Whatever happened to Andy Grove?

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corynski
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 5/27/2008 8:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Many of you will remember when Andy Grove, CEO of Intel Corp, wrote about his struggle to find the best treatment for his prostate cancer in 1996. It was the first time I had read much about PCa and it reminded me to get my PSA each year. Well, Andy has survived for 12 years, only to now be cursed with Parkinsons disease. He started a PCa website that has his original article where he deliberates which type treatment to get. Eventually he elected a combined radiation, seeds and high-beam radiation, rather than open surgery.

http://www.prostatecancerfoundation.org/site/c.itIWK2OSG/b.47462/k.F34F/Andy_Grove.htm

I'm bringing this up because I'm now in his shoes, trying to make the same decision, but with a tremendous amount of new information, as well as the experience of all those who write here of their journeys. I've read Dr. Walsh's book and I've got plenty of questions.

The first regards Medicare. Where can I find out which treatments Medicare will pay for, and how much out of pocket I'm looking at? Will Medicare pay for the 2nd opinions, for example? Other than Medicare, I have the AARP Part A coverage. Should I search on the web, or maybe call the urologist's office for information?

Walsh suggests that the first step is to find the best surgeon or radiation oncologist for a second opinion. Do they re-examine the same biopsy samples, get new ones, or simply give another opinion of the first biopsy? I do know that continence will be more important than sexual functioning in my future. Plus I've noticed my body reacting differently to my workaholic daily routine since I've turned 70. Some mornings after mowing the lawn the evening before I feel like I've been thrown off the back of a truck. Perhaps the RP would be too much even though I'm average weight and pretty good health.

Any insights into this decision making process will be appreciated.

charley
_____________________________________________________________________________

Pre-Diagnostic PSA record, begun 1995 at age 58..... now 70:
1995 - 1.2
1997 - 1.7
1998 - 1.4
1999 - 1.7
2000 - 3.4
2001 - 2.0
2002 - 4.6 on 6/6, 4.1 on 7/24, 3.5 on 10/1 at urologist's office
2003 - 2.3
2004 - 2.7
2005 - 3.2 on 7/15
2006 - no test????
2007 - 5.8 on 2/5, 5.7 on 6/16
2008 - 10.4 on 2/29, 8.8 on 4/21 --- Scheduled biopsy for 5/6/2008. On a graph, the PSA rise looks exponential, i.e. a growth function.

*****************************************************************
5/22/2008 -- Results of biopsy
4 of 12 cores show adenocarcinoma:
LLM - Gleason 3+3=6, PTI=10%
LM - Gleason 3+3=6, PTI=2%
LLA - Gleason 3+4=7, PTI=25%
LA - Gleason 3+3=6, PTI=20%
Clinical Stage:
T2a
Comments:
RLB - There is focal acute prostatitis
LLM - There is focal perineural invasion
LLA - There is focal perineural invasion
Partin Table:
OC - 33%
CP - 52%
SV+ -10%
LN - 4%

No treatment selected yet.....


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 5/27/2008 9:07 AM (GMT -6)   

The Andy Grove Cancer auto-biography from the Prostate Cancer Foundation (Link Enabled):

http://www.prostatecancerfoundation.org/site/c.itIWK2OSG/b.47462/k.F34F/Andy_Grove.htm

 

Tony



Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007 @ The City of Hope
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:
 
STAY POSITIVE!
 
Prostate Cancer Forum Moderator


broker59
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 5/27/2008 9:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Corynski
 
Last year at this time I was scouring the internet looking at all the treatments, and came accross Andy Grove and his story about HDR Brackatherpy.  The Cancer Treatment Centers of America really promote this kind of treatment. You might want to contact them, I know they take Medicare.  The problem with HDR is that the tumor has to be located in the center of the prostate, mine was in the corner so it would not work.  They recommend a 3 part treatment, starting with hormones, then HDR, then radiation.  The Doctor told me the surgery would be a good choice for me, and that's the path I chose. Let me know how you make out if you talk to them.
Broker 59


Date of Dx 3/20/07

PSA: 2.5
Gleeson: 3+4
Stage: T2
Bone Scan: Clean

Date of Surgery: 6/21/07  Open RP
 
Post Opp: ALL NEGATIVE margins & L/N, S/V.
Cath out after 18 days = BIG RELIEF!!!
 
PSA: 7/23/07 0.01
PSA: 9/04/07 0.01
PSA: 12/04/07 undetectable.
PSA: 3/12/08 UNDETECTABLE!!!!!


pcdave
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 444
   Posted 5/27/2008 7:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Charley
 
I am on Medicare and elected proton radiation therapy for my treatment (which unfortunately is probably the most expensive treatment for PCa because of the huge cost, $100-$150 million, to construct a proton radiation treatment center).  Medicare paid 80% of the cost of my treatment and the other 20% was paid for by my supplemental insurance (AARP).  It covered all of my doctor bills, including 2nd opinions.  I feel very blessed to have Medicare insurance.  Based on my experience, I believe that all other forms of PCa treatment would be covered by Medicare.  You can phone Medicare directly and they can tell your exactly what is covered (the phone number should be on your Medicare Insurance card).
 
