Dear Susan & Don
This is the most difficult postings I have ever made on this website. As you know I have given you a lot of advice, support and encouragement. I cannot begin to tell you how much I want to hear that Don's PC has disappeared from the face of the earth. While I am elated to hear that Don's PSA is now at 0.3 and want to rejoice in it, I have to tell you what I feel in my heart and soul. I don't want to be a naysayer here, but the hormone treatment will not cure his PC and I think you already know this fact. The hormone treatment is probably responsible for the large drop in his PSA. Here is what the American Cancer Society says about
"Hormone therapy is also called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) or androgen suppression therapy. The goal is to reduce levels of the male hormones, called androgens, in the body. The main androgen is testosterone. Androgens, produced mainly in the testicles, stimulate prostate cancer cells to grow. Lowering androgen levels often makes prostate cancers shrink or grow more slowly. However, hormone therapy does not cure prostate cancer."
I beg you, if you have not already done so, to get a 2nd opinion on whether radiation (preferably proton) could also be used to hopefully eradicate any remaining cancer. You indicate that all of your doctors have concluded that radiation does not appear to be an option because of involvement of the aortic lymph nodes. I am not a doctor so I don't know what this means. I also don't know what doctors you are referring to. I assume you are referring to the group of doctors who originally treated Don.
There have been many cases where one doctor says no and another doctor says yes.* Maybe I am reaching for the stars here, but if I do not tell you what I believe, I would never forgive myself. A 2nd opinion by both a top medical oncologist and top radiation oncologist is vital to Don's case in my opinion, subject to getting further clarification from you. Sometimes even a 3rd opinion may be warranted. Maybe Don's doctors are correct, but I wouldn't accept their opinion as a final word without a 2nd or possibly 3rd opinion. Search for the best doctors you can find. If you have already done this, please forgive me.
My thoughts and prayers are with you in a very heartfelt way. God Bless!
*Hawkfan's posting today under Good News - Finally (to which you posted a reply) included the following comment: "My brother was diagnosed in 1995,
opened up for an
open prostatecmy, but closed right up, and given five years. After he searched out radiation and hormone treatments, he is still going strong 12 years later."
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) : 3/7/2007 10:54:07 PM (GMT-7)