I'm starting to raise my eyebrows when I hear the "you'll die of something else" line. Under the idea that the knee bone is connected to the ankle bone, what is "something else"?
Ultimately, I knew going in that ED or incontinence might make me miserable, but wouldn't kill me. Some other cancer or radiation induced disease very likely could.
I don't now what might qualify for "other cancer....induced disease", however another RT induced disease(cancer mainly I suppose) seems fairly possible. Or possibly, the overall physical and psychological stress of surgery or RT and their possible side effects may not help life span. So one does hope that the cancer was a real threat to life and QOL before one could die of the infamous "something else". I certainly hope that was the case for me and my choices!
But as to: "what is "something else"? ", no doubt you already know and that was somewhat rhetorical. But MI, stroke, other cancers, car or mountain climbing accidents, and of course being shot by a jealous husband(or wife). And while we wonder if RT can lead to other forms of cancer years down the road, I do sometimes also consider stress of surgery and it's frequent decrease in QOL might play it's part also.
Here comes my friend again, sorry, I know I have mentioned him often. But I will keep repeating his case for any noobs. A real workaholic(but truly loved his work) in his late 40s, pretty wife, children from grammar school to sophomore in college. Gets PC. (Gleason etc?) Has
open surgery by the local guys who sent me up to Vanderbilt for consult. I think it was one of those "we got it all" deals. He was quickly back to work wearing his "diaper", attitude seemed great(much better than mine ever was). A year or so later he got his penile prosthesis. Maybe a year or so after that, he was working with his wife and some of his children on their "farm" on a Saturday day off. He told them he was not feeling good so he would see them at the house in a couple of hours. When they got home, they saw his pick up truck with engine running, door
open and front end crunched up against a basketball goal. When they could not find him in the house, they looked outside again and saw one arm being waved from a ditch where he had collapsed after suffering a massive stroke. He died about
4 days later at age 51. So it seems to me he was one of the unlucky ones who was only harmed by his surgery, since he was going to die in a few years anyway. And I am fairly certain he would have enjoyed those last few years more with out surgery, incontinence and impotence. And I admit I also wondered if the stress of his treatments and SEs contributed anything to his early demise? Who knows? But, like the rest of us, he did not have a crystal ball to tell him if something else was going to kill him well before even a G9 PC was likely to, like it did another friend of mine.
What is average life span for males now, 78? So no matter what we do or don't do, statistically about
1/2 of us will be gone by 78. I wonder what % of those dying by 78 died of PC before the PSA era? Any one know? Has to be a mighty low % now, even though I just had another friend from high school, couple of years younger than me, die of PC at age 63. He lived far away from me and I know no other details. G9, G6, diagnosed at stage 4, who knows? But he is the opposite extreme of my buddy mentioned above, PC was going to(and did) kill him before anything else could.
What we need now is that crystal ball. But even if we had one, and it could tell us unequivocally that our newly Dx'ed PC had a 10% chance of killing us by age 78 compared to 50+% for MI/stroke etc, would we still get the treatments and risk the sometimes very bad SEs for life?