Oct 17, 2009 - 11:39 am
I have recently been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. I have no symptoms or discomfort whatsoever and my high PSA was detected in a routine annual check. I am 58 and by God's grace quite healthy. Have been a sportsman (squash player) at the national level in India. It appears it is confined within the prostate. The gleason score given by one lab was 4 while from the other lab was 3 + 3 = 6. My PSA when the investigations started was 12.93. Strangely, after being diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and in the midst of consulting various oncologists and urologists, I on my own took another PSA test. The PSA showed significant reduction down to 8.43. This is without any kind of medication. I cut out white sugar, milk. Had soya milk instead. Had lot of green tea. Had 30 ml of Aloe Vera mixed with 30 ml of pomesteen powder (a liquid blend of pomegranate fruit juice, pear juice, mangosteen juice, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry juices and grape seed extract. I do no know how the PSA has shown a downward trend.
I have been wondering as to what would be the best option in my case considering my age and health. I do believe given that all men with early detection of prostate cancer are without symptoms, the impact that treatment may have on quality of life is an important consideration
I have spent the last month researching different options. Funnily, there is a complete divide even amongst doctors - most urologists recommend surgery, most oncologists recommend radiation. The radiation proponents say that radiation technology has improved considerably and also cite the example of Rudy Gulliani (the ex New York Mayor) and Gen. David Petraeus, the present US Commander of Overseas Operations,as having opted for radiation.
However, with my own little research, I have come to know of the increasing popularity of HIFU (High Intensity Focussed Ultrasound) in Europe for organ contained Prostate Cancer. No bloodshed and minimal side effects. In India it has been available only for a year. I have managed to speak with about 8 such patients who have had HIFU done. All of them are very happy. No trauma, no incontinence. Since hormonal injection (that shrinks the tumour almost instantly) is also given for a while (that will cause ED temporarily till it is administered. And the nerves are spared. I believe this is a good option for organ contained prostate cancer. But doctors do not agree saying that enough data is not available. I counter that no negative data is also available on it. The trouble is doctors only peddle what they practise.
Similarly, there is CyberKnife, a form of very focussed and accurate radiation. In this your radiation is over in 3 to 5 days instead of the 6 to 7 weeks in the normal radiation and with less side effects.
It is a tough decision. I am in search of an unbiassed, considered opinion as this decision is most critical. HIFU seems most 'patient friendly', next comes CyberKnife, but will any one knowledgeable please strengthen my belief as there would be more data available in US and / or Europe?