Post Brachy and Alternative Therapies

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Johnny Canuck
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 1/24/2008 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi All,
Well I'm new here, being recently (Dec 12) diagnosed with a low level prostate cancer. My stats are as follows:
Age: 53
PSA: 3.5
Gleason Score of 6
Stage T1c.
 
I immediately started an agressive dose of Essiac Tea, cuz I figured a long time ago that I would take that course if the situation ever came up. I am also drinking green tea and pomegranate juice, dropping sugars and enriched white flours, and indulging in part of the Budwig Protocol...flaxseed oil and cottage cheese (cut with blueberries and Stevia so it doesn't taste foul). Generally beefing up my diet by cutting beef...eating my greens...bolting the barn door after the horse escaped as it were.
 
Oh...all that and brachytherapy.
 
Now, my question is, is anyone doing complementary therapies alongside the standard cut/burn/poison? I mean I'm grateful that I'm a candidate for seed implants, but I'd really like to ameliorate some of the effects of the radiation...minimalise the potential for incontinence, impotence and other minor irritants if at all possible. I'm looking at drinking Aloe juice and adding echinacea to the mix as anti-inflammatories.
 
My doctors say "Sure...anything that makes you healthier is just great", but I know they're being patronizing. That's ok...but what I need to know is if there are any contra-indications amidst the stuff I'm looking at. And no...I'm not buying a Rife machine.
Thoughts, anybody?

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 1/24/2008 6:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Johnny and welcome!
I like your positive attitude and can tell you that as a cut/burn/poison survivor, I still have my working parts. And I have the best shot of survival given the alternatives. A heart healthy diet is also a prostate healthy one. So you are OK everywhere except the cottage cheese. (try the blueberries again, they ain't so bad.) I was not enthusiastic about radiation at a young age, particularly brachytherapy. Mostly because there is little information about long term effects. Now before I rile the RT patients here, I mean thirty years from now. But it just may be a fine treatment in your case. For me radiation therapy became necessary after surgery. I have an advanced case of the disease so this won't necessarily apply to but a small percentage of our brethren here. But while your numbers indicate a "low level" remember your decisions now are just as important and those for us with high risk disease. Make them carefully, and have all of the options laid out. Good Luck! And be well!

God Bless you!

Tony
Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology was poor: Gleason 4+3=7, 4 positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
 
My PSA did drop out after surgery to undetectable.  It has not returned and I will continue HT until January '08.
 
My Life is supported very well by family and friends like you all.
 
Visit my journey at:
 
STAY POSITIVE!


wd40
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 218
   Posted 1/25/2008 8:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Few if any special cancer killing diets have clinical numbers to support their claims so educate yourself and keep another basket for your eggs handy. Eating healthy is always good of course.

There is one guy on televsion that claims he has the cure for almost everything and I have promised myself I will poke him in the nose should I ever have the chance.

Educate yourself and then choose wisely is the best advice I can give.

Randy
12/06/07 DaVinci and LRP


Paul1959
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 1/25/2008 9:53 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had several appointments with Aaron Katz, Head of Holistic Urology at Columbia Presbyterian in NYC. He is the author of "Dr. katz's Guide to prostate Health." I would certainly recommend it. He put me on a diet and supplements when I was first diagnosed. I figured I would give it a try. I was amazed at how much better I felt and the really amazing thing for me, is that I have not been sick a day since I started his regime. I live with 325 teenage boys and you can imagine how many germs come my way in a year. I usually was getting some virus now and then. I just had a prostatectomy but you can be sure I am sticking to the basics of this regime. If cancer found a welcoming home in my once, I'm going to do my best to make sure it does not find a second welcome.

My whole life I should have limited fat and processed foods. I should always eat lots of vegetables and whole grains and low fat protein...but that darn junk food is so good...and there is nothing better than a steak on the grill, so all things in moderation.

So, while I am an advocate of holistic and alternative meds, I would strongly urge you to investigate the Budwig Protocol further. There is a lot of research that goes so far as to state that the flaxseed oil is harmful and promotes cancer growth. Everyone agrees that cold milled whole flax seed is very beneficial because of the lignans. One of the red flags that I notice is when proponents advocate a conspiracy theory as to why a certain treatment is met with resistance. In this case, Budwig materials claim that since the medical community will make no profit off Flaxseed oil, they do not tell their patients about it. Let me assure you, if something cured cancer, my doctor would tell the world even if he did not make a penny. So, I would exercise real caution with some of these regimes that claim cures. Otherwise, healthy eating and supplements are only going to make your whole body a healthier place and I'm with you there 100%.
Paul
47 at Diagnosis.
Father died of Pca 4/07 at 86.
1/06 PSA 3.15
1/07 PSA 4.6      (Biopsy 3/07 just suspicious)
10/07 PSA 5.06   (Biopsy 11/07  1 of 12 with 8% involvment) (1mm)
Da Vinci surgery Jan 5, '08 at Mt. Sinai Hosp. NYC  www.roboticoncology.com
Saved both nerve bundles.
Path Report:  Stage 2cNxMx
-Gleason (3+3)6
-totally contained to prostate,
-10% involvement in L & R Mid lobes
 
