Question for those who have gone through radiation

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 4/9/2008 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi-I am new to this topic but not new to the site. I have been doing alot of reading here and hope to get some information for my husband and myself. I will try and make the introduction short-My husband had surgery in July 2001. His PSA for the next 3 years was running from 0.1 to 0.2. As time went on it continued to rise and now it is at 0.4.
His current doctor said he wouldn't recommend radiation yet until it gets to 1.0. So he decided to go for another opinion. The doctor he chose to see sent him for a Prostacint scan which actually scaned his entire body. It was a 3 hour scan. It showed minor activity in the prostate bed which could be concern for recurrance. The rest of the scan was totally clear.
So it is basically up to him to decide what he wants to do. He had no side effects from the surgery. So I guess my question is for those that did have radiation did you have side effects right away? Were you able to work while having the radiation?
I am pretty sure he will decide to do the radiation and the urologist suggested he do it within 6 months to a year. I tend to agree since there is still some cancerous tissue there why wait until there is a chance it could get out and spread.
I am just looking to find out how everyone's experiences with radiation was.
Thank you

Doting Daughter
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1064
   Posted 4/9/2008 10:45 AM (GMT -6)   

Sorry to hear the need for radiation, but sounds like you guys are on top of it!  My father is going through radiation at the moment and is currently working.  He has had a few GI side effects, but they are controlled well with Imodium.  He also has a little fatigue in the afternoons, but is tolerating the treatment well for the most part.  He has three weeks left to go.   The Cancer Centers are typically really good about scheduling times that work well for the patient.  My father's PSA was .05 when he began his treatment.  We figured, if there is any cancer left, why wait for it to spread.  Good luck in your decision making process!



Father's Information
DX July 15, 2007
Age 62 (now 63)
PSA 5.5
Original Gleason 3+4=7 
Post Surgery Gleason- 4+3=7
DaVinci Surgery Aug 31, 2007
Focally Positive Right Margin
One positive node
Bone Scan/CT Negative (Sept. 10, 2007)
T3a N1 M0
Oct. 17 PSA 0.07
Nov. 13 PSA 0.05
Casodex adm. Nov 07
Lupron beg. Dec 03, 2007 2 yr
Radiation started March 03, 2008 7 weeks 5x a week
2 weeks of radiation down!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 4/9/2008 12:25 PM (GMT -6)   

I had a positive margin, so I underwent additional radiation therapy within the first year following my surgery.  They started me with hormones two months prior - seems like that will weaken PC cells so they can get zapped better.  I had no problems with the radiation treatments.  Since I'm retired, it was no problem going each day, and it only took 10-15 minutes each.  They will work around your individual schedule.  The hormones have some side effects that can be troubling, but so far, I haven't had a real problem.  I keep active to offset the possible fatigue issue, and try to control my weight.  Libido is lessened, but the choice of ridding myself of the cancer is more important. 

Good luck on your decision and further treatment.

Age 57 at diagnosis,  PSA 4.7 (up from 3.2 one year ago)
Biopsy November 8, 2006 1 of 10 cores positive 5% LEFT Side Gleason 3+3
Robotic surgery January 19, 2007
Post Surgery Pathology Stage T3a, Gleason 3+4, positive margins and capsular penetration RIGHT Side
Post Surgery PSA:  March 5:  0.01
5 month PSA, June 13, 2007:  0.08
Adjuvant therapy began June 26 with Zoladex injection
Radiation began August 23, ended October 8
First post radiation PSA, December 18, 2007:  0

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 4/9/2008 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kim,
My experience is fairly close to the other members posted so far. Little to no side effects from the radiation. I may recommend that he also consider a brief stint on hormone therapy before the radiation. This can shrink the cancer before treatment and may help knock it completely down. This would be "Intermittent Hormone Therapy" or IHT and it is something I would have have considered but my doc told me to go two year on the HT before deciding if I wanted to stop the HT. Regardless I did have HT a month before starting radiation.


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. 
Years in Remission (3/23/07): 1
Visit my Journey at:
Prostate Cancer Forum Moderator

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 4/9/2008 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks everyone for your replies..My husband is going for a week diving in the Turks/Caicos islands this weekend and when he gets home has to let the doctor know his decision. I am pretty sure the decision has been made but it is always good to have as much information as possible. I think the doctor was hesitant to do the radiation because he had no side effects from surgery and will most likely have side effects from the radiation.