The 2nd opinion on the biopsy is based on the slides from the initial biopsy.  I actually ended up getting a 3rd opinion when I consulted with a top medical oncologist specializing in PCa to help me evaluate all of my treatment options and the potential success rate of each one.  I don't know where you live, but I highly recommend that you find a medical oncologist at a top prostate cancer treatment center to help you in your treatment decision making process.  This was really a blessing for me in making the final decision.
 
We are about the same age--you might want to read my journey with PCa--see my footnote below for the link to it.  I am one year post-treatment and have luckily had no urinary or bowel problems to date.
 
Best of luck to you in selecting your treatment and eradicating your PCa.
 
Dave 
 
P.S. Here is a link to a recent interesting article in Forbes magazine on Andy Grove.  It seems that he has beat PCa, but now has the challenge of fighting Parkinson's disease which is sad.  http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/0128/070.html


-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), 1.6 (12 mo.).  Radiation oncologist said: the 3-mo. drop of 70% exceeded expectations; the slight 6-mo. bump up was not a cause for concern now; expected drop in 12-18 mo. is 75%.
-The following is a link to My Journey With Prostate Cancer -- Proton RadiationTherapy.  
 
 

Post Edited (pcdave) : 5/27/2008 6:49:37 PM (GMT-6)


smilingoldcoot
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 5/27/2008 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi

I am much like pcdave,  I chose proton but am getting a combo of hormone, IMRT, and proton.  Medicare covered 80% and Tricare for life (retired military) cover the remainder.

I had my first hormone shot May 2nd along with daily 50 mg Casodex, my first IMRT was today and I was told I will have a total of 42 treatments.

There are many options but you are you own best advocate for what treatment you choose.

Richard and Debbie


Retired USAF Richard & Debbie on The Shores of Toledo Bend Lake Louisiana
Biospy 1/10/08 Gleason 10, Stage T1C  8 of 12 samples positive all Less Than 5% 
U of Florida Proton Therapy Institute
5/2/2008 LUPRON & Casodex
IMRT to start 5/16/2008 for approx 4 weeks with Proton to follow for approx 4 weeks
Turn Stumbling Blocks into Steping Stones and Keep Smiling
Our Journey is on WWW.GLEASON10.COM
 


corynski
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 5/28/2008 8:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for the info everyone. Being out in the country and single is a major drawback I see, but that just means alot of driving, about 40 miles to the nearest location. Fortunately I have a nurse friend whose father my age had a successful RRP in Knoxville, so I'll be talking to his surgeon soon hopefully. My urologist is a radiation oncologist so I'll check out his background in depth. I'll talk with him about treatment options next week. And I've finished Dr. Walsh's book so it's time for some action.

I was impressed with Andy Grove's story, and his work with Michael Milikin (sp?) at the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Milikin's story is also quite amazing to be sure:

http://www.prostatecancerfoundation.org/site/c.itIWK2OSG/b.81488/k.BD5/Michael_Milkens_Story.htm

I think I'm still waiting for the enormity of this to hit me. We're so fortunate for the progress that has been made in the last decade or two with this disease. My father had no PSA readings for warning and it's hard for me to imagine him getting a DRE, to be honest.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Pre-Diagnostic PSA record, begun 1995 at age 58..... now 70:
1995 - 1.2
1997 - 1.7
1998 - 1.4
1999 - 1.7
2000 - 3.4
2001 - 2.0
2002 - 4.6 on 6/6, 4.1 on 7/24, 3.5 on 10/1 at urologist's office
2003 - 2.3
2004 - 2.7
2005 - 3.2 on 7/15
2006 - no test????
2007 - 5.8 on 2/5, 5.7 on 6/16
2008 - 10.4 on 2/29, 8.8 on 4/21 --- Scheduled biopsy for 5/6/2008. On a graph, the PSA rise looks exponential, i.e. a growth function.

*****************************************************************
5/22/2008 -- Results of biopsy
4 of 12 cores show adenocarcinoma:
LLM - Gleason 3+3=6, PTI=10%
LM - Gleason 3+3=6, PTI=2%
LLA - Gleason 3+4=7, PTI=25%
LA - Gleason 3+3=6, PTI=20%
Clinical Stage:
T2a
Comments:
RLB - There is focal acute prostatitis
LLM - There is focal perineural invasion
LLA - There is focal perineural invasion
Partin Table:
OC - 33%
CP - 52%
SV+ -10%
LN - 4%

No treatment selected yet.....

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