 


Johnny Canuck
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 1/25/2008 11:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the responses, folks. Personally, I think there is a role for complementary medicine out there, but there sure are a lot of flim-flam artists as well. I have read reports that flaxseed oil might have a contributary effect to prostate cancer, but I have also read reports that questioned the original study which I believe originated in Argentina. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with their science.
 
With the Budwig Protocol, the oil (Omega 3 EFA) is blended with cottage cheese (protein) to change the chemical properties and this apparently renders the concern moot anyway. So they say...
 
But I'm brewin' up another batch of essiac right now, and I have to say that since I started using it the blood in my ejaculate seems to have pretty much disappeared. Could just be the anti-inflammatory properties, though. Can't ask my doctor...he doesn't know.
 
Jeez...didn't think I'd be having that particular discussion in public.
 

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 1/25/2008 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
That discussion is has been right where it needs to be. There is not any part about prostate cancer that one should be embarrassed to discuss. Thanks for bringing it out, but you are not the first here. I once asked a group of guys "what happens when you get prostate cancer"? I have been through the gambit of treatments and it was almost comical that lack of knowledge. One guy said his dad had thirty years ago, so he didn't know much about it. Almost comical? That was just ignorance.

On the diet. A heart healthy diet is important. Look at my numbers. My treatment is necessary but it's not good for the heart. If for no other reason I don't need to exaserbate the effects on my heart by eating poorly.

Tony
Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology was poor: Gleason 4+3=7, 4 positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
 
My PSA did drop out after surgery to undetectable.  It has not returned and I will continue HT until January '08.
 
My Life is supported very well by family and friends like you all.
 
Visit my journey at:
 
STAY POSITIVE!


Michael's Wife
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 1/25/2008 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I beg to differ yet again. "at least with surgery, you know pretty well if they got all the cancer or not from the pathology report" It just ain't true. All it takes is for a cell to be missed. A surgeon has basically the same odds of missing a cell as a radiation oncologist does. Ask some of the guys here who were theoretically cancer free after surgery and now have found out different. To base a decision of treatment choice on the story of one individual is something I would not recommend that anyone do. Do complete research and make a fully informed decision. For some, the short term effects (and risk of very serious long term effects) with surgery are unacceptable. Oh, and the secondary options after brachytherapy are essentially the same as those after surgery. I'm not sure why you'd want to focus on attempting surgery once you've essentially destroyed the prostate (i.e., they're hardly prostate cells anymore).

Surgery isn't for everyone. Just as brachytherapy isn't. At this point, reading everything here neither my husband nor I would make a different choice than we did. He's had basically no side effects, and other than the inconvenience of a catheter overnight for one night, has had no issues with urination other than some minor urgency at times. Long term, time will tell. But then again, who here knows what tomorrow will bring? Today is good.

Anyway ... off my soapbox.


Husband: Age 58
Stage: T1c
Gleason: 6 (3+3)
PSA: 4.4
Biopsy: 12 samples, Adenocarcinoma involving 3 cores, right side only (95%, 90%, 30%, discontinuously)

Pre-op prostate study - November 13
Brachytherapy - December 12, 2007
CT Scan - January 11, 2008

So far, so good!


zilpah
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/26/2008 3:29 AM (GMT -7)   
MY husband was very lucky and went on a trial for fibro optic surgery,we were very lucky the treatment will be out there one day for everyone.basically your body is injected with a light sensitive drug..the operation takes place in a dark operating theatre and rods are inserted with fibro optic tips the lights are then put on only directed at the prostate and they burn it.you have to stay in the dark for 5 days you can have just a telly or a low watt bulb.you are fit back on your feet after and there have been no side effects from the last scan the tissue of the prostate has died away but everything around it is healthy living tissue .my husband has 6 monthly checks so i will keep you posted.there is also ultra sound hifu so there are alternatives out there to brachotheray and radiation ...and of course taking early PSA test. good luck all of you .

Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 1/26/2008 4:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Interesting Zilpah! Keep us up to date when you can!

As most regulars here know, our family combines naturalpathy with traditional medicine. Paul has been treated with homepathics. Our family physician is a naturalpath. Carcinosin, Thujia and Modified Citrus Pectin are just 3 of the several remedies Paul has been using/used. Some remedies are a one time deal while others take months to complete a treatment cycle.

