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Experiences with alternative treatments?

Turtlepup
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2004

Hello everyone--

I'm new to this site. My Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March. His PSA is 21 and his biopsy score was 7 (not sure what the latter means, but the results indicated 5% cancerous findings w/high density clustering). He has had radiation testing and a CT scan and both were negative (thank goodness), though the dr said that the CT scan was not necessarily that accurate. My dad is 68, active (he just recently picked up snowboarding, crazy man!) and in general good health. We've talked w/drs quite a bit about treatment options. His urologist recommended surgery or radiation treatment and indicated that w/his high PSA levels, my dad would really only be eligible for beam therapy and not the seed type. He also indicated that w/my dad's high PSA, surgery would almost certainly guarantee impotence since they would not be able to preserve those nerves when dealing w/such a high PSA.

My dad met w/a radiation oncologist and he found out that w/radiation treatment, there is only a 20% chance that the cancer does not recur. As a result, my dad has begun to consider going with alternative treatments b/c he is worried about the efficacy and side effects of the recommended treatments. I was hoping that you could chime in on the following (pls add whatever else comes to mind as well! :).

1) Your experiences with either surgery or radiation treatment, esp if you had similar PSA, age, etc. as my dad;

2) your experiences or knowledge of alternative meds such as herbals, diet control (anyone heard of/used the book "Beating Cancer w/Nutrition" by Patrick Quillin?), exercise regiment; and

3) your thoughts on the advice and info that my dad has been getting from his drs (he is covered by Kaiser and I have not always heard the best stories about them).

Thanks!

2ndBase's picture
2ndBase
Posts: 220
Joined: Mar 2004

Sorry to hear about your dad. My PSA was 23 with a Gleason score of 9, and Im 53 years old. I was given about two years to live if I got treated and after much pressure to do so I got chemically castrated and went through 40 rad treatments. I took two months off work and was replaced and no longer have insurance or a job. I wish I would have done other treatment due to the negative impact of my treatment. I know of a successful doctor in NV. who does a combination of conventional and alternative treatment. Best wishes and if you want to e-mail it's SecondbaseNY@cs.com.

Benji48
Posts: 117
Joined: May 2003

I'm not against alternative treatments per se. I would just caution placing too much emphasis, without intelligent research, on some of the ones that snake-oil salespersons proliferate on this site frequently.Do not let the alternatives cloud your mind & steer you away from some conventional ones that may prove useful!
Good luck, Benji

nutt
Posts: 140
Joined: Sep 2001

Let's look at this objectively.
Firstly, everyone who gets cancer has their lives impacted one way or another.

2. I had seed therapy -- do not understand what a high psa has to do with seed or beam? Question your doctor more.

Also, I had hormone therapy b4 (and after seeds). The hormone therapy shrunk the prostate into a smaller, neater package that required LESS radiated seeds since it was more compact? This may also be true for your dad with BEAM therapy?

3. Your doctor must be real good (lots of experience) as all the doctors I know won't even go there to predict?

However, you may be looking at this the wrong way? What is the percentage that it will re-occur or occur greater if he does not do RP or RADIATION??

4. I know it (impotence) is hard to handle but there are alternatives. What are his options if he goes with alternative treatments and they don't work?

There will be side effects no matter what he does. First consideration is which of the methods has the highest propensity (chance - track record) of killing the cancer?
Then, you consider the side effects and what can be done to alleviate them.

Hope some of this helps but cancer tends to mess up all of our lives (spouses too) but you adapt like anything else.

Good luck and keep in touch. Let us know what he is doing and how it all turns out. He has to make the decision.
Joe

Turtlepup
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2004

Thanks for all your replies.

Mark52--very sorry to hear of your bad experiences, not just w/the cancer & treatment, but on the job front as well! Seems ridiculous that there's no protection from losing your job when you are so critically ill.

Benji--that was my point exactly to my Dad. I know I can't decide his treatment for him, but what worries me is that he will look to the most painfree, side effect free way rather than the one that is best at eradicating the cancer. My feeling is that he should have the radiation treatment, but also look into and hopefully find alternative treatments that perhaps could help prevent a reoccurence of the cancer (and hopefully minimise the side effects).

Joe--what the dr said re: the correlation btn high PSA and availability of seed therapy is that w/a prostrate that enlarged, seed therapy was not recommended (my father's age may have had some impact as well, though I'm not sure how it would). However, this was the urologist. The oncologist also recommended beam, but didn't say why and he also indicated that my father should undergo hormone therapy for something like 3-4 months prior to the radiation.

