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Questions on radiation therapy...

sunblade
Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2003

In 2000 I had a R.R.P. My gleason score was 7, stage T3A. I also had a Sural Nerve Graft which was not effective. My PSA is now at .3, up until now it's been < .1, I was told to have my PSA drawn again in February and if it's still high to have external beam radiation treatment which will be every day for six weeks.
What I'd like to know is: (1)Why the long wait? (2)What are the possible side effects? (3)Are there any other options that anyone knows of?

nutt
Posts: 140
Joined: Sep 2001

The best source for answers to your questions is your doctor. If, you don't get the answers from him/her then you may want to take other steps however, I too was impatient with my PSA scores. They originally showed a slight climb and are now after 1-1/2 years dropping. What I was told all the time by my doctor was that " it wasn't important that the PSA went up or down a little, just that it did not trend or continue up".
As for beam radiation... it supposedly has the least impact (notice "least") as it is computer directed and supposedly minimizes damage to tissue that is not targeted. That does not say there won't be some unwanted damage to other tissue but it is greatly imporved over the shotgun approach where everything in the beams way was zapped. It is a great step forward.
As to side effects, you need to discuss with your doctor. Hope some of this helps. The biggest fear we all have is not having the facts, regardless of what they are. Check with your doctor. Good luck and God bless.
Joe

meadc
Posts: 25
Joined: May 2001

I had my operation in Aug. of 1999. In Feb.I had radiation, 36 treatments, Mon thru Fri.

The only reason I can think of is the Doc whats to see if it will go down. If it goes down you may not have to have to radiation.

I was lucky, I got all the treatments on time and didn't miss a day, so I finished on time. I had very few side effects, I had the sunburn from the treatments and got very tired at first, which was bad for me because I had to drive 50 miles home after the treatments. I know I was lucky because a man started at the same time as I and in 3 days he had kidney pain and had to stop till they found out what was wrong.

my last PSA was .04 and Doc was happy with that. I have noticed that my hip joints do seem to hurt a little more now, which can happy because the beam has to go thru the joint.

If there are any other options, I don't know, I didn't even ask. I trusted my Doc, and he said do it and that was it, after 3 1/2 years and no problems, I think he was right.

I don't know if this helps any, but if I had to do it over, I would do it the same way.

Good Luck MeadC

Benji48
Posts: 117
Joined: May 2003

Hi,
Check out my reply to your E-mail. I've been on vacation
Benji

pickeroon
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2004

I opted for focused radiation and hormone therapy.
My initial psa was 33,with a gleason of 8. At age 57, with 85% of the prostate aggressively cancerous, quick action needed to be taken.
I had some hormone tablets to shrink the tumor, along with a hormone shot of Luprin. I felt like I had been kicked in the groin for a day, and then began to get hot flashes. They are big, but managable--now I can relate to the ladies far better! Then 6 weeks of radiation. I went religiously, five days per week. The side effects were minimal, with a slight bit of hair loss in the groin area, and no other external results. I needed to alter my diet to foods that firmed up my stool. It was tricky to get the right balance of foods to loosen vs. foods to firm up, but after a week or so I was in a good routine. After radiation was done, I needed to slowly transfer to a more normal and then a loosening diet. After 3 weeks of being off radiation, I now have normal food, including all the hotsause I want, but I have to take 4 prunes and about 2 ounces of bran spaced throughout the day. This keeps me loose. I had some internal anal hemroids which were pretty painful, which necessitated the loose stool. I tried prescribed steroid suppositories, but they burned a bit, so I went to Prep. H suppositories and that worked well. I figured out a way to get Prep. H sauve inside, and that has done wonders for the irritation. It's been 8 months of treatment, and I'm doing well. I need to use Viagra to help get an erection, but at this point, I only have an orgasm after far too much forplay, and that means one orgasm every 6 tries. Not good, but better than the alternative of no response at all!
I keep checking this messageboard to add updates.
God's blessing on you.

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