Hi Mower Man
I assume when you posted your last response you had not read my thread on proton therapy. we are both about
the same age and our PC stats are similar. at our age, there is a good chance that we would have to deal with total or significant impotence after surgery. we would also have to deal with incontinence and who knows to what degree. you can read all of the stories here and make your own decision--many of the stories are very discouraging to say the least. i decided at age 68 that i didn't want to deal with surgery. my side effects from proton therapy thus far have been insignificant. i did not feel compelled to have my prostate out so that i would know immediately the true pathology and stage of my prostate cancer. it seems that the majority of PC patients, even older ones, feel compelled to remove their prostate and feel that it gives them a piece of mind and a greater chance of cure their cancer. Even those that have surgery are sometimes confronted with positive margins in the area surrounding the prostate, in which case they will likely need subsequent radiation treatment to hopefully eradicate the remaining cancer. One of the gentlemen who had recent proton radiation therapy at the same time as I did, told me that he decided on radiation treatment because of a fear of cancer being found in the margins outside of his prostate. when the prostate is treated with radiation, it includes radiating an area extending into the margins.
i am not anti-surgery by any means, but i think older men have other options which can produce similar or better results than surgery, especially not having to deal with the potential nasty side effects of surgery. i have tremendous respect for the members here, the majority of whom elect surgery. after reading their stories it has further reinforced my decision to have proton therapy which is considered the safest form of radiation therapy today. incontinence after proton therapy would be considered rare. impotence can occur very slowly after radiation therapy (months and years). however, unlike surgery, medications like viagra have been known to overcome such impotence. i think that radiation gets a bum rap and many patients just have a fear of it. in part, this results from the stories they have heard about
the sometimes horrible side effects from radiation treatment years ago which was somewhat primitive. radiation therapy today is very sophisticated and relatively safe with more minimal side effects.
there are at least three members here who have had proton radiation treatment and at least two who have had x-ray (IMRT or IMGT) radiation without any major side effects during treatment. one member here had proton therapy several years ago and is doing very well (i.e., low PSA for several years). i think you have concluded too quickly that surgery and radiation are equal in terms of having a high risk for both incontinence and impotence. the key here my friend is to be very objective and do your homework. don't let anyone, including me, unduly influence your treatment decision until you have carefully weighed the pros and cons of the various treatment options. All the best 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. Treatments completed 4/18/07.
Post Edited (pcdave) : 4/28/2007 10:02:44 AM (GMT-6)