Any help for a frightened daughter?

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JC's Kid
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/20/2006 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
 
My dad had his biopsy on 11/30/06.  We got the result on 12/5/06, 2 out of 12 samples were positive for cancer.  One was 40% with a Gleason of 8, the other was 25% with a Gleason of 7.  We saw the urologist on 12/13/06.  He gave us the options of surgery (laproscopic vs open) or radiation with hormone therapy.  When  we left his office we thought laproscopic surgery was the way to go, but my dad is 71 and has diabetes and heart problems (had a heart attack in the late 1990s).  The urologist said we have to get the ok from his cardiologist before surgery, but wanted us to see the radiation oncologist in the meantime.  We saw radiation doc yesterday 12/19/06.  He said because of the Gleason score, he thinks dad should have radiation with hormone therapy (to get the first hormone injection on 12/22/06 and start radiation in Feb 2007).  My brother is a nurse, and I am a lymphoma cancer survivor myself, so we have dealt with this a lot, but we are trying to help our dad make the best choice and would like any suggestions or comments if anyone has been in a similar situation.
 
Thanks,
 
JC's kid

spinbiscuit
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 12/20/2006 2:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi JC's kid,

There are many different treatment stategies used to cure PCa. Based on your Father's age, currant physical condition, and medical history it sounds as though the urologist is recommending the safest coarse of treatment. The good thing to know here is that all of the treatments show excellent results, and they are all about the same in terms of effectiveness. PCa is the most curable of all the cancers.

You may feel uncertain, so depending on the urgency of your Dad's diagnosis you may want to seek a second opinion. This will be a family decision of coarse, and Dad's vote weighs the most.

Others in our group will soon respond, and some have had the radiation theropy. I wish your Dad and the family the very best luck, and a prayer for his speedy recovery.

Glen
Diagnosed at age 60
PSA went from 2.2 to 3.8 in 14 months
2 of 14 cores positive at 10%
Gleason 6(3+3), negative DRE, neg. boundaries
DaVinci surgery on 02/23/06
 


Tamu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 12/20/2006 3:10 PM (GMT -7)   
JC's Kid,

First of all the love you have for your father is evident and it plus your faith will carry you through this event. I am 57 and was 56 when diagnosed with PCa. In researching the treatment options one fact that came up is that based upon historical data the reoccurance rate for those that have surgery compared to those that have radiation at the 10 year mark after treatment is about the same. Once you get beyond the 10 years then surgery has a better statistical outcome. I opted for surgery because of this fact and my age. If I had been 71 and had the complications that your dad has I would have chosen radiation. Of course, there are different types of radiation that you can consider. You did not say what stage your dad is at or whether the DRE indicated anything. If the DRE was negative then it is a good sign that the cancer is still confined to the prostate and treatment will take care of it. I believe that your dad has many more years to spend with a wonderful daughter like you. I look forward to hearing what decision your dad makes and how his journey goes.

Good Luck!!

Tamu
Diagnosed 7/6/06
1 of 10 core samples, 40%
Stage T1c, Gleason 3+3
Da Vinci on 11/01/06
56 Years Old
Post Op Path
Gleason 3+3
Approx. 5% of prostate involved
Prostate Confined, margins clear


JC's Kid
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/20/2006 4:48 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks to both spinbiscuit & tamu for responding.

My dad had great screening from his family dr.  He got his PSA each year and it had always been around 3.  It jumped to 6.4 at his last screening (before referral to the urologist) and had jumped to 7.1 on the day of his biopsy (2 wks later).  The urologist could not feel anything on the DRE, but yesterday the radiation oncologist said he could feel something (not sure if that means it is growing or just because he knew where to feel since he had the pathology report to go by...also could the scarring from the biopsy be what he felt?).  Dad did have a CT & bone scan and both came back clear, so we think it is contained in the prostate...I'm not sure what stage it is, I don't think we've been told that, and it was so much info to take in, I did not ask...but the radiation doc says since his Gleason is 8, he worries about microscopic cancer cells leaking out.  My brother and I have both been online looking at several sites trying to determine what the best treatment is.  The radiation at Blount Memorial hospital in Maryville, Tn (my parents live there, I live in western KY, my brother in Nashville) is the IMRT, which if I understand correctly, targets the tumor with a higher dose & the surrounding tissue with less, to minimize the side effects.  I guess the radiation is the right choice for dad because of his age and other health issues.  The info I have read seem to be the same at 10 yrs out like tamu said...and the studies with external beam radiation vs the IMRT seem to be the same at 5 yrs out.  Thanks to all and please let me know if anyone had similar treatment.

JC's kid.

 


Gordy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 12/20/2006 5:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kid-

My PSA was 26.5 when I got the news- at age 62. Gleason was 7 (4+3). I chose hormone therapy, external beam radiation and a particular kind of seeding called HDR brachytherapy. The only side effect I've "suffered" from the radiation is constipation.

