I had a similar diagnosis like your husband's. At the time of the diagnosis I did an MRI, a CT scan and a scintigraphy (bone scan) to determine the exact initial status of my disease. Then I started with ADT and did six cycles of Docetaxel. Towards the end of the six cycles I switched my ADT drug to Firmagon (which I think is a highly efficient drug).
Every month since my initial diagnosis I had a full blood test, which looks at about
25 variables, including PSA.
After 6 months, about
1 month after we finished chemo, I did again a bone scan and a CT scan. This allowed us to compare the initial status with the status after the chemo. This comparison showed that the chemo had been very efficient, several lesions had completely disappeared and the tumor burden was significally reduced. I was VERY glad to see that with my own eyes! After the stress of the chemo I could see for myself that it had been worth every challenging moment and that I was clearly better. After the initial brutal shock of the diagnosis this gave me hope.
I continue to have a monthly PSA test and will do another round of scans in a couple months (six months after the end of chemo, 12 months after initial diagnosis) to see what the tumor is doing.
I can not understand why you would not do a round of scans after the completion of the chemo of your husband. Chemo is a big and expensive gun and you want to know what you have hit with it. Not taking images is like flying a fighter jet with all controls turned off (or maybe just the altimeter on, which would be your PSA - still not a great way to fly an attack). This disease is complex and the treatment has to be adjusted to the specific situation of each patient. And the basis of a successful treatment is to know as well as possible what is going on.
PSA is certainly a very valuable indicator. But I do not believe that it gives you the full picture. If the PSA of your husband is still detectable there is cancer activity. You want to know where this is happening. There are
locations that may not be dangerous for the foreseeable future. And there are places in the body where a metastasis can fairly quickly create problems.
You can of course say that you might as well just wait until a clinical problem occurs. But I do not think that this is a wise approach. I at least want to know as much as I can about
my enemy in order to know what my options are if he makes a move.
And even if PSA is way down and everything looks fine it is just great to see for yourself the effect of the treatment. This may be routine for your doctor - but it isn't for you and your husband. So even if from a strictly medical point of view it is not really necessary to do these scans I believe it is important for you and your morale to do them. This is a nasty disease and we need all the positive things we can use to fight it.
Bottom line: If you and your husband feel that you would like another round of scans after the completion of his chemo you should insist. He is the patient, he decides.
I wish you all the best - m.
Post Edited (Madagascar_63) : 10/9/2015 4:59:51 AM (GMT-6)