I will take your suggestion to heart in terms of presenting it to my dad. You're definitely right--it's his decision to make--but I have to try to at least sway him to strongly consider the treatment options his drs are offering. I was so discouraged to hear him talk about the average life expectancy and trying to determine if he could make it to that average w/o treatment. Given that he's so healthy otherwise, I'd hope that he'd aim for above average!

Thanks again for your thoughts!

nutt
Posts: 140
Joined: Sep 2001

Just a follow-up. Ask your dad's doctors if they (either of them) have ever done a seed implant?
It has been my experience that doctors recommend what they normally do, ie RP, beam or seed. It may be that the seed would be done by someone other than these two doctors? Unless you are dealing with a larger than normal family practice they do not have the various options available.
Fortunatly, my oncologist was well trained in beam and seed which complimented the urologist with RP. Their clinics have since teamed up and jointly consult and offer the patient what is best and what the patient finally chooses. There is no ego contest between them.
Good luck and god bless.
Joe

Benji48
Posts: 117
Joined: May 2003

Hi Turtlepup,
Just a couple of comments. I agree wholeheartedly with Joe & as he says it depends on whom you're talking to as to what therapy is recommended! With such a high reading of psa, 21, I don't think RP is advisable since the chance that it is not already outside the capsule is miniscle at best & more likely zip,nada! As far as seed implants, there is a particular "window" size wise, neither too big or small. I don't think age in and of itself has anything to do with it. IF his is too large at the moment, it can be shrunk with hormone treatments. I personally know of an individual where it was too large to begin with & then shrunk to small with the treatments!! So there might be too much of a good thing! Anyway, with that said I beleive his most reasonable option at this point would be radiation therapy (seed or beam or both) in conjunction with hormonal therapy both prior and afterwards. Above all don't panic. There is plenty of time (not forever)to make the PROPER decision.
best of luck, Benji

nessus
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2004

Hi, i am a pharmacist myself who believe and seeking in alternative therapy in line with medical profession.. i have friends with prostate cancer cases... heal without medical intervention with life style changes and professional herbal supplementation .. however depends on the stage of cancer

My Recommendation that works in some patients .. and used by physician open for herbal science in taiwan and china general hospital however depend on patient acceptance.

1. Fresh food everday... juices.. not fried. no oily .. no overnight food.
2. Must for long term .. Green tea extract proven in shrinking and blocking metastasis of cancer esp prostate cancer http://www.prostate-cancer.org/education/nutrprod/greentea.html
I may able to provide you hundreds of papers on this

2. If he is strong physically.. start reishi as soon as possible.. with probiotics and drink more water (must accompany reishi to clear out toxins during killing of cancer cell phase by immune system) ..
www.reishi.com
3. Get a nutritional drink at this challenge phase to help the body to be at optimum phase for the reishi to work..

there will be more things to mention on.. you need to research the above mentioned rational. then you will know what is the confidence that i have here

After cancer cells shrink... maintain on green tea extract and perhaps other supplements with high antioxidation.

if you wish to find out more on those professional product and literatures.. may contact me at
yoonyee@pl.jaring.my
or chat on msn messenger .. nessus77@hotmail.com

best of all .. stay positive and pray (must have faith.. it helps)

nutt
Posts: 140
Joined: Sep 2001

Since you reference "friends" that have used your system, hopefully, you have some real data as to success/failure? I hope you recognize that most of the members here already have been determined to have cancer. Do you have any names of your friends, testiomonials, data to support that this is really a cure?
I understand that our diet contributes to many of our illnesses but you must understand that the members seeking guidance here HAVE cancer and unless your methods have some track record of success, we may just be causing more pain.
I know you indicated your method as "seeking alternative therapy" but also suggest you add a disclaimer to consult with their medical doctor.
The other problem is finances, many members may stop proven treatments due to the fear, financial burdens etc.. of conventional treatments for unproven, less expensive and no surgery required treatments.
I agree that we all need to modify our life styles and eating habits; now with that said I hope you will publish data that shows results more than the fact that we all know a good diet is a benefit --- is it a cure?
Joe

Turtlepup
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2004

Joe--

You raised exactly the questions I had. Thanks! I'm already a bit concerned about the possibility that my dad is inclined to go w/alt. treatment b/c it sounds like a painfree, side effect free treatment method. Nothing wrong w/it if it is truly effective, but I've not really found anyone who's used alt. treatment to become cancer free. I'm not looking for random testimonials (those are all over the web), but real people who don't mind talking/writing w/me about it who can show some validity to their claims (I know, I'm cynical...).

I want to educate myself so I'm not just being influenced by my own prejudices when I talk w/my dad.

Thanks everyone, again, for all your support and input!

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