Hormone side effects

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/28/2009 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Anyone on hormone therapy have slight anemia? My husband is slightly anemic and his white count is also lowered. Doctor said it was from the hormone therapy. He's always cold except for the hot flashes.

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 4/28/2009 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Unfortunately, these are indeed known side effects. My red blood cell counts (RBC) have been in the low normal range. Possibly accounting for my always present slight fatigue. But it's worth it if it is keeping the cancer at bay. Let your husband know ~ he is not alone.

Age 46 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8 : Surgery at The City of Hope on February 16, 2007
Geason 4+3=7, Stage pT3b, N0, Mx
Positive Margins (PM), Extra Prostatic Extension (EPE) : Bilateral Seminal vesicle invasion (SVI)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg (2 Year ADT)
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (January 13, 2009): <0.1
My Journal is at Tony's Blog  

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/28/2009 6:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for sharing. My husband's red and white count are below the normal range but the docs don't say anything about it. I guess they figure there's not much choice here cause the hormones are necessary. His most recent PSA was 0.05 so that was a relief though I understand cancer can progress with a low PSA result.

Doting Daughter
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1064
   Posted 4/28/2009 9:26 PM (GMT -6)   
My father's counts have been ok, however, he was in the ER a couple of weeks ago for horrible headaches from elevated blood pressure. He has been on meds for years and hasn't had any problems until recently. They added a couple of additional BP meds and now is he doing good. Keep us posted on your hubby and great news about the undetectable PSA!
Father's Age 62 (now 63)
Original Gleason 3+4=7, Post-Op Gleason- 4+3=7,
DaVinci Surgery Aug 31, 2007
Focally Positive Right Margin, One positive node. T3a N1 M0.
Bone Scan/CT Negative (Sept. 10, 2007)
Oct. 17 PSA 0.07
Nov. 13 PSA 0.05
Casodex adm. Nov 07, Lupron beg. Dec 03, 2007 2 yrs
Radiation March 03-April 22, 2008- 8 weeks 5x a week
July 2, 08 PSA <.02
Oct. 10, 08 PSA <.02
Praying for a cured dad.

Co-Moderator Prostate Cancer Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 5/8/2009 10:21 AM (GMT -6)   
I understand that Lupron (or it's equivalent) is necessary to treat cancer that has escaped the prostate capsule. It's better than the alternative, but it is truly the "devil drug"

We had a recent poster who chose a Brachy, plus external, plus 3 Lupron injections. I don't understand his choice, based on the numbers he presented. I do understand that it is his choice.
Perhaps his experience will be better than mine.

I got a Lupron injection after a pep talk by my first urologist about the wonders of Brachy. It was a Lupron Depot shot, supposedly good for 4 months. I finally got testosterone replacement to offset the effects 8 months later. During that time I was depressed, always cold, had constant hot flashes that disrupted my day and kept me from getting a good night's sleep. I suffered serious short term memory loss. My body tempertature was always 97 after the Lupron, and I have been a 98.6 man all my life.
I still had my erectile capability, but I had ABSOLUTELY no interest in sex -whatsoever. A trying time for my wife.

I'm still very bitter about my experience with Dr. Joe Schlockmeister, and I suspect that the recent poster is seeing the brother of my first urologist. This is an opportunity for the unscrupulous to take advantage of someone frightened and ill-informed, and it probably happens more than we want to admit.

Luckily, I didn't follow through with the Brachy. I had a robotic RP with fantastic results.

This site does a great job of presenting the options in a non-judgemental way. In the short time I have been here I have seen some newly diagnosed patients process the wealth of information plus the anecdotal experiences, and come to a logical decision. I wish I had this resource when I was initially diagnosed. Eight months is a long time to be unnecessarily miserable.

