, but to those of you that are younger, I can assure you that there is life after a prostate cancer diagnosis. I am hoping that the same applies after a diagnosis of cancer and treatment for throat cancer. My next check for prostate is in February 2017 and I trust I will be here to post the result.
After 10 years treatment has been handed over to G.P. PSA is undetectable, so the prostate cancer can be described as cured. However I have cancer of the throat which has no connection to the prostate and the prognosis for this is not good. I am not expected to survive this, so this will be my final prostate update. At 84 years of age, I cannot complain, but as is often said, you die with prostate cancer, not of it". To those still undergoing treatment, I can only say what I have said before, my treatment was right for me.
With every good wish to all sufferers.
Peter's e-mail address is: cbro9611 AT bigpond.net.au (replace "AT" with "@")