Is Lupron really "temporary"??

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Fairwind
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3892
   Posted 7/4/2010 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Last year, Medicare spent $1.2 Billion for prostate cancer hormone treatments..This is one of the fastest growing Medicare outlays..

Once started, how many men ever stop taking "hormone" drugs?

If you have been on hormone therapy for 2 or 3 years and then stop, do you EVER recover from the effects of the drugs??

What would your feelings be if the insurance companies and Medicare stopped paying for these outrageously expensive drugs and instead demanded "hormone therapy" was performed the old fashioned way??
Age today: 68. Married, 6', 215 pounds, active, no health issues.
PSA at age 55: 3.5, DRE negative. Advice, "Keep an eye on it".
PSA at age 58: 4.5
PSA at age 61: 5.2
PSA at age 64: 7.5, DRE "Abnormal"
PSA at age 65: 8.5, DRE " normal", biopsy, 12 core, negative...
PSA at age 66 9.0 DRE "normal", BPH, Finesteride. (Proscar)
PSA at age 67 4.5 DRE "normal" second biopsy, negative.
PSA at age 67.5 5.6, DRE "normal" U-doc worried..
PSA at age 68, 7.0, third biopsy positive for cancer in 4 cores, 3 cores Gleason 6, one core Gleason 9. Finesteride discontinued, still no urinary symptoms, never had any..From age 55 to 65 I had no health insurance.

I have a date with the robo surgeon on Sept 3 but I'm keeping my options open. A "top" radiation oncologist here in Denver, equipped with the latest IMRT/IGRT/RapidArc machine says he can do better by me..


don826
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 7/4/2010 9:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Fairwind,
 
I just stopped lupron after a two year cycle. I suppose that I may need it again some day or at least some alternative if I am found to be hormone refractory. From what I can tell about my statistics I will definitely require some further treatment. Don't know what that will be but I am hoping for advances in alternative treatments. If you are referring to estrogen as the "old fashioned way" I have no problem with that based on what I have read. Considerably less expensive and just as effective. I confess that I am confused by what I read as I have found references that indicate it is no longer available in the U.S. (DES) Seems there were some issues with heart problems at therapeutic doses.
 
I am still feeling some of the side effects of the lupron but this past week they have been a bit less than usual. It has been seven months since my last shot.
 
I did not have insurance during my cancer treatment (or now) and paid all expenses out of pocket. Over $62,000 for radiation and HT the first year. Considerably less the following year that was hormone only. My doctors were giving me the lupron at cost from what I could tell. I very much appreciated that. Just a brief check with pharmacies put the lupron dose between $2000 and $3000 each. I was paying around $1000 including the fee for adminestering the drug. So, I suppose my feelings were pony up and see what happens.
 
Best of luck to you with the surgery.
Don
 
 
Diagnosed 04/10/08 Age 58 at the time
Gleason 4 + 3
DRE palpable tumor on left side
100% of 12 cores positive for PCa range 35% to 85%
Bone scan clear and chest x ray clear
CT scan shows potential lymph node involvement in pelvic region
Started Casodex on May 2 and stopped on June 1, 2008
Two years on Lupron completed 01/2010.
Started IMRT/IGRT on July 10, 2008. 45 treatments scheduled
First 25 were full pelvic for a total dose of 45 Gray to lymph nodes.
Last 20 to prostate only. Total dose to prostate 81 Gray.
Completed IMRT/IGRT 09/11/08.
PSA 02/08 21.5 at diagnosis
PSA 07/08 .82 after 8 wks of hormones
PSA 10/08 .642 one month after completion of IMRT, 6 months hormone
PSA 03/09 .38 six months post radiation and nine months into hormones
PSA 06/09 .36 or .30 depending on who did the test
PSA 09/09 .33 one year after IMRT and 16 months into hormone
PSA 03/10 .32 18 months after IMRT Still on hormones
PSA 05/10 .42 Rising a little as the lupron wears off. Last lupron shot 01/10.
PSA 06/10 .322 Maybe the .42 reported in May was in error?


Fairwind
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3892
   Posted 7/4/2010 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for that reply Don, that was a real eye-opener...
Age today: 68. Married, 6', 215 pounds, active, no health issues.
PSA at age 55: 3.5, DRE negative. Advice, "Keep an eye on it".
PSA at age 58: 4.5
PSA at age 61: 5.2
PSA at age 64: 7.5, DRE "Abnormal"
PSA at age 65: 8.5, DRE " normal", biopsy, 12 core, negative...
PSA at age 66 9.0 DRE "normal", BPH, Finesteride. (Proscar)
PSA at age 67 4.5 DRE "normal" second biopsy, negative.
PSA at age 67.5 5.6, DRE "normal" U-doc worried..
PSA at age 68, 7.0, third biopsy positive for cancer in 4 cores, 3 cores Gleason 6, one core Gleason 9. Finesteride discontinued, still no urinary symptoms, never had any..From age 55 to 65 I had no health insurance.

I have a date with the robo surgeon on Sept 3 but I'm keeping my options open. A "top" radiation oncologist here in Denver, equipped with the latest IMRT/IGRT/RapidArc machine says he can do better by me..

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