John T
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4269
   Posted 5/8/2009 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Different individuals have a different affect from ADT. It seems like younger men have a harder time with Lupron. There is no question about the effectiveness of ATD. It can keep advanced patients alive for quite a number of years.
PAACT recommends 6 months of ADT3 before starting any local treatment, because if it doesn't stop the PC outright it improves the effectiveness of any local treatment.

Liebowitsz presents some stunning cure rates for local PC with high dose ADT3 for 13 months that surpass both surgery and radiation. I guess it's 13 months of hell, but no lasting side affects. There are horror stories about both surgery and radiation, except that the affects are permanent and not temporary.

I think there are a lot of misconceptions about Hormone therapy that keep get repeating. I've been on Casodex and Proscar for 3 months and have very few side affects, loss of libido and some minor hot flashes at night that are tolorable. All should disappear when I stop. My PSA has dropped form 30 to 0.6 and prosate volume from 60mm to 32 mm. I had seriously considered 13 months ADT3 for local treatment as an option to radiation.
Compared to Chemo that is given for most other cancers ADT is a breeze.

64 years old.

I had an initial PSA test in 1999 of 4.4. PSA increased every 6 months reaching 40 in 5-08. PSA free ranged from 16% to 10%. Over this time period I had a total of 13 biopsies and an endorectal MRIS all negative and have seen doctors at Long Beach, UCLA, UCSF and UCI. DX has always been BPH and continue to get biopsies every year.

In 10-08 I had a 25 core biopsy that showed 2 cores positive, gleason 6 at less than 5%. Surgery was recommended and I was in the process of interviewing surgeons when my wife's oncologist recommended I get a 2nd opinion from a prostate oncologist.

I saw Dr Sholtz, in Marina Del Rey, and he said that the path reports indicated no tumor, but indolant cancer clusters that didn't need any treatment. He was concerned that my PSA history indicated that I had a large amount of PC somewhere that had yet to be uncovered and put me through several more tests.

A color doppler targeted biopsy in 11-08 found a large tumor in the transition zone, gleason 6 and 7. Because of my high PSA Dr. suspected lymph node involvement, 30% chance, and sent me to Holland for a Combidex MRI, even though bone and CT scans were clear.

Combidex MRI showed clear lymph nodes and a 2,5 cm tumor in the anterior. I was his 1st patient to come up clear on the Combidex which has a 96% accuracy,

I've been on a no meat and dairy diet since 12-08 and PSA reduce to 30 while I awaited the Combidex MRI.

The location of the tumor in the anterior apex next to the urethea makes a good surgical margin very unlikely. Currently on Casodex and Proscar for 8 weeks to shrink my 60 mm prostate. Treatment will be seeds followed by 5 weeks of IMRT while continuing on Casodex and Proscar. So far no side affects from the Casodex.

As of April 10 and 7 weeks on Casodex and Proscar PSA has gone from 30 to 0.62 and protate from 60mm to 32mm. Very minor side affects. Doc says all this indicates tumor is not aggessive

Awaiting schedule for seed impants


Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 270
   Posted 5/8/2009 2:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Interestingly, my situation was similar to yours. My first urologist was going to do Brachy, Ext B, and insisted on giving me a Lupron 4 month shot. In the process of reading and ultimately visiting some other urologist, I determined to have DiVinci. My successful surgery was nearly a year ago. The Lupron effects (flashes etc.) lasted for nearly 5 months - well beyond the surgery. This I felt like effected ED recovery after surgery, but I cannot be sure how much.

Here I am almost a year later, and I have almost no libido. I have chalked this up to the effects of surgery, but from what you have described it may have delt a blow to my testerone. This is something I have not checked and maybe should. Any additional thoughts. thanks. RB

Age 62
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) 5/19/2008
Post operative - pathology
pT2c NX MX
Gleason 3+4
Margins - negative
Extraprostatic extension - negative
seminal vesicle invasion - uninvolved

PSA <.04 7/12/2008

PSA <.01 10/30/2008

PSA <.01 4/03/2009


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