I was advised on Tuesday, November 6th, 2001 that I had prostate cancer. Two of six biopsy samples proved positive.
Your web site is removing that sinking feeling and making me realize that I have a hidden underlying anger about my situation. It is nice to know I'm not alone. Nor is it the end of the world. I read through some of your Mentors' stories yesterday and felt bouyed up. Angry at myself for not doing my homework before the appointment with the urologist.
All this to say that I find your topics very enlightening and they give me encouragement to go on and keep digging for the most optimum treatment for my cancer. Many thanks.
[Update 10 April 2002] There are moments when I feel like Francis Chichester facing the elements. Based on my last PSA results (4.93) down from 5.35, I felt confident enough to opt out of the brachytherapy option. I advised the oncologist office on Monday. I also said that if I felt I was getting into trouble or seeing high (PSA) readings, I would contact him and ask to be placed back on the list.
Lifestyle and dietary changes are in effect. Doing 3.35 miles per day on the treadmill. Taking HMS90 each morning and am also taking Mitake mushroom capsules with Vit C. Doctor says that if the PSA does not drop as quickly as desired he would opt for a Vitamin C therapy, ie 50 grams in solution taken intravenously.
The spring rains are here, so the world is getting refreshed and will soon be green and glorious again. Richard.
[Update 8 July 2002] Must say I had a bit of a scare as the results of my PSA test at the end of May slipped up from 4.89 to 5.35. At that point I decided to drastically change my regime and opted for PC-Spes. My last PSA test results at the end of June were 3.37. In addition to PC-Spes I take 50mg of Mega Zinc with meals as well as two 1000IU of Vitamin D3. Was also taking 2 -300mg caps of Saw Palmetto concentrate twice a day in addition to my other vitamins. Was also advised to take three 500mg caps of MCP (Modified Citrus Pectin) four times a day. The MCP was recommended because of the biopsy.
It was explained to me that the biopsy led to bleeding by which the cancer can get outside the prostate and float around looking for places to lodge. The MCP is taken because it converts cancer cells to normal cells and thus enable my immune system to wipe them out. The reason I'm not taking the Saw Palmetto concentrate is because of my high blood pressure. Saw Palmetto in small quantities can raise blood pressure levels. So, for the moment I'm cutting it out of the program to see if my blood pressure lowers.
I am on Ramipril so my blood pressure should not be high. Have also increased my Magnesium intake and am about to do the same with my Potassium intake. Must get the blood pressure down. Other than that, my meatless, sugarless, alcohol free, coffee free diet has thinned me down a bit.Get concerned looks from relatives and friends but must say I feel very good and have no trouble doing my three miles each day on the treadmill.
If I have learned anything to date it is this: avoid biopsies. If you have prostate cancer the last thing you need is internal bleeding. The best approach is to have an MRI. The machines appear to be in short supply but I would personally pay to have one done in lieu of a biopsy. Hope this note finds you all well and in good spirits. Take care.
This past year (2003) was troublesome. Suffered from angina pectoris. Artery 95% blocked. Underwent bypass surgery end of April. Sort of set me back. Full recovery from surgery. Moved into bungalow. Wife had arthrascopic surgery on her knee. On the treadmill for three miles each day.
PSA test results have been in the high fives and sixes for the last while despite BC Specs. Doctor has me starting Lipoic Acid and some other anti-oxidants. Will have another PSA test this coming Monday.
Richard is now 65. He investigated Brachytherapy and opted out of that. He has been using Chinese Herbals and BC Spes but is a little concerned about his PSA. Here is his update:
PSA History for Year 2004.
Jan 12 = 6.51; Feb 26 6.71; April 26 8.04; June 15 8.07; Aug 18 7.79; Oct 7 6.64; Dec 9 7.70, Dec 19 8.6
As you can see from the PSA readings 2004 has been a bit of a yoyo year.
I underwent a total blood work up and analysis and found that the BC Specs was working as my testosterone level was that of a seven year old. [BC Specs can be purchased from Kripps Pharmacy in Vancouver, British Columbia (604 687-2564) BC Specs costs 99.99 for 100 320 mg capsules. Take 4 four times a day.]
The blood analysis revealed that I was low on iron. This was because I avoided vitamins containing iron and I also avoided red meat. I did this because I knew that prostate cancer fed off iron. It was explained to me that my system was going to feed off my muscle group for iron and that I would have to trade off and take an iron supplement to maintain my health. I must point out that I'm not exercising. I stopped in June 2004. Have also opted for a daily late afternoon shot of rum.
