Prostate Cancer Treatment

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Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2361
   Posted 2/26/2008 12:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Here a link to  an article from today's NY Times on the prostate cancer treatment muddle, that may be of interest...
Age 59  PSA velocity quadrupled in 1 yr (0.6 to 2.6) 
1 of 12 biopsies positive (5%) 
Open surgery June 2006 
Cancer confined to one small area Gleason 5 
PSA's non-detectable

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 444
   Posted 2/27/2008 12:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tim
I happened to read the article earlier today because I am on a list with the NY Times to get e-mail notification of any articles they publish on prostate cancer.  It is interesting that they are publishing articles on prostate cancer with great frequency of late.  While one could read the current article with a negative viewpoint, we have to focus on the fact that a lot of progress has been made in recent years in getting men to get their PSA test and DRE's.  This will save a lot of lives as time goes on.  While we would all like to see more dollars being allocated to prostate cancer research, we should keep in mind that Michael Milken (the Wall Street legend who took a wrong turn in his career) established the Prostate Cancer Foundation after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer at a still young age.  Michael and his foundation has been very instrumental in stepping up the efforts on prostate cancer research.  If it had not been for his efforts, I am not sure that we would be where we are today.  He was obviously put on earth for a greater glory than his Wall Street days. 
Today's article discusses the reluctance of men to participate in prostate cancer clinical trials.  Once we find that we have prostate cancer, we just want to jump on board and get treated in hopes of eradicating our cancer--clinial trials are about the last thing on our mind.  However, for example, it is very true that broad definitive studies are lacking, especially comparing the various types of radiation treatment (e.g., seeds, x-ray beam and proton beam) as relates to the side effects encountered and longer-term success rates based on the stage of cancer when first diagnosed.  Of course, smaller studies have been made, but we as patients are still left in the dark to a large degree when making our treatment choice.  It is still unfortunately a game of chance and Russian roulette.  Life is game of chance too!
-69 years young!
-29 core biopsy 9/27/06 at age 68
-PSA 7.1, Stage T1c, Gleason 7 (3+4) [less than 20% in one area], Gleason 6 [less than 5% in two other areas], Negative DRE, bone scan and Endorectal MRI. 
-Completed 39 Proton radiation treatments 2/22/07-4/18/07.   
-PSA History: 7.1 pre-treatment; post treatment: 2.1 (3 mo.), 2.4 (6 mo.), 1.7 (9 mo). Radiation oncologist said the 3-mo. drop of 70% exceeded expectations and the slight 6-mo. movement upwards was not a cause for concern now.
-The following is a link to My Journey With Prostate Cancer -- Proton RadiationTherapy.  

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2361
   Posted 2/27/2008 11:12 AM (GMT -6)   

You make some excellent observations, Dave.   There is some significant research being done to come up with a prostate cancer vaccine. What a great leap forward that would be.

I thought it was interesting to read how much more breast cancer awareness there is than prostate cancer.  You can even buy bottled water that supports breast cancer research and fills up our landfills with empty plastic containers. 

When I was diagnosed and later told my co-workers, a woman remarked innocently that breast cancer is deadly and prostate cancer grows slowly enough that a man dies of something else rather than prostate cancer. 

There's a lot of misinformation out there regarding prostate cancer.  


Age 59  PSA velocity quadrupled in 1 yr (0.6 to 2.6) 
1 of 12 biopsies positive (5%) 
Open surgery June 2006 
Cancer confined to one small area Gleason 5 
PSA's non-detectable

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 2/27/2008 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tim, Dave,
Good thread. I did not mind this NY Times article as much as others they have posted. Some have been down right irresponsible but this one did not cross that line. But they still miss the point. I just don't really care much for the excuse that we lack a control arm of people who watch and wait. My take is simple, Stop blaming the patients and look for a cure. Finding a cure should not involve a watch and wait control arm and we already know that that won't cure it. At this point in my life I don't need to know which treatment is better over ten years or has less side effects. I will be fortunate to be here in ten years. What we do now for prostate cancer does not assure a cure. We need something else, entirely. We need that "penicillin" drug or equivilent.

Dave good point on Mike Milken. Since he has been diagnosed I would not doubt that he has contributed more over time than the US government as a whole did last year. One guy, albiet wealthy, has done more than the US government did last year. And I doubt he is really interested in a watch and wait control arm at this point in his life either.

Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology: Gleason 4+3=7, 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
Current PSA (1/08): <0.1
I will continue HT until May '09. 
Visit my Journey at:
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