There are 3 great books out there, one each by Drs. Walsh, Scardino and Strum. You can get them thru this website or elsewhere. It's very important for you to read about this disease and the possible treatments.

Try not to make yourself crazy over this - your Dad will be OK.

-Gordy

bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 12/20/2006 5:07 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi JC’s kid & family,

 

Sending a new welcome to you and yours!  I’m glad you joined our family of friends who share because we care…

 

With a nurse and a cancer survivor in the family… you are definitely ahead of most of as at this point in your dad’s diagnosis.

 

Sounds like the two of you are really on track with the research.  I’m glad you're close enough to dad ~ to be a big help in this decision.

 

Looking at age & health…..We agree radiation would be our choice…but we do not have the knowledge about the different options enough to speak on.   We’re learning each day from others.  So ~ please continue to share your dad’s journey.  You will help others by doing so!! And others can help you learn about their journeys with radiation treatments.

 

Know that we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers as you begin this journey with prostate cancer.  It’s a journey that’s best traveled with friends….. so stay with us…

 

In new friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

 

  "GOD Bless You"

 

It's a little prayer "GOD Bless You"...

but it means so much each day,

It means may angels guard you

and guide you on your way. 

                            ~author unknown~


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… 53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

April 3, 2006   PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6  T2a  

Confined to Prostate   June 29th ~ PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable


aus
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 12/20/2006 5:17 PM (GMT -7)   

I always suggest reading one of the good books on PC:

You will find Dr Lee Nelson's "Prostate Cancer Prevention and Cure" very interesting and relevant. Lee Nelson used Radiation and Hormone treatment himself some years ago as he considered his PV potentially agressive. His book is comprehensiv and includes diagnosis, treatment options, choosing your doctor, lifestyle changes, nutrition and supplements.

Lifestyle improvement is very important, especially with hormone treatment, as exercise and diet  can reduce the potential side effects involved in addition to helping prognosis.

 

John


Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 12/21/2006 12:20 AM (GMT -7)   
You're not alone, JC...my dad was just diagnosed today at the age of 72.  I'm a soon-to-be medical student, and it's comforting knowing how common and treatable this cancer is, but am freaking out nonetheless.  I think it's because I've been suddenly shocked into confronting my father's mortality, which I never did, considering he's always been healthy as a horse and has run about 29384 marathons in his lifetime. 
 
He's a physician himself and told me that most times surgery is not preferred or recommended for men over the age of 70.  He's deciding whether he wants to treat it with radiation or leave it alone...and told me his gut instinct is to leave it alone.  I don't know - both options seem daunting. 
 
Some tough decisions lie ahead for both of our dads.  I hope for the best for your dad...let us know how things work out.

JC's Kid
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/21/2006 6:52 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks again for all of the responses...it's good to know we are not alone in this.  I will keep everyone updated.  I will also look for some of the books you all suggested. Dad has his 1st hormone injection this Friday 12/22/06 and he is scheduled to go to the radiation doc on 2/26/07 to have the treatment plan made (they will scan him and set the beam to the right areas).  Then it will be 1-2 weeks after that before the plan is ready & he starts radiation.  I do take comfort in knowing the hormone injection will start right away, since we have to wait 2 months before radiation. 

Thanks again...I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

JC's kid

 


jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 12/21/2006 9:17 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Kid, I'm 62 and healthy and all that and I'm going to do radiation.  Please stay here and let us all know how your dad is doing.  It helps you, it helps us, and it will help those to come.

Regards,

Bill


Gleason 3+3=6, T1c, one core in twelve, another pre-cancerous.
62 years old and good health.  Married 37 years.  To same woman!


floridarobert
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/26/2006 1:46 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. 


Tinker
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 12/28/2006 9:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
I have posted a few questions on the prostate link also, mine are under the name Tinker. My Dad is in his 70's and this has been the worse 4 months of my life. We are a very close family and his surgery was couple weeks ago, it went well and they got most of the cancer and will follow with radiation shots.

I know you are scared, but everyone is telling me to stay positve around my Dad and just keep him busy till the surgery and be there for him while he is wearing a diaper while he regains his control back in the months following the surgery. It is very hard for men to deal with that.
You in my prayers,
Tinker

bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 12/30/2006 5:19 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi JC’s kid,

 

We wanted to touch base to see how things are going.  It would be great if and when time permits ~ if you would give us a little insight into what’s going on.  This will help you too ~ in the form of “therapy”… it helps us to understand where you are and what you’re going through.   :-)  

 

Please keep us posted on your dad’s schedule so we can send those extra special hugs and prayers…. to you and your family.

 

We keep you close each day ~ but we send special thoughts on special dates.

 

As daveed says….  Our Hands are Reaching Out to You!!!

 

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

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


JC's Kid
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/31/2006 6:25 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello to everyone,

Just wanted to touch base.  I hope everyone had a great holiday.  My dad had his first hormone injection on 12/22/06.  The only side effect so far is hot flashes, but he said they are not too bad.  He goes in on 2/26/07 to have the scans to set the radiation beam, then we've been told he will start radiation 1-2 weeks after that once the docs make a plan for him based on the scans. He will then have 8 weeks of radiation.