I feel I have developed a good relationship with my alternative medicine Physician. We both realize that my PSA is rising and he has said that he may have to turn me over to an urologist. Based on what I've seen and heard over the last three years I am inclined to opt for radical prostectomy. Radiation be it regular or brachy seems to have too many after effects. I know men who are dealing with them very well but I would like to avoid as many outcomes as I can.
My next PSA test is slated for Jan 11, 2005. Will advise you of the results and my decision shortly thereafter.
Latest PSA read 8.87 ng/ml. Based on the latest results I shall continue doing what I'm doing. Therefore, no knife or other drastic means.
Peter J. Hyde has written a book: Sunlight, Vitamin D,& Prostate Cancer Risk. Text comes recommended by my doctor and my urologist,Christopher Morash. ISBN: 1-4010-8258-0 Lots of good info.
On the personal front I saw my urologist last month. Despite the fact that my PSA has been inching up over the past 4 years he says I'm on the right track and that my cancer does not appear to be an aggressive one. Said I could go 10 to 14 years.
Suggested I undergo another biopsy to establish a new baseline. Did a DRE and said my prostate was still soft and that there were no nodules. Will undergo biopsy Feb.23rd, 2006.
Had been taking 1600IU of Vit D three times a day and a whey supplement that included an additional 2000IU . Lab test results indicate that my Vit D level is low so I have increased dosage to 2000IU three times a day. Will have lab test done early in the New Year. Sense that the biopsy results will determine the course of action and direction I'll take.
Feel positive about where I'm at.
After four and a half years I underwent another prostate biopsy. Took 10 samples this time instead of 6. Urologist said 2 of 10 were cancerous, like the last one, so he says I'm a Gleason 6. Feel somewhat relieved.
Urologists implied that I could go 12 to 14 years with this type of watchful waiting but he also indicated that it could be somewhat painful at the end. He also said that studies are now being conducted on watchful waiting. That's certainly encouraging. That's all the news to now.
After my last biopsy circa Feb. 2006 I met with the urologist. He said that based on the biopsy results and if I kept doing what I'm doing he would give me another twelve years. That would make me 79. I told him I'd take it.
Since then I see the urologist every 6 months and do a follow up with my alternave medicine doctor. Nice to get a PSA test every 6 months rather than every 2 months. PSA levels remain up but constant. Into Vitamins and supplements including antioxidants. That's always been a constant. What has changed is my intake of Vitamin D3 over the past two years. Believe Prostate Cancer and Vitamin D. Vit D3 has beneficial results in fighting prostate cancer and studies show that it is capable of causing apoptosis in cancer cells. For the past two years I have been taking 2400 IU's three times a day. I asked the urologist to request a test reading on Vit D levels when I go for PSA tests. To date I can say that I'm only half way to going over the limit.
Í'm still on my BC Specs regime. 4 caps four times a day. Expensive, yes but test results show that I have the testosterone level of a seven year old.
Just back from a tour of France and Italy. Plan on a cruise in Sept. So life is good.
We had a lovely cruise after which I promptly went for my PSA test.
Went into the urologist's office expecting the results to be high considering the good life I had just been indulging in. Surprised to learn that my result was 9.18 ng/ml which was better than 4 points lower than the previous reading six months before. He was so up about the results that he gave me a pass on the DRE. Lucky me! Said to keep doing what I'm doing.
We discussed the possibility of another 10 sample biopsy by March of the new year. Think I'm up for that. If they keep picking away at it I won't have much of a prostate left.
Still over-dosing on Vit D. I'm up to 3000 IUs four time a day. Presently awaiting test results.
However at this point I do not feel that I'm in the red zone so to speak.
Happy New Year.
All is well. Had PSA readings in April and October 2008. Both in the 9.13 range. Urologist is satisfied as is my alternative physician. Feel good and am active.
Awaiting mid Feb as a cruise is on the horizon. Was over-dosing on Vit D. 3000IU's four times a day. Doc said tests indicated I was in the toxic zone. Advised me to cut back to 5000 IU's a day. Take 6000 IU's as the weather is so cloudy all the time.
Trust this finds you well and enjoying life.
In early Spring of 2009 I underwent a third biopsy. Ten samples were taken this time of which four were cancerous but still microscopic and still contained within the prostate.
