CSN Login
Members Online: 7

Worried Sick About My Dad Aged 65 (Ireland)

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

My Dad is 65 and has had a Radical Prostatectomy 10 yrs ago. He recently went this his Doctor (New young doctor) as his other Doctor has retired about 1 yr or 2 years ago and his PSA was checked and came back as 4.5 and obviously he was worried sick, retested him and again it came back the same he also had rectal examination and the Doctor sent him to St Vincents Hospital (Dublin 2 Hrs away) which was 2 days ago on Wednesday 1st June 2011. The specialist checked him by Rectal examination and also felt something what I dont know but is now sending him for an MRI scan, I have cried my eyes out fearing the worst and thinking I will lose him and I have told Mam that we need to be strong that he will be fine but please can someone answer? I hope the letter arrives soon as to when the MRI scan is but he is so worried himself as he thought 10 years ago it was all removed so why now and how to which when you search on the internet it shows some tissue remains, could their be cancer cells or could their just be something producing this PSA level could the MRI scan come back and show all clear or am I to expect it to show some form of cancer? Dad is fearing it has spread to other organs etc

The specialist said we can do radiation treatment for 3 months and you will be fine and that will give you 10 years etc, but we wont know much until he is sent for the MRI scan and I will be going up with him for support etc, I am just so worried I am 30yrs of age and moving out of home soon that is my plan but now I am thinking should I stay will he be ok should I stay here for Mams sake and help her as will this be a difficult road ahead if he does get the radiation treatment as I have read this tiredness builds up on you and even that itself will upset me so much if I have moved out of home and to come back and see him in bed all the time and feeling weak of course I dont mind once they can eradicate this and make him better and live for the next 10 20 yrs or how ever long. Each person loves their Dad and each Dad is special to people and if I was to write up how much I love him and how much he has done for me and helped me and everything I would be hear all night I just hope and pray I am just off to sleep now as I finish this it is now 3.15am that he will be al-right, I did read about BHP or something which means it could be benign or something that their is just tissue growing that can increase PSA levels as to how accurate that information is on the internet I dont know,

Please if anyone can reply, Kongo etc I have seen your posts and its people like you that can help so many people,

Please reply anyone if you can,

Gary.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1545
Joined: Nov 2010

Gary

I am sorry to read about your father’s recurrence. Your family is worried but as you all have learnt from ten years ago, to have prostate cancer is not equal to a death sentence.
Recurrence is always possible to happen, however, as at the initial detection, we have weapons to fight the “bandit”, and your father will knock it down again.
You can continue with your plans because the problem will be managed for many more years. You can care for your father from your new place and you can give him affection visiting your parents and being in constant contact. Surely that decision is very private of yours and your decision is the best.

I hope Kongo and others will give you their opinion on your daddys’ case. Meanwhile you could get familiar with the meaning of “recurrence” and how the problem can be address (type of salvage treatments).
You can read on the matter here;

http://prostatecancer.about.com/od/symptomsanddiagnosis/a/recurrence.htm
http://www.health-articles-news.com/prostate-cancer-treatment-for-those-with-recurrent-prostate-cancer
http://www.hisprostatecancer.com/salvage-radiation.html
http://esciencenews.com/articles/2008/06/17/radiation.treatment.cancer.after.radical.prostatectomy.linked.with.increased.survival

MRI is a good test to judge about localized recurrence. However, your father should be recommended a bone scan to verify for probable metastasis at distant places too.
Radiation (salvage radiotherapy) is a good modality to care for recurrence but if the tests confirm metastasis, your father needs treatment to systemic cases with hormonal treatment or in a combination of both.

I would suggest your father to meet the previous doctor or get test results he have done during the ten years in remission. It is common for us survivors to have constant follow-ups on the progress of the treatment. I believe that the PSA of 4.5 has not spiked instantaneously. It may have progressed along a period of time and that information (PSADT) with other elements (Gleason pattern, etc.) will be important for decisions in the following steps of treatment.
You could try to gather as must information as possible.

Your daddy should get informed on the side effects from treatments and how to handle them. Diet and physical exercises are important elements in the care of PCa. There is a good book I recommend you to obtain as reference for similar cases. “Beating Prostate Cancer: Hormonal Therapy & Diet” by Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Myers. You can get copies (used or new) from Amazon site.