Swim
 


aus
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 1/26/2008 5:26 AM (GMT -7)   

There's a lot of anecdotal material to support the benefits of lifestyle and diet, including the very low instance of agressive PC in men with traditional Japanese and asian diets: although there's an obvious relationship, it's difficult to prove whether diet can control or cure an existing cancer.

Changes to diet and supplements have greatly improved my immune system, along with BPH symptoms and  frequency, which has been worthwhile in itself.  For example,  I have had no recent  instances of sinus or similar problems, which used to be a frequent event.

My 2004 biopsy had one positive core and PIN. Recent biopsy was all clear.

The effect of diet is difficult to know, as my original diagnosis indicated a small tumor, and  complied with the criteria defined by Johns Hopkins and others for active surveillance.

(I have not used flaxseed oil since doubts about it were published by Dr Mercola and others a few years ago.)


Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 1/26/2008 1:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Flaxseed is yummy though!
 


wd40
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 218
   Posted 1/26/2008 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I tell you what doesn't work, darn lycopene.
12/06/07 DaVinci and LRP


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 1/26/2008 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey WD, that's blasphamy to us Italians. Lycopene works great on Lasagna...mmmmm.

Tony
Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology was poor: Gleason 4+3=7, 4 positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
 
My PSA did drop out after surgery to undetectable.  It has not returned and I will continue HT until January '08.
 
My Life is supported very well by family and friends like you all.
 
Visit my journey at:
 
STAY POSITIVE!


wd40
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 218
   Posted 1/26/2008 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh yea bring on the red sauce. I had just figured with all barbecue sauce, ketchup and other red sauces I would have been immune.
yeah
12/06/07 DaVinci and LRP


acmd
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/31/2008 10:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I read a post from Mike's wife that hopefully will help me.  Did your husband have the high dose radiotherapy?  I am 58 with a presumed T1c cancer.  PSA 3.6 3 out of 10 cores positive with Gleason 3+3=6.  I am trying to decide on the hight dose rate brachytherapy versus robotic prostatectomy.

JustJulie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 2/11/2008 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   

If I remember correctly, Mike's Wife (Ellen's) husband and my husband both had "traditionally" Brachytherapy where the seeds are left in.  My husband had the option of stranded seeding and he took it with no adverse effects.  He's back to his normal routine and working out at the gym.  His biggest nemesis was fatigue at first but that was the worst symptom - I don't think Ellen's husband even suffered that setback (or not for very long).

If you have any questions about Brachytherapy, please let me know and I'd be happy to answer any lingering questions.  From what we were told, Brachytherapy are surgery are showing similar success rates.

Regards,

JustJulie


Johnny Canuck
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 2/23/2008 10:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, brachy comes down in a couple of days. I've been on essaic for 3 months, and my PSA, which had gone from 2.8 to 3.5 in 6 months, has stopped rising and slightly reversed in the following 6 months.

My joke has been that upon diagnosis, I did what any rational man would do in my situation...started drinking tea, and got a tattoo.

Yes, I had a radiation trefoil tattooed on my upper arm. My son asked why that...I replied because I couldn't get one that says "Screw Cancer". He gave that some thought, and asked "Why not?" "Cuz Grandma wouldn't like it." I replied. (my first tat, btw)

But it's all about a little control, isn't it? My GP laughed and said go for it.

Meanwhile, I did see a naturopath because I couldn't find a doctor who could address my quesions, and she recommended three products:
a high potency omega 3 fish oil, Zyflamend, and Moducare...the latter two being herbal-based immune boosters and antinflammatories focussed towards cancer. My concern is not so much about the PC...the brachy should take care of that...but if I have to take supplements for a couple of months while my giblets toast so that I might avoid those midnight trips to the hospital to have a catheter installed or that kind of stuff...well, then the couple of hundred spent will have been worth it. I will report back...
Age: 54
Gleason Score: 6
PSA: 3.33
Biopsy:6/8 Positive
Stage: T1c
Prostate Size: 27cc
 
Diagnosed: December 05, 2007
Brachytherapy: February 26, 2008
 


Michael's Wife
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 2/23/2008 10:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Good luck! I hope you have as easy a time of it all as my husband has!


Husband: Age 58
Stage: T1c
Gleason: 6 (3+3)
PSA: 4.4
Biopsy: 12 samples, Adenocarcinoma involving 3 cores, right side only (95%, 90%, 30%, discontinuously)

Pre-op prostate study - November 13
Brachytherapy - December 12, 2007
CT Scan - January 11, 2008

So far, so good!


Michael's Wife
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 2/23/2008 10:22 AM (GMT -7)   
from Julie: "If I remember correctly, Mike's Wife (Ellen's) husband and my husband both had "traditionally" Brachytherapy where the seeds are left in."

Yes, that's correct, Julie. Sorry for the delay in responding.