My PSA was on the rise and had hit 19 but then fell back to 15 and then to 14.9 as of May of this year. In January I made the decision to stop taking the BC Specs (Chinese Herbal) given that my PSA was rising. At that point I opted to take PECTASOL C which is a form of enhanced modified citrus pectin. This product is made by EcoNugenics of Santa Rosa, California. Dr Issac Eliaz is the formulator of this supplement. I take 5 grams three times a day. The website will guide anyone interested in this product to materials that support it as a prostate cancer fighter. Even Ralph Moss has said good things about Pectasol C in his weekly newsletter. I encourage anyone interested to get on the Moss Report and read his weekly publications.
In addition to taking Pectasol C I am also taking Ascorbate Acid Crystals (Vitamin C) 5 grams along with 100 grams of Alpha Lipoic Acid at least twice a day and sometimes three when my system can tolerate it.
For those of you who have just discovered you have prostate cancer as well as those who have undergone a treatment I have several books that I highly put forth to those who want to get the upper hand.
1. Anticancer A New Way Of Life, David Servan-Schreiber,MD,PhD; Collins, ISBN 978-1-55468-222-5 Dr Sevan-Schreiber had brain cancer and a recurrence. He wrote this book to provide a way of life that will keep cancer at bay. He practices what he preaches and has been cancer free for 17 years. He highly recommends Books 2 & 3 that follow his.
2. Foods That Fight Cancer, Preventing Cancer Through Diet; Richard Beliveau,PhD & Denis Gingras,PhD, McClelland & Stewart, ISBN 0-7710-1135-0
3.Cooking With Foods That Fight Cancer, Richard Beliveau,PhD & Denis Gingras, PhD, McClelland & Stewart,I SBN 978-0-7710-1136-8
4. The Cancer Breakthrough - A Nutritional Approach For Doctors and Patients, Dr Steve Hickey and Dr Hilary Roberts (Privately Published) ISBN 978-1-4303-2300-6
The above texts are also available through Amazon.
Those of you who have read my story may have noticed a few contradictions. I originally implied that I would not undergo another biopsy and yet I have undergone two more. The passage of time has taught me that a biopsy is really the only way to determine the status of prostate cancer. DREs wont say much unless the cancer has really progressed and for those new to the game, always have a PSA test before a DRE as DREs tend to elevate the PSA numbers.
May The FORCE Be With You
I have been reading Servan Schreiber's book, ANTICANCER, over and over. He has a part on Meditation and he makes a reference to Ian Gawler who had a terrible cancer and beat it. He wrote a book, You Can Conquer Cancer. Servan Schreiber makes several references to Gawler in his book and explains what he did to beat it. Am into meditation myself.
Otherwise I have just been measured for radiation therapy and will undergo treatment commencing November 8th. Radiation oncologist put me on Lupron Depot, a hormone treatment and I must say it works. PSA dropped from 20+ to 1.4 and my testosterone level is .6. Strange as it may seem, I feel great and always have. Its now 10 years.
Just a short update. As of last Friday, Jan.6th, 2012, I have complete my prostate radiation therapy.
I underwent 38 treatments: the first 25 were dedicated to the prostate and the 4 lymph nodes and the remaining 13 were aimed at the prostate. I learned to keep my bladder as full as can be expected so that it raised up and was out of the way of the beam. There were a few side effects such a difficulty urinating but FloMax was prescribed and the problem was eased. There was also some diarehea but this was resolved with Imodium. I say some as it only occurred on ocassion.
I must also say that I did not experience any fatigue or tiredness. Appetite was very good. My wife's only complaint was that the appointments were not set for the same time each day. They varied and I suspect this was done to make it easier for those who came from greater distances than locals.
I've had my second injection of Lupron Depot and have been told that I will be on it for at least 2 years. Given that it has knocked my PSA down from 20 to 1.6 and my testosterone level to .4 I really can't complain. I'll have another round of blood tests in late April and will see the Radiation Oncologist in early May. I'll also have my next 4 month shot of Lupron Depot in early April.
There is too much snow here now and we are both at an age where high temperatures and sunny days do wonders for the psyche. Florida sounds like the place to be till the snow melts away.
I should also add that the MRI's and Cat scans prior to the radiation treatments indicated that the cancer was contained within the prostate. The scan indicated that it had not moved over to the bones. Based on that I sensed radiation was my best option.
The radiation technicians and nursing staff were very up and very supportive. I saw the radiation oncologist every week and he was up on everything that had transpired to the last session. I have mixed feelings knowing what I know now compared to when I was first told I had prostate cancer. Given that 10 years ago I had a PSA just over 6 I ought to have given more consideration to radiation. But I had such a inhumane urologists at the time that I would have gone out of my way to avoid surgery and radiation. The man should not have been a doctor let alone a surgeon. He dropped the bomb on me and gave me a video and told me to go home and look at it. He said I should have surgery but if I wanted to see an oncologist he would arrange it. That's when I went looking for a doctor who practiced alternative medicine.
