CSN Login
Members Online: 11

Searching for treatment (cure) info for prostate cancer

LarryMi
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi everybody,
I am new to both this forum and prostate cancer. I am 74, in excellent health and condition. I was notified earlier this week of the results of my biopsy at the Emory Clinic in Atlanta. It indicated a Gleason Score of 8. I had the biopsy because my PSA score had crept up over one year from 6 to 9. Otherwise, I had no symptoms. I am scheduled to see my Emory Urologist and a Radiation Oncologist in 2 weeks. I do have extensive experience with Emory and its various specialties over the last 6 years and it has been excellent
I am early into my research however I am impressed with the ProstRcision proceedure by the Radiotherapy Clinics of GA.
Does anybody out there have any experience with this proceedure at this clinic? Are there any other recommendations of proceedures and clinics/hospitals to look at?

JoeMac's picture
JoeMac
Posts: 77
Joined: Jun 2008

Aloha LarryMi,
A good site to ask questions is
http://www.yananow.net
Lots of experience.
I was diagnosed at 65 (2007), G9, PSA 12, all 12 cores 5 to 70% PC.
I do not know much about ProstRcision. Spend lots of time asking about what are the possible outcomes that screw up your life during & after treatment. This last year was very difficult for my wife and myself. One of the 10% that got radiation burn in the rectum. Get second opinions, especially on the biopsy. For a small percentage of us, life gets very unplesent after treatment. I was in good shape before treatment, lots of bicycle trips & hikes. Just begining to get into it again. Long struggle.
Joe 67 Hamakua Coast

rogermoore's picture
rogermoore
Posts: 265
Joined: Mar 2002

Hi Larry,

Sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but glad you elected to visit our site. This is an excellent place to receive opinions and suggestions from those of us that have gone through what you are facing.

I, at the age of 58, elected to have a radical prostatectomy at Vanderbilt. I had a very skilled surgeon and the results have been almost perfect. Since then the procedure has been even more refined with the advent of the Robotic surgery. Today, I think most patients would consider it to be the "Gold Standard".

There are visitors on this site that have actually used Emory as their hospital of choice. You might want to use the search function on this site to find someone who went there.

If you have any questions you feel you would like answered privately, don't hesitate to contact me at this site.

Best of luck and prayers be with you,

Roger

Olee's picture
Olee
Posts: 97
Joined: Nov 2008

Hi Larry. As a prostate cancer survivor in Atlanta I welcome you to the site and wish you the best of care. There are alot of people on this site that can provide a ton of information, experience speaks so much louder sometimes. As far as Emory I am glad you have confidence in the facility. They have some excellent doctors and means to treat cancer. I however have had some very bad experiences with them as you can read in my post "diagnosed at 40." My main complaint overall is commmunication, they have no concept of it at all. I'm still waiting on a call from my urologist at Emory, one that I requested weeks ago. I called again last week and spoke to his nurse and secretary and they both said they would remind him to call me. I only want to ask two questions about the surgery. Oh and this is not the first doctor I have worked with at Emory. My first doctor at Emory had a way with words, when he informed me that I had prostate cancer he walked into the room and before I could be seated blurted out,"So I hear ya have some cancer in ya prostate!" My advice to anyone being treated at Emory for any medical reason would be to stay on top on things and follow up- follow up-follow up with the calls. I even went outside my state and contacted one of the premier urology centers in America to ask about surgery, both by phone three times and by email four times, have I recieved a response? NO As far as your inquiry about the RTCGA. I've heard some really good things about the Radiotherapy Clinics of Ga. I spoke to a survivor recently who was treated there and seemed to be very pleased. This survivor was in your age range and he seemed to think it was a better option for him. I can say that getting opinions from different sources is extremely helpful, both from survivors and doctors. Sitting through a consult does not mean that you are obligated, but it sure gives you more information. I have located two surgeons in Atlanta that are rated very high in the area of robotic surgery. Dr. Nikhil Shah at St Joseph's and Dr. Scott Miller at Northside. Both have an extensive background using the Da Vinci robotic method. Dr Miller was the first surgeon to use this method in the state of Georgia. I have an appointment with him on Tuesday and so far his office staff have been great. Atlanta has alot of options, we just have to locate and utilize them. Larry you have alot of support in this group and we all wish you the best. Let us know of your progress.

LarryMi
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2009

Wow, what a great source of info and compassion. I really thank everybody who has taken the time to write a response to my post.

I was quite surprised re the comments from Emory as my experience has been quite good with them. I have a primary Geriatric Physician who monitors and refers me throughout Emory. I have had every thing from complex eye surgery to foot and ankle surgery and have spent 3 weeks in Wesley Woods Hospital. My wife was treated at the Cancer Clinic for breast cancer 5 years ago and again, all was top notch.
Of course, things may get dicey when the Urologist and Radiation Oncologist find that I may not elect to be treated at their facility. Will then see how uncooperative they become. Until that time I will try to keep good thoughts.
Bless all of you who have been so generous with your time and experience

mono5
Posts: 98
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi LarryMi,
I've been in remission for 7 years. When i see the word "cure", the way i define it is, if you beat the beast down and can remain in remission for the rest of your life, and die of natural causes, your cured! Thats the goal... i'm well on my way at 69 to reach that goal.
Take care, blessings to all.... Ron

BDJC
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2009

Larry, you're definitely doing the right thing by researching your options. At your age, surgery is probably not the best bet for you, as the recovery can be a bit dicey. Radiation is what is standard of care for men your age. The best results in Atlanta (and really in the country) for curing prostate cancer are at Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia (http://www.prostrcision.com/). Their results are acutally superior to radical prostatectomy including the Da Vinci robotic radical prostatectomy.