I am not sure the radiologist or his doctor mentioned hormone therapy but will find out.

Tony- my husband was also 44 when he was diagnosed although it did take a years worth of biopsy's to find it even though his PSA kept rising. I believe it was around 9 at the time of his surgery.


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 4/9/2008 5:46 PM (GMT -6)   

tongue  Hi ~ Kim and Loved Ones,


Welcome   to…   ~ HealingWell ~




A   Special   Warm Welcome  to  You !


Knowledge gives us POWER….  POWER takes away the fear.


~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~


 Click  on  link  below for important information that will help you ~ help us!!


Welcome New Members ~ to HealingWell


The information (link) listed above is to help you get around the forum! 


v       This is a journey best traveled with friends. 

Welcome ~ New Friend from all the members here... on


v      IdahoSurvivor ~  Moderator for Prostate Cancer Forum


v      TC-LasVegas ~  Moderator for Prostate Cancer Forum


v      bluebird ~  Moderator for Prostate Cancer Forum


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 4/9/2008 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   

Hey ~ Kim,

You're going to find a lot of strength here so hopefully you will stay close and pull from all of us.  In the Welcome Message above it will take you to some great resources... and "a few" of many threads on the forum.  Take the time to read as many as you can.  Pull from those that you feel will help to make your path ahead ~ a smoother walk.  So many have been there and that's what we are all about.  Sharing because we Care.  And Caring Enough to Share.

Keeping you close as you continue to research your options. In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina


v          We invite you to visit our personal thread:  Click Here:  “Our Journey” ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

4th PSA 2-13-2008 (23 months) Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 4/9/2008 7:20 PM (GMT -6)   

Thank you for the nice welcome. I have shown this board to my husband and he has been reading also. I did find out that he does not need hormone therapy because what they saw on the scan is local. He is very nervous about going through radiation so I want to get as much information from others as I can.

bluebird-Both of our sons live in NC. We will be going down in June to visit. I would love to move there!

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 187
   Posted 4/9/2008 7:50 PM (GMT -6)   

I was real nervous about radiation, and it was really no biggie. I travel a lot in my job-- but I didn't miss a single day of work in 37 sessions of radiation---I just had to be the same place every morning. Its been more than a year, and the side effects are very manageable--- mostly what the others have reported. I was 46 at dx and really wanted to throw everything I could at the cancer.

Tony's right about looking into hormone therapy at the same time--- I was on it for 6 months, but it took another 6 months after that to completely wear off. Improves the odds of a cure! GOOD LUCK!
Age 47 - pre-surgury PSA 39
Open Radical Prostatectomy 6/9/2006
Pathological Stage T3a, Positive Surgical Margin
Gleason 3+4
PSA rose to .24 in November of 2006
6 month hormone therapy initiated December 1. 2006
36 sessions of IMRT Ended Feb 1, 2007
PSA as of May 25, 2007 undetectable
PSA as of November 29, 2007 undetectable
Next PSA May of 2008

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 4/11/2008 6:32 AM (GMT -6)   

I just finished radiation, IGRT, on the 31 Mar. The side effects are so small and very easy to control.
The one thing I would suggest is go on the BRAT diet one week before the start of radiation.
Click on the link in my Sig. to go to my Journey for what and how I over came my side effects.
Feel free to ask any question that are not covered in my Journey.


Jim, 54,~Jim-N1BRP. My Journey
Diagnosed: 12Nov. '07, Age 54

Treatment Started : 31 Jan 08

Completed 31 Mar 08

42 treatments 1.8 Gy M-F for a total of 75.6 Gy.

Prostate Biopsy: 18Sept '06, - 10 sample all negative, Prostate size 36.3 cc

Prostate Biopsy : 12Nov '07, Biopsy - 14 sample 2 positive, one Gleason 6 at 5 %,
other Gleason 6 at 15%- Stage T1C -Prostate size 40.2 cc

Bone Scan: 12Dec '07, - Hot Spot on Brain
Family history: Father and two uncles  die from PCa

Other: GERD, 30% Carotid artery blockage, Kidney Cyst, Asthma

Meds, Hytrin, BusPIRone, Trazodone, Tramadol HCl, Omeprazole, Nitrostat, Plavix, Albuterol, Multi Vitamin  Mens

PSA's                   fPSA

1.2    Oct  05

3.61  Jul    06    

2.6    Sept 06          19%  

2.6    Apr 07             3% Oh NO


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