A view from the other side of the aisle, as it were: It's a disservice to pretend that SE's don't exist for every therapy, whether it is any one of the radiation therapies or surgery. The issue for us, as we choose treatment, is twofold: first, what appears to give us the best chance for cure or at least extended life, and second, which appears to give the best chance for manageable SE's, whether they occur immediately or long down the road.
I also suggest that for most of us, the decision of which direction to go is as much of a "gut" decision as it is based solely on facts. The combination of our emotional state, our experiences with ourselves or others close to us, the confidence and rapport we develop with our medical team, and the cold facts all get mixed up in our heads and leads to the decision.
For me, the SE question came down to this idea: I had a confident surgeon with a great record telling me that he saw no reason surgery wouldn't cure me and I had a high probability of being SE free fairly soon; compared to the unknown possibility of long term effects of radiation 10-20 years down the road. Good, bad, or indifferent....data based or not....that's how it played for me.
Age at Diagnosis: 56
PSA:3.3(lowered by saw palmetto)-pre 2012 <1.0, 2013 2.0, 2014 3.3
Biopsy: 3 of 12, G3+3, all on LT side, 20%, 5%, 3%
Clinical Stage T1C
Bone Scan, CT scan negative for spread
RALP on 2/17/15, BJC St. Louis, Dr. Figenshau
No EPE, 20% organ involvement, g3+4 final
PSA 3/10/15: 0.10
My Story: www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=3300024