newly diagnosed considering brachytherapy

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3sigma
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/29/2006 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
I am 62 years old. I was diagnosed with cancer in july,06. My psa was 4.1.My gleason was 6(3+3). Out of 12 cores I had one that was positive. Ten percent of that core showed cancerous cells. My DRE was normal. I hope to have bracytherapy in October,06. I would like to hear from those who have had this type of therapy done. I would like to know what side effects they might have suffered. How long ago they had it done. Do they recommend it. Where did they have it done. Any other comments that you think it would be helpful to consider I would appreciate. I am going a little crazy trying to gather as much information as possible,trying to set up appointments,etc. I haven'tbeen in a hospital as a patient in 43 years. I thank you.

Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 8/29/2006 11:21 AM (GMT -7)   
3sigma,

With alow PSA and only one core with 10% have you had a second opinion on treatment? By chance are you anywhere near a center that does Proton Beam Radiation? Proton is a beautiful choice for such a low grade cancer with very minimal side effects according to those who have had it. Nothing bad about seeds though either! Both are good choices.
WebMD has a prostate cancer group. Several men on there have had Proton or seeds. Try there too. In here I think it's Julie's better half that has had seeds done...

Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 8/29/2006 11:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Speak much english Vick? LOL

floridarobert
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/26/2006 2:05 PM (GMT -7)   

What your doctor does not tell you.

 

In December 2005 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The urologist game me a pamphlet which spelled out the choices for treatment.   After reading the pamphlet I started to read via the Internet and found more treatment option than the pamphlet recommended.

 

In the U.S. the treatments are typically 1. watchful waiting; 2. radiation (several kinds) and 3. surgery to remove the prostate.  

 

  1. Watchful waiting capitalizes on the usual slow growing nature of prostate cancer.  If one is over age 70 or 75 one might die of something else before prostate cancer kills.  The operative word is “might” as the available information is statistcaly based. If  a high percentage of people with prostate cancer will experience slow growth of the cancer, that does not rule out the small percentage that might have cancer that is spreading to other parts of the body.  It is not easy to distinguish slow growing from fast growing cancer.  In addition men are living longer these days; waiting is risky.               

 

 

  1. Radiation either by beam or by wire of one source or another tend to kill the cancer but also carry some unwanted side effects: impotence and incontinence (fecal and/or urinary).

 

  1. Radical prostatectomy carries similar side effects as radiation.

 

After reading about the above options I was not happy with any.    I  kept reading and found hormonal treatment, freezing,  and ultrasound. Hormonal treatment and freezing (cryo surgery) which  both carry significant levels of unwanted side effects.  High intensity focused ultrasound(HIFU) appeared most promising.

 

HIFU

 

Hifu has been used in Europe and Asia more than a decade to treat benignly enlarged prostate.  More than a half dozen years ago this method has been used for treating prostate cancer. This is the least invasive treatment for prostate cancer that carries the possibility of a cure.  There is no incision and side effects appear to be less than other methods.  Since this is experimental one is engaging in a degree of risk since large numbers of patients over many years have not yet been studied. 

 

From my amateurish reading of literature on the internet, it appeared to me that HIFU offered similar survival rates to someone in my situation (T1C; psa 4.6; Gleason score of 6) with less likelihood of  such side effects as impotence, incontinence, and  fistula.  Perhaps radical prostatectomy has a slightly better cure rate.

 

 

Among HIFU machines, I chose Sonablate over Ablatherm largely because Sonablate gives the physician a live image.

 

I emailed a number of different practitioners and researchers  who use Sonablate in Italy, England, Germany, U.S.A. and Japan. Most responded quickly and were willing to answer my questions.

 

I asked each physician about price and how much experience they had.   The American physicians were the most expensive($20,000 for treatment in Dominican Republic or Mexico), followed by the English, Japanese and finally two  Italians.   Dr. Durso in Torino, Italy was willing to do the procedure for about $7800. With my love for Italy and a good price, I nearly chose him. I then learned there was an “upgrade” to the machine; when I asked him about the upgrade, he did not respond.  I finally chose Dr. Uchida who not only has the most up to date equipment, but he has more experience than any other person working with Sonablate.  For $10,000 I could employ the services of one of the most respected researchers and practitioners in the field.  

