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which treatment?

laurence
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

I'm 62, just diagnosed, but very low-level so far. Gleason 6, T2a, otherwise healthy and active. I'm torn between watching and waiting, or seed implants. I'd appreciate any word of experience, anybody who's had the seeds for some years, what you've undergone, level of satisfaction? also, has anybody my age decided on watching and waiting, and how's it going? please answer to robertpbik@aol.com. thanks so much.

nutt
Posts: 140
Joined: Sep 2001

Robert, from your message it seems you have already decieded between watch/wait or seed implant? or surgery is not the best choice for your situtatuion? Regardless, there is much info already available by going down this list and reading the "replys" to other cancer survivors inquiries.

I had seed implant in January 02 and would be more than glad to share this with you BUT am concerned that you did not mention any other options and why?

Seed implant can be less traumatic than others but it may not be the BEST for you. At 62 (I will be 59 this month) have many years ahead.

Check out the "replys" to the last several inquiries and if you are set on implant send me an email and I will share all of my experiences.

There are + and - 's to each type of procedure.
1. surgery
2. external beam radiation
3. cyrogenic (freezing prostate)
4. hormone therapy (sometime used with the above)
5. watch/wait + hormone therapy?
Let me know your thoughts.
Best Regards,
Joe Nutter
josephcnutter@compuserve.com

nwlms's picture
nwlms
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2002

Check with your Urologist, but I believe that with radiation and/or seeds, IF your cancer returns the surgery option is out. I had the laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. At age 60, my PSA was 4.7, Gleason of 7, 2 of 12 biopsy samples positive and I elected to get rid of the cancer for good. After 8 mos, all is well. PSA's have been less than 0.1. Long-term recovery was fast with very little pain and no associated restrictions after the 6 week operative recovery period. I see your not considering surgery. If you decide to "wait-and-see" get checked often. You do not want the cancer to extend past the prostate. Now is the time to take action. I will advise you to re-think your options and look into the various surgery options.

mboneal
Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 2003

Laurence,
Like the others I am also confused why you didn't mention surgery. My husband just had a RP (Radical Prostatetomy) on April 9, 2003 and is doing extremely well! I agree with nwlms when he said he wanted to remove the cancer from his body. Have you had a bone scan, ct scan, and all the other test to see if it has spread? These are very important on helping you make your decision. I know this is a confusing time for you and your family but there many excellent placed to research on the net and great support here at CSN. We only have our own experiences to share, but Gary was told by his urologist (he was a Gleason 6, test showed that it had not gone beyond the prostate, but found out during surgery it was in the margin) not to wait. Check out this one www.Phoenix5.com It has allot of info also. Take care, God Bless and our prayers are with you.

Mary

jeffingbmich
Posts: 18
Joined: Mar 2003

Laurence,
I am 56 and was diagnosed on Dec. 12, '02 with prostate cancer. The biopsy showed a Gleason 6 with about 15% of the tissue effected. My PSA was 5.7. My doctor told me, within the first paragraph after telling me, "You have a small amount of early stage cancer in your prostate...." that "at your age and stage of the cancer, I'm recommending surgery. That's your best chance for long term survival." Why am I telling you all of this? I guess I'm surprised that at your relatively young age, stage, and Gleason score, your doctor isn't having you consider the nerve sparing RP as an option. I suggest you get on the internet and do some research and also get to another urologist and get a second opinion.
I had my surgery on Feb. 10 and, long story short, I'm doing fine now. My post-op psa is <.1 so we're optimistic that it was all contained in the prostate and is gone. We'll check again in July. My bladder control is excellent and impotence is improving with full healing expected by July.
The surgery is no picnic but is tolerable and is the best chance for a long term cure. Seed implants is an option many choose but, if it doesn't work, surgery can't be done. Conversely, if the surgery doesn't work, you can do follow-up radiation to get the remaining cells. The third line of defense after surgery and radiation would be hormone therapy, probably Lupron. At your age and stage, based on all I've read and heard, watching and waiting won't accomplish anything. Please do some research and get a second opinion.
I'll look for you here each week and keep you in my prayers. Keep the faith.
Jeff

Sailor1988
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 2002

It sounds as if my situation a few months back was very similar to yours. Last August, on my 60th birthday, I too, was diagnosed with prostate cancer.... PSA was 11, Gleason score was 6, evaluated as stage T2a. A bone scan and additional blood tests indicated a good probability that the cancer was still contained. After reviewing all our options (my wife was very much a part of the entire decision-making process) and after getting a second opinion at Hopkins, we decided on the surgery. (By the way, we too, had been told that after external beam therapy or the seeds, surgery was not an option.) It took a bit of soul-searching, but we ruled out the radiation, seeds, hormone therapy and watchful waiting..... we wanted the cancer gone from my body and went with the odds that surgery would do just that.

The surgery in November went well other than a bit of complication with the anesthetic they used. The post-op biopsy gave a Gleason score of 6 and indicated that it was entirely contained, with negative margins. My sixth week PSA was < .01. The two weeks with the catheter was only a mild irritation and I was back to teaching a few weeks later and a full exercise schedule at six weeks. My recovery continues. The downside of the surgery is that I still wear a small pad to contain a bit a leakage (it is getting better), and I'm still having a bit of erectile dysfunction.

In retrospect, even with these side-effects, we would not change our decision.

I guess the one piece of advice we would pass to you, advice that was given to us by several good sources, is this. " You have to be comfortable with and be able to live with your decision".

We wish you the best of luck in making the decision that is best for you .

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