tomotheray and brachytherapy

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/8/2008 1:08 PM (GMT -6)   
First time posting.....our doctor has recommended 25 treatments of tomotherapy, then wait 2 to 4 weeks and do brachytherapy for my husband.   We were wondering if anyone else has experienced this combination of treatments.  If so, what do we have in store and what side effects are we should he expect?
We were accepted at MD Anderson for the proton therapy.  We were assigned a doctor and then at the last minute, our insurance denied us that particular treatement.  We were very sad and now we are starting all over with other possible treatments and we are frightened and are looking for any information to help us with our decision.
Thanks for your help.  suzy

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 270
   Posted 9/8/2008 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Everyone on this forum has been down the same road you are on today. I am sorry that your original plans did not turn out. I would encourage you that normally when something like this occurs it has a good reason, and perhaps it is time to take another look at what you are doing. The idea that you are frightened is normal, but also indicates you are not sure or comfortable about what you are doing. You are doing the right thing by educating yourself and being comfortable before you make a decision. It is good to talk to more than one doctor etc.. and read all you can.

You did not indicate what your loved ones status is, but depending on PSA, gleason, biopsy, etc.. are all things that should be taken into consideration. There are very many smart and experienced people on this forum to help you. I would also recommend you read what others have written who have crossed the same bridge you are crossing. It was some 5 months ago that I was looking at the same thing you are looking at right now. I would encourage you to read my quest on page 9 or 10 "Between radiation and surgery." Whatever you decide, you will get through this as many others have and thankfully there are great options all with advanced means of curing, or making life better.

Blessings to you and comfort on your quest! RB

Age 61
Original data - pre-operation
PSA: 5.1
T1C clinical diagnosis, Needle biopsy - 10 cores, Gleason 7 = 3+4 in 1 core (40%), 7 cores Gleason 6 = 3+3 ranging from 5% to 12%
All scans negative
Lupron administered 4/9/2008 for 4 months (with idea I would undergo external beam radiation followed by seed implants - then I changed my mind).
Robotic DiVinci surgery - Dr. Fagin (Austin) May 19th
Post operative - pathology
pT2c NX MX
Gleason 3+4
Margins - negative
Extraprostatic extension - negative
seminal vesicle invasion - uninvolved
1st Post PSA .04

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 9/8/2008 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Don't know of many major insurance companies that do not cover proton.  If you would like a packet on how to approach your company regarding proton, go to and click on Contact Us.  Then send email to R Marckini.  Best wishes for whatever treatment you decide to choose.
Diagnosed Feb 2001  (Age 65)  Currently 72
PSA 4.8      Gleason 3+3=6      Stage   T2b
Completed Proton Therapy @ Loma Linda - 2001 - No side effects.  My journey is at:
7yr PSA - 0.2
Our responsibility now is to educate men about Pca, PSA and the importance of early detection. 

Navy corpsman
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 9/8/2008 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   

Suzy -

If you want proton therapy then fight the insurance company.  Do not give up.  There are a lot of people who can help you fight them.

- John

Age:  44
We have a family history of PCa.  My Dad and uncle died from it at 65 and 53. My PSA velocity increased in the last 2 years and I had to talk my GP into refering me to a urologist.
Biopsy results:  5 of 11 cores positive, all 30%. Gleason 6. T1c. PSA 2.53  Date of biopsy 15MAY08.
Open RRP at Johns Hopkins with Dr. Partin on 09JUL08.
Pathology report:  Gleason 6, pT2, neg. margins, 0 lymph node and seminal vessical, organ confined, I lost 1 nerve bundle and 22 lymph nodes.
As of today, about a month after surgery, I feel at about 80%. Urinary control seems to be improving. Little Elvis has taken a nap and has not awakened yet. I hope when he wakes up he is well rested because he is going to get one heck of a workout.

Bob & Wife
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 100
   Posted 9/8/2008 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   


My husband just finished eight weeks of tomotherapy and  he did quite well with no major side effects and our insurance Regency Blue Cross has covered the treatment 100%.  The total cost of the tomotherapy was $195,000.00.  The Oncology Clinic took care of getting the treatment covered by our insurance. My husband will have his first post tomotherapy psa in two weeks and then again in 60 days we will then see if other treatments are in his future.   I hope this helps and you get the help you need.  The people here are amazing.


Age 59 at diagnosis
PSA 1.7  Nodule felt. Biopsy 4+4 T2B
1-30-06 Surgery, Infiltrating adenocarcinoma.Nodes & margins clear
Post op Gleason 7  T2c 4+3 PSA .04
12-07 PSA jump .14  (11 Months)
12-07 Nodule felt -  biopsy negative
PSA .16
PSA .17
4-3-08 PSA .32 ouch
4-15-08  Nodule size increased.
5-8-08 PSA still .32
5-15-08 Bone scan clean, nodule size increased. Biopsy scheduled for 5-22-08
5-30-08 Biopsy came back cancerous. Next step consultation with oncology 6-5-08 for further scans & test.
6-19-08 Starting Radiation, treatment facility two hours from home.
8-14-08 Completed Tomotherapy and waiting for zero's. Next psa test 9-15-08

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 9/9/2008 11:04 AM (GMT -6)   


If you have any questions regarding Brachytherapy, I'm always lurking around.  My husband had Brachytherapy and is doing very well.  If you want the inside scoop, give a shout out and I'll answer any questions you have.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 9/9/2008 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Suzy,,,,Just check out all that is available to you.. re:...gleason, psa, and biopsy. We have been through it all. If I could go back...I would say surgery first, radiation and seeds 2 , and lupron et al third...., however, we did radiation and seeds,, and then when cancer returned , salvage surgery, with many se's,. Today, we just came out of another to help, hopefully, incontinence,........Just check out everything, and then, don't go back and relive your choice....It is a journey...Stay strong and forge ahead....Diane
Husband Pete
dx Jan 2001 age 67 gleason 4 + 3 PSA 16.5
seed implant and conformal radiation Lupron from Jan 2001 to Jan2002
2005 Dec PSA began to rise from .5 to 8 within 6 months
Salvage surgery at MSK 9/06
Fistula operation 2/07 MSK
Many cystoscopies and ER visits with strictures
catheter for one year....Catheter taken out Sept 07..
Total Incontinence since then....
PSA .52 3/07
AUS Operation at MSK Sept 8. Dr. Sandhu

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