I feel much better now since he started hormone therapy, I feel like we have started to fight the cancer.  I think this was the right path for him, his health is so fragile anyway, I really think the surgery would have been too hard for him to go through.  All of my family (dad, mom, brother) have found more peace with this.

Thanks for all of the support.  I will keep in touch.

JC's kid 

 


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 12/31/2006 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   

:-)     Hi!  JC’s kid,    Thank you for the update!!!

 

Yes – once a decision is made it really settles the mind down.  I think the body realizes too that the stepping-stones are in place and the journey can truly begin with the path heading toward becoming cancer free.  Initially all we see and feel is fear of the unknown.

 

Staying positive on each step is very important.  Know we will be with you as you travel the path.  It is a path best traveled with friends… and we are your new friends.

 

So keep us close and touch base as you can.

 

Our thoughts and prayers will remain with you each and every~day.

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

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


JC's Kid
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/20/2007 5:04 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi to all,

Just wanted to update everyone on my dad. He had his first hormone shot on 12/22/06.  He is having a hard time with the hot flashes.  He has one every 30 minutes.  They have been keeping him up at night, so he finally asked for some help from the doc and was prescribed Effexor.  I looked online and found the drug is an anti-depressant but one of its benefits is that it helps with hot flashes.  I am glad he called (my parents are the type to not ask for help, they will just suffer with things and since I live 300 miles away, I did not know how uncomfortable he was).  I think this will work wonders for him since he has been down in the dumps since his diagnosis.  My mom told me once he has just given up because he has not started radiation yet and thinks we are just waiting around for the cancer to grow.  Both my brother and I tried to explain to him we have started treatment, he has the hormone shot and it is obviously working since he is having the hot flashes. My parents are simple, good hearted country folk who have a hard time understanding things.  When you ask how are you, the answer is always "I'm just fine." They are not the kind of people to join a support group or talk about what is bothering them. As a cancer survivor myself, I know how important it is to have time alone with your thoughts, but it is also important to seek support. Everyone's cancer journey is different, but I hope since I have been thru a similar battle and my brother went thru this with his wife also, then maybe we can dad "feel" better about things.

So thanks for all of your support here at the forum.  If anyone has had experiecne with the hormone shot, hot flashes, and Effexor, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks & take care,

JC's kid

Dad biopsy on 11/30/06, 2 out of 12 positive, Gleason 8 on one and 7 on the other, PSA from 3 to 7.1 in a year, age 71, poor health with heart disease, diabetes, lung issues, 1st hormone shot 12/22/06, scheduled for radiation scans 2/26/07.

 

 


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 1/20/2007 11:03 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi~ JC’s kid,

 

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. 

 

It’s good to know that your dad is getting some relief from the hot flashes.  Having them every 30 minutes would truly wear on a healthy person… so can imagine what your dad was going through.

 

It must be very scary for someone who can’t quite grasp what’s going on… and I’m sure with the other health concerns… it must be hard on him.

 

Sending a special “Hug” to him and mom through the air waves…

 

Really glad you’re staying with us!!! 

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


JC's Kid
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/9/2007 4:17 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi to all,

I know it's been a while since I have participated in the forum.  I hope everyone is well.  Just wanted to update you on my dad.  He started radiation on Monday 3/5/07.  He already has a week down and 7 more to go.  He is doing fine so far, a little diarrhea, but the doc thinks that is from some of his meds and not the radiation, he thinks that will not show up until 2-3 weeks in.  His next hormone shot is in April.  He has counted up the days and should have his last radiation on May 1st.  He is doing much better as far as his outlook on things.  Life goes on.

Best wishes to all.

JC's kid

 


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 3/9/2007 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi ~ JC’s Kid… & Dad  :-)  

 

Yes … it’s been awhile and we’re so glad to hear from you.  You were marked on our calendar for February 26th (scans) and we said a special prayer for you and your dad. 

 

I find myself getting a little on overload with trying to reach out to those who post rarely…. But I’m coming to the realization that it has to go both ways.  So ~ we send special prayers in hope they hear us and know that we need to hear back…

 

Our prayers were answered and we truly are grateful you touched base.  

Give him a special HUG from us and let him know we are thinking of him.

 

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

2nd PSA 02-06-2007 Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)


biker90
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1463
   Posted 3/9/2007 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello JC's Kid,

Welcome back and I am so glad your dad is feeling better. Being in treatment and doing things lifts our spirits. The waiting and indecision was the worst part for my wife and me.

Good luck and please stay with us...

Jim
Age 72. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2B Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Pathological stage: T2B. Gleason 3+4. Cancer confined to prostate.
PSA on 1/3/07 - 0.04.  Next PSA on 4/4/07.
 
 "Cancer feeds on fear - starve it to death."

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