Had 38 treatments. 25 to the prostate and the 4 nodules. The remaining 13 were just to the prostate.
Began Lupron Depot injections three months prior to radiation treatments. Each injection lasts 4 months. The injection(s) lower my PSA to .6 and my testosterone level to 1.4. The only side effects are the hot flashes which my wife just loves and some mood swings.
The Lupron Depot has also affected my appetite. I love to eat and am putting on weight. Radiation Oncologist suggested I get back on the treadmill. Good idea.
It is now 6 months since my radiation treatments. Life is good. Radiation oncologist said I'll be on Lupron Depot for at least another year.
Just prior to 38 radiation treatments I was put on Lupron Depot. Essentially it shuts down the production of testosterone and lowers the PSA. Since that time my PSA has been 0 as has my testosterone level. Radiation treatment began in Nov of 2011 and was completed in Jan of 2012.
I receive a Lupron Depot injection that lasts 4 months. Thus every 4 months I get another injection.My final injection was April 2013. I will go for blood tests for testosterone and PSA next month and see the radiation oncologist 2 weeks after that. I anticipate that my levels will remain at 0 as the effects of the treatment can carry over for some time. Should my PSA level rise it would be indicative that the radiation treatment was not effective. At that point I would have to seek another form of treatment. I have lived with prostate cancer since Oct. of 2001 and fully intend to see that it is either controlled or defeated.
It is now just over a year since the effects of the Lupron Depot injection have started to wear off. The radiation oncologist is very satisfied with my progress. PSA is still on 0 while the Testosterone level is in the range of 0.1. In all honesty I had very few side effects from the radiation. For a short time there were loose bowels but the medication resolved that issue. As for the Lupron Depot injections I can only say that there were times when my wife and I laughed because we were having the sweats at the same time. Beyond that there was never any real problem. At this point in time I can only say that perhaps I ought to have gone with Radiation and Lupron Depot much earlier in the growth of my cancer. As the matter stood I opted for what is known as Watchful Waiting. Yes I had a doctor who practiced alternative medicine but over time I watched my PSA rise despite the fact that I was on a Chinese herbal called BC Spes. Mind you the Chinese herbal did control my testosterone level. At one point I was advised that I had the testosterone level of a 7 year old.
I will most likely have to check in with the radiation oncologist on a regular basis for the next while and if the blood test reveal that the PSA and the Testosterone levels are low then eventually I will be give a Pass GO.
It seems so long ago. I have completed my radiation therapy, all 38 treatments. As well my hormone therapy has finished and I basically see my oncologis about every 6 months. My PSA is slowly rising but it is not a worry as that is to be expected given that my testosterone is slowly rising as well.
Have not really thought about prostate cancer for a long time now.
At the moment I see my radiation oncologist once a year. Prior to the visit I get a PSA test done.
I say this since it is now 5 years since I underwent hormone therapy and radiation treatment. Prior to radiation I had my first hormone shot. They last 4 months and then you get the next one. This went on for 2 years.
Two months into hormone therapy I started radiation. Done on a daily basis Monda to Friday. 38 treatments in all. 25 to the prostate and lymph nodes and then 13 to just the prostate.
Afterwards I saw the oncologist on a 2 month basis with PSA test prior. Then went to 3 months, 6 months then 9 months. Now I see the oncologist once a year. So far everything is good.
I decided on radiation therapy after a discussion with my urologist of 6 years. He would operate if I wanted. At the time I was 72 and I thought I was getting too old for operations. Thus I opted for radiation after our discussion.
I started watchful waiting using BC Specs back on 2001 but had to undergo bypass surgery in April of 2003. After the bypass surgery I went back on watchful waiting. I did have a doctor who practiced alternative medicine and he eventually made sure I saw a urologist. I was monitored. Under the urologist I had 3 biopsies on my prostate. 10 samples each time. At best 4 of ten were cancerous.
After the third biopsy we had a serious discussion. Time a getting short. Ergo I opted for radiation.
Radiation for me was painless. Prior to radiation I began meditation and did it waiting for radiation and during radiation. It helped a great deal.
That is my story to now.
Richard's e-mail address is: r.smith AT bell.net (replace "AT" with "@")