 

We arranged for the procedure and I flew to Tokyo on my spring break.  I took my wife and daughter so we could have a little tour of Tokyo, a welcome distraction.  Dr. Uchida met me in the lobby of his hospital, Tokai University Hachioji Hospital.  Hachioji is a suburb of the sprawling city of Tokyo.  I felt as though I was taking the subway to Queens from Manhattan. 

 

Dr. Uchida gave me a room in which my wife and daughter could spend the night.  He spend two hours working on me with the Sonablate from approximately 5- 7 p.m.    I felt very little except the insertion of the catheter through the abdominal wall into by bladder. That felt like someone was trying to jam a screwdriver through my belly.  The next day I was ready to leave the hospital and continue my tour of nearby parks, museums, and temples.  Unfortunately the tube of the catheter prevented me from closing my pants! I was walking around Tokyo with my pants unbuttoned and my shirt tails out covering my front. 

 

The catheter was the most uncomfortable part of this experience, though I never doubted that it was a worthwhile trade off.  I complained to Dr. Uchida who gave me a more flexible tube. It was still irritating but tolerable.  Over the next 3 weeks, increasingly more urine was coming out of my penis than the plastic tube. 

 

I returned to Florida after about 10 days in Tokyo and sought a way to remove the catheter. I had made an appointment with the local urologist who had called for a biopsy.  When I showed up for my appointment to remove the catheter, he refused to see me since I had gone to another doctor.  However annoying that was I called a number of other doctors and found two urologists willing to work with me. 

 

I had my psa tested every 3 months, and it went from 4.6 biopsy, to 5.2 at time of treatment to 1.2  two months after.  Two more tests a few months later yielded 1.3.  I had a biopsy 12 months after the first and 9 months after the HIFU, and all 12 samples were benign.  Such a biopsy does not guarantee that I am cancer free, but I am in pretty good shape to face the future.  Erections have been weaker than prior to the treatment, but I can attain and maintain an erection. There is no ejaculate, but I can climax. Climaxes are slightly weaker than before. I tried the three drugs for erectile dysfunction: Cialis, Levitra, and Viagra each for daily dosage for several weeks.  Levitra worked best for me. I have no other side effects. 

 

I would be happy to talk to anyone interested in HIFU. I am not an expert but I have acquired valuable experience. 


lawink
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 621
   Posted 2/11/2007 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there "mistake" - it's no mistake that you found our forum, that's for sure. Welcome to a place of much support. Have you been following us all along or did you just stumble in? Please stay with us and keep us posted on your journey. Your posts will also undoubtedly help others as well.

Your comments echo those of others (and ours too). Once you decide on the procedure for your own self, peace and contentment prevails and that's what it's all about.

If you decide to stay with us, perhaps you'd like to start your own thread so we may always find you . . but whatever the choice, good luck to you.

;o) Linda & Bob
Bob (60) had laproscopic prostate surgery on Sept 27, 2006 - 2/12 malignant biopsy samples - gleason 3 + 3 = 6.  Follow up PSA results and pathology results received Nov 14th are NO MORE CANCER!  Gleason changed to a 3 + 4; cancer completely confined to prostate; (even a second more agressive, previously undetected cancer)      PSA UNDETECTABLE.   Next PSA check Feb 27, 2007.
 
Bob also takes Hydroxyurea to control Polycythemia (elevated red & white cells & platelets) has secondary condition . . Myelofibrosis) -- If anyone has experience or knowledge of these, please post us.


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 2/11/2007 2:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi ~ Mistake....
 
I'm glad you brought this Thread...back to the top from August!!!!... 
We will be looking for your personal thread and look forward to walking with you on your recover/healing path.  Thank you for the shared information above. 
Hope to see you soon!!!!
 
In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy
 
3Sigma..........  Are you still with us???? 
 
Hopefully we will hear back from you if you are still with us!!! 
We would like to know how your recover is going and what treatment you chose...
I'm sorry you didn't post further.... But ~ hopefully you will now.
 
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

Link to our personal journey…>>>     Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

June 29th ~ PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable

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