Husband: Age 58
Stage: T1c
Gleason: 6 (3+3)
PSA: 4.4
Biopsy: 12 samples, Adenocarcinoma involving 3 cores, right side only (95%, 90%, 30%, discontinuously)

Pre-op prostate study - November 13
Brachytherapy - December 12, 2007
CT Scan - January 11, 2008

So far, so good!


Gordy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 2/23/2008 10:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Johnny-

In the summer of 2005 I had 5 weeks of IMRT and the HDR brachy. Had been on HT for 6 months and continued for another years and a half. PSA went from 26.5 to undetectable. Had no side effects whatever from all that radiation. In June 2007 it was discovered that I have numerous nodules on both lungs, the cells of which are referred to pathologically as metastasized, mutated PCa. At that point, except for the Essiac tea, I adopted the same diet as you, including the Budwig stuff.

Several weeks ago, it was determined that some of the nodules have grown larger and my PSA, which has been undetectable for 3 years, now reads 0.5. Did the diet work? Who knows. I might be in worse shape without it. I figure it can't hurt and there are no meds I can take, except that I'm now back on Lupron to get my testosterone level down from 12 to zero.

(BTW - I'm going in for surgery in 3 weeks to fix 3 bulging discs so I can walk again. I figure I might as well enjoy whatever time I have left.)

-Les

Johnny Canuck
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 2/23/2008 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
(BTW - I'm going in for surgery in 3 weeks to fix 3 bulging discs so I can walk again. I figure I might as well enjoy whatever time I have left.)

-Les
 
I hear ya on that...I'm off on disability for a bad back all of a sudden, but it allows me the time to deal with the PS.
 
Age: 54
Gleason Score: 6
PSA: 3.33
Biopsy:6/8 Positive
Stage: T1c
Prostate Size: 27cc
 
Diagnosed: December 05, 2007
Brachytherapy: February 26, 2008
 


Johnny Canuck
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 2/27/2008 6:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, that's it...the big day just passed. Due to a back condition my anesthesiologist was unable to give me a spinal, so they settled for a local, instead. Disadvantage...you know how you go to the dentist and you swear the freezing kicks in on the way home? Let's just say I wasn't entirely unaware of the proceedings.
Advantage...I got out quicker as my lower half didn't have to thaw out and the depends was unnecessary. However, if I may be permitted in this forum...I am now fully appreciative of the sobriquet "Numbnuts."

I was handed a script for tylenol#3, flowmax and an antibiotic, with a return engagement a month from now. No pads, no Viagra...and when I asked about such stuff, the nurse seemed a little alarmed that I was at all concerned.

I asked about the complementary medicine I was using and the nurse was patiently noncommittal...her main concern was whether or not anything would partner badly with the drugs I was on, but that's why I saw the Naturopath. She allowed as how she might just see one as well, so I'll continue with my regimen for a couple of months.

Got home...ate pizza, drank coffee...(hate that pro-op routine!), little tired, went to bed early, woke up feeling a little tender but otherwise fine. I did take a 3 early on, and one before bed as I hadn't been able to take the anti-inflammatories for my back. Also took a flowmax, and up to the bathroom in the early morning. But really, so far...piece of cake.

All in all, I was treated very well, from the receptionist to the radiation oncologist, and the day cost us $18 for parking. Can't beat that.
Age: 54
Gleason Score: 6
PSA: 3.33
Biopsy:6/8 Positive
Stage: T1c
Prostate Size: 27cc
 
Diagnosed: December 05, 2007
Brachytherapy: February 26, 2008
 


JustJulie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 2/27/2008 6:28 AM (GMT -7)   

Welcome to the Brachytherapy Club!

Please keep us posted.

 


Johnny Canuck
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 2/27/2008 6:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Julie, your remarks and your brachy thread have been really helpful, and remind me to give a pile of credit to my wife, who has been a real supportive element in this whole adventure...including tolerating my investigations into complementary medicine alongside. It's a lot easier when you've got that support, and I hope that anybody going it alone takes advantage of the experience and hope that I see expressed in this forum. Kudos to the wives and partners!!
...and friends and family!!


Age: 54
Gleason Score: 6
PSA: 3.33
Biopsy:6/8 Positive
Stage: T1c
Prostate Size: 27cc
 
Diagnosed: December 05, 2007
Brachytherapy: February 26, 2008
 


biker90
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1464
   Posted 2/27/2008 8:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Glad your procedure went well. Welcome to the "other side"...

Jim
Age 73. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2C Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Catheter out on 12/13/06.  Dry on 12/14/06.
Pathological stage: T2C N0 MX. Gleason 3+4.
PSAs from  1/3/07 - 1/17/08 0.00. 
Next PSA test on 7/17/08
"Patience is essential, attitude is everything."
 

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