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Completed my last CK treatment four weeks ago!

silverfox1
Posts: 36
Joined: Dec 2010

Completed my CK treatments four weeks ago and wanted to share the experience. The CK treatments were effortless and simple. Did have a couple of side effects that lasted thru the third week, but have now subsided to nothing. The urinary urgency and frequency were the main side effects with some minor constipation. The urinary burning was addressed with medication which did provide the needed relief. Will have my first PSA test sometime in late May early June and will be posting the results as I get them. Want to thank all of you for your continued support and encouragement during this journey!

Walter

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi, ho Silver! That's great news.

K

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1006
Joined: May 2009

Congrats to you. Best wishes on upcoming tests and that you will continue doing well.

larry

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 634
Joined: Mar 2010

That's great, Silverfox.

Looking forward to hearing about the results of your PSA test in May/June.

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 634
Joined: Mar 2010

Another Duplicate Deleted . . .

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1317
Joined: Apr 2009

on completing the treatment....good luck with the PSA's......

JJPhare
Posts: 34
Joined: Apr 2011

Congrats on your successful CK procedure!
I am in the last phase of deciding which treatment and heavily leaning toward CK.
How much prior were the fiducials implanted and how involved was that process.?
Did you consider other treatments? What was your PSA prior to CK?
Finally, did your insurance cover the procedure and did they resist you at all?

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 634
Joined: Mar 2010

The fiducials were placed in my prostate about 1 month prior the MRI/CAT scans and prior to the 1st CK treatment.

The placement procedure was similar to a biopsy -- except they're placing 3 gold seeds in your prostate and not taking anything out. Here's what happens: lay on gurney, doc inserts ultrasound device in your butt, the doc then inserts the seeds in your prostate and you're done. It's very quick.

I considered robotic surgery and Low dose rate Brachytherapy before choosing CK. Considered (and still consider) surgery unnecessarily risky for early stage PCa regardless of your age. Considered BT more appealing than surgery but not by much: didn't like having all of those seeds (70-100) in my prostate for life; didn't like being radioactive for at least a year; didn't like the guess work and lack of precision in the placement of the seeds/dosage and the risk of rectal, bladder and other tissue damage as a result.

When I discovered CK and learned that it was covered by Blue Shield (which I was eligible to switch to under my retirement group medical plan), it was a no brainer to go w/CK.

Blue Shield CA has paid for EVERYTHING w/o any delay or complaint.

kddh
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2010

Dear JJPhare:
Just wanted to respond about insurance. It seems to vary widely. SwingShift got Blue Shield to cover CK without a problem, but Anthem Blue Cross (which I thought was a related company) turned me down (currently under appeal). They say it's "investigational."

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 634
Joined: Mar 2010

Wikipedia has a write up on the affiliation between Blue Cross & Blue Shield: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Cross_Blue_Shield_Association

Although they are affiliated under the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, they are still separate insurance companies and make their own policies. Policies between the independent Blue Shield affiliates also differ.

For example, Excellus Blue Shield of NY still (as of 8/19/10) regards CK as NOT medically necessary for PCa.

See: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB8QFjAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.excellusbcbs.com%2Fwps%2Fwcm%2Fconnect%2Fc9dd76804e8eb6a58fa5bfe420b83c88%2Fstereo_rad.pdf%3FMOD%3DAJPERES&rct=j&q=excellus%20blue%20shield%20sterotatic%20policy&ei=tFfVTYyLN46esQOArqz4Cw&usg=AFQjCNFbqgvaxcwkiLFISLJ--7I4JpBwCA&sig2=sUOqSrTChU1wwrGuEJq5dw&cad=rja.

However, CA Blue Shield's policy is the opposite. I could not find a copy of CA Blue Shield's policy online. I got a copy from my radiation oncologist at UCSF. It's titled "Blue Shield of California - Medical Policy - Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Stereotactic Radiotherapy - Effective date: May 6, 2009."

This policy clearly states that:

"Stereotactic radiosurgery using Gamma Knife, LINAC (linear accelerator) including Cyberknife, or proton beam unit may be considered MEDICALLY NECESSARY AND EFFECTIVE (capitalized text in bold in original) when used in the treatment of small (less than 4 cm in diameter or less than 12 ml) and no more than 3 lesions for ANY of the following indications:

. . .

Localized prostate cancer of low to intermediate risk (Gleason Score less than or equal to 7)."

If you cannot find a copy of this policy, please send me a private message w/your email address and I'll scan & send you a copy to use in your fight to obtain coverage from your Anthem Blue Cross affiliate.

Good luck!

kddh
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks, Swingshiftworker, I did just send you my email. Nice of you to offer.

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 634
Joined: Mar 2010

Duplicate Post Deleted

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Walter,

Great news. I'm glad you're doing well.

K

JJPhare
Posts: 34
Joined: Apr 2011

Silver et al:

I recall that you also had some infection post biopsy or post fiducial implant. I had infections from both and am still taking Cephalexin for 2 more weeks due to the bacterial infection post fiducial implant. I had my CT / MRI today and they anticipate starting CK next week. The radiologists see no problem doing the procedure while I am still on the anti-biotic.
I have heard contrary opinion from my personal physician who does not think it wise to do the procedure while still taking Cephalexin. He (an internal MD) is not against CK although the Kaiser urologists definitely have a bias.
Did you receive any warnings about having the CK procedure while still taking anti-biotics?

kddh
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi--best wishes on your CK treatment. Was curious if you're in northern CA as I have had the same experience here with Kaiser urologists. Can't seem to get anyone to pay for CK!

JJPhare
Posts: 34
Joined: Apr 2011

Colorado-Kaiser urologists and radiologists have a bias against CK due to not enough data. Brachytherapy or DaVinci was offered to me. My internal physician is open to the CK idea and will work with me on the follow-up PSA's needed after CK. One of the three CK providers in Colorado was gracious enough to give me a substantial cash discount. Ironically, they perform the procedure at a hospital used by Kaiser.

avidity
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2011

Hi silverfox1,
Can you please share your Gleason score and PSA score. Thanks

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