i am very respectful of your response above to lifeguyd, but i would like to make some comments. you indicated that your surgeon gave you a 91% chance of success or non-recurrence with surgery and 75% with the various forms of radiation treatment. keep in mind that surgeons are biased toward toward surgery and radiologists are biased toward radiology. did you question the validity of the 75% success rate for radiation quoted to you by your surgeon? did he show you any authoritative statistics to back-up his claim? it has been well demonstrated that the success rates for surgery and the various forms of radiation are quite comparable in the earlier stages of prostate cancer. as you move away from the earlier stages of cancer, the success rates begin to decline. at that point, selecting surgery may offer a little more hope for success, but there are no guarantees. age is also a very important factor in deciding on treatment. it seems that younger men prefer the surgery to get the cancer out of their body and i don't necessarily disagree with that approach. when i met with a top medical oncologist to objectively evaluate my treatment options based on my PC stats, he demonstrated to me that i had about
an equal chance of success with surgery, seeds, x-ray radiation and proton radiation. i chose proton radiation because it is a safer form of radiation than x-ray radiation (i.e., photon radiation), with less of a chance of damaging or destroying good tissue surrounding the prostate. because it is a safer form of radiation, the potential for negative side effects is less than other forms of radiation treatment. Loma Linda has been performing the proton radiation treatments since 1990 and has successfully treated thousands of men with that approach. Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston
opened a new proton center in 2001 (replacing a smaller one in affiliation with Harvard) which was established in the 1950's. Dr. Anthony Zietman is a highly regarded radiation oncologist at MGH who oversees the proton therapy. Two new proton centers were
opened in 2006, one at the MD Anderson Cancer center in Texas and one at the University of Florida. The University of Pa. is expected to
open a new proton center in the next two years. proton therapy is used not only for prostate cancer, but for many other types of cancers. many men who elect surgery do not know about
proton therapy. it is important that all prostate cancer patients become thoroughly familiar with all of the options for treating prostate cancer before making their final decision, so that there will be no regrets later on. i am not promoting proton therapy over surgery. my mission is to educate prostate cancer patients that proton therapy is a viable treatment option with excellent success rates that should be considered depending on your PC stats.
why did i select proton therapy over surgery? my age played an important role. i am in an earlier stage of PC. I did not want to have to deal with what i thought could well be 100% immediate impotence and the potential difficultly of regaining some degree of potency. i was even more concerned about
the possibility of some degree of incontinence. in my final years, i want a reasonable hope for a cure, but also a good quality of life. having to wear pads and diapers potentially for the rest of my life was not for me. i have read some of the heart breaking stories in these message boards of men struggling with the nasty side effects of surgery. some side effects improve or go away, but sometimes they don't. let's face it, choosing a treatment is a gambling game. you have to weigh the odds. i also felt that proton therapy would be non-invasive compared to surgery, and is considered one of the safest forms of radiation, offering hope for minimal side effects. there is no question that radiation (including proton) can eventually lead to some degree of impotence down the road. however, in those cases, drugs such as viagra have been known to overcome the impotency in many cases. incontinence usually does not happen after proton therapy.
dj, you seem to be at peace with your surgery decision and that is what is most important for you. once you are at peace with your decision, it makes the whole process much easier to move on with your life after treatment and hopefully get back to a normal routine again. best of luck to you!
68, Biopsy 9/27/06, Stage T1c, PSA 7.1, Gleason 6 [less than 5% in two areas], Gleason 7 (3+4) [less than 20% in third area], negative DRE, bone scan and MRI. Starting proton radiation therapy 2/22/07.
Post Edited (pcdave) : 2/10/2007 6:27:45 PM (GMT-7)