I was found with prostate cancer eleven years ago. I also had Radical Prostatectomy and later recurrence, which was tackled with salvage radiations. In 2010 I got recurrence again and now I am on hormonal therapy. In future if the treatment stops working (maybe in ten years) I plan to manage the case with a second line of hormonal treatment before I start chemo. I believe it will take twenty years before I become dependent on others for my daily life.

I hope my insight is of help to you.
Wishing your family the best.

VGama
(Algarve, Portugal)

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi VGama,

Thank you so much for replying I will have to stay strong for Mam & Dad, Mam doesnt know what is happening and thinks the MRI scan will come back negative but I am trying to prepare her to let her know that something will show up as that is why his PSA level is 4.5,
The specialist looked at the notes and in 2004 his PSA was 2.3 or something not to sure but he said that should of been spotted immediately and something done that brings us up to 2011 and it is 4.5 but I am thinking that is a very low increase in that amount of time which in turn will give Daddy the greatest possible outcome which means another 20 years left, of course I will never be prepared for the news if the MRI or anything shows that it has spread that is what I am dreading, so I am hoping it is just around that area where he had it removed.

When the rectal exam was done on Wednesday the doctor did feel something like the other Doctor who referred him (his new Doctor)I have read up and they are feeling for nodules is it? are these basically Tumors?

In your own case VGama, was the radiation really bad did you sleep all the time as I have read or will Dad be ok he could do with resting any ways as he is under so much stress, the irony of it all is over the past 2 years he has been driving a mini bus of cancer patients for the last 2 years and he collects them and brings them for treatment this is all voluntary and there is other drivers to but little did I think he would have to go through it himself.

You have no idea how much even replying to me knowing well the fact you went through this yourself and are still going through it again I don't know your age Dad is 65 going on 66,
I said to Mam today I will be treating you both to a Sun holiday at Christmas as I hope Daddy will be finished treatment then as it will probably be 12 weeks Monday - Friday that's what the specialist said which we both will be there for him every step of the way.

Its not easy as I am trying to support Mam also as she is obviously angry and said If I had known this was going to happen 10 years later I wouldn't of let him have the operation 10 years ago to which I said to her he is lucky he did have that as now in my own mind there is a 95% chance Dad will be fully better and continue living a normal and the Doctors will now monitor him closely and he can be safe in the knowledge that he will make a full recovery.

I am thinking about the moving out its not a simple move out as myself and my partner like I have said are purchasing a house and I am just fearing the worst and all the what ifs, but Dad wants to do work for us in the house but doesn't know how I am feeling since getting this news as last week I was all excited that they knew our offer was accepted on the house now I am not excited and dont really care its a house but I hope if we do go ahead for this house it will be good for them both knowing I am always there for them its just I dont want them upset I am away as that what will happen as if Dad is asleep all the time Mam will have no one to chat to and will be worrying all the time as she is a nervous reck and always have been even before this news as she relys so much on Daddy ie for everything getting shopping etc etc,

Ill just pray and pray and pray that the MRI scan shows something tiny and something that with Radiation will be gone before we know it and his PSA drops back to normal I think thats why he would need the treatment as its a matter of getting the PSA back to normal maybe I am wrong but that's why I told Mam he will need treatment as it wont go down on its own.

I will have a look for that book for definite but having something like this and you replying means so much to me so thank you,

Best Wishes,

Gary.

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

Your family is definetly wise in following up on your dad's situation. Sorry to read about the recurrance. Unfortuantely their are only two things that make PSA....The prostate or Prostate cancer cells. So as you know this is a reccurance with a PSA at 4.5.
The task at hand now is to find where the reccurance is.

At 65 and with either radiation or hormone therapy your dad should be able to bring the PSA down. My mother went through radation for Breast cancer at age 70 and it did tire her some but not to the extent of being bed ridden.

Be there as much as you can for your mom and dad. If you did move out of home how far would you be from them?

Please keep us posted as how he does.

Larry age 56 prostate cancer survivor

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi Larry,

So nice for you to reply,
If I move out it is into a new home and it is 45 minutes drive, Mam & Dad saw the house and they love it as we waited for a year for it as the company had trouble etc and then we had to wait and about 5 weeks ago we got the good news in getting it and we bought Mam and Dad out for a meal on Sunday last week to tell them the good news only to get this news on Wednesday which was a shock which I wasn't prepared for, so now is the decision to go ahead or not as I don't know should I continue to live here or commute as much as possible when they need me,

I hope the MRI scan can actually show it hasnt moved or spread and there is something