Ultimately, the decision is yours - you have to decide what is the best course of treatment for you and your family. Don't be afraid to ask tough questions of every physician you consult with. What you really want to know is how many of their patient achieved PSA 0.2 ng/ml 10 years after treatment. That is the true definition of cure.

Best of luck to you.

whubbs
Posts: 77
Joined: Sep 2008

Welcome to an awesome group of people here, you definitely are among friends and you'll be surprised by the amount of information buried inside all of these posts, take some time and search around.
During my investigative process I came across Cyberknife (http://www.accuray.com/)radiation treatment. It's an amazing new treatment that robotically locates thin beams of radiation using MRI imaging of the tumor in relationship to tiny gold implants.
Insurance may not cover, but worth the look.

I chose robotic prostatectomy due to my young age (42) and concern of erectile and urinary complications associated with all other treatments.
Oncological results are similar with robotic, if organ confined. Mine was organ confined.
If not organ confined, radiation type therapy essentially is the gold standard, but will damage nerves associated with erectile function, and bladder tissue associated with incontinence.

It seems that Cyberknife is the most accurate and least damaging of radiation treatments, as opposed to 'seeding', which puts many small doses right in the prostate that emanates outward, which damages the nerves, bladder and sometimes the rectum.
I would suggest looking into this procedure, it is very compelling.

Please ask as many questions as you can, and let us know how you are, what your learning and how we can help.
All the best.
Wayne

Judge
Posts: 10
Joined: Feb 2009

Last Friday I was diagnosed with PC. My PSA had risen from 3.7 a year ago to now 16. A byopsy resulted in the finding of a Gleason Score of 3+4=7 overall. The local urologist recommends IMRT. I will get another one or two opinions, hopefully from MD Anderson for one. My Texas-based health policy carrier has denied coverage for any treatment for anything urological. It's criminal. Have others chosen IMRT for treatment? Have others faced treatment without insurance coverage?

Judge

JoeMac's picture
JoeMac
Posts: 77
Joined: Jun 2008

Aloha Judge,
That was my treatment of choice, for the pelvic cavity treatment, not much for aiming at, but when they did the second half, the postrate, they used an ultra sound image to guide the IMRT. I wish someone had told me about hemorrhoids and uretha strictures prior to treatment, it might have saved me a year of my life. No problems with the bladder, big problems with the rectum & anis.
JoeMac

BDJC
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2009

Judge, are you saying that your insurance wouldn't cover a radical prostatectomy (RP)? I've never heard of that, as that is the most commonly-utilized procedure for prostate cancer. I wouldn't recommend IMRT alone as a treatment for cure - it has not proven to be one of the most effective treatment modalities. You need to speak with your insurance carrier to get some clarification on whether RP is covered or not, and if not, you should consider contacting your state's insurance commissioner.

Another place for you to go to get information online about radiation treatment is http://www.prostrcision.com/ - they can give you your own projected Individual Cure Rate based on their procedure. I highly recommend the Q&A section with Dr. Frank Critz, as he is one of the most prominent radiation docs in the country for prostate cancer.

Best of luck to you.

Judge
Posts: 10
Joined: Feb 2009

Thank you, all, for participating in this process of sharing ideas and suggestions for all of us with PC. I hope what I've heard today,at a San Antonio urologist may help others.

I'm 58 and in otherwise excellent health. My PSA is 16.52 up from 14.5 just 2 months ago. After a byopsy, 1 core of 12 samples tested positive for PC. The Gleason score is 3+4=7. The doctor and I discussed various treatments, and he strongly suggested that Robotic Radical Prostatectomy is the best option given age, health and degree of cancer. He believes that this procedure will also assure the greatest chance of "normal" post operative recovery and erectile functioning.

I hope this helps.

Judge

jem777
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2009

I am having great time in this discussion. Indeed very helpful for my additional reference. I have gain a lot of knowledge here.

shubbysr's picture
shubbysr
Posts: 87
Joined: Jun 2009

I totally agree, this is a very helpful discussion board. It is a good feeling to know that we are PC survivor club members!

Jim (shubbysr)

Bushmills
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2009

LarryMi --

How are you doing? What treatment did you choose, and how did it go?

I could use your advice and input. You're 74, I'm 70, whereas many of the men on this site are in their 40s and 50s. We're in a somewhat different position -- and I'm now having to make a very critical decision on treatment. My medical situation: in good health, very active, PSA 7.8, Gleason 3+4=7, stage T2a, with (unfortunately) perineural invasion. So . . . . my doctor thinks some form of radiation is the way to go for me, rather than prostatectomy, tho he's leaving it to me. I'd be most interested in what you decided to do, and how you reached your decision, and what the results have been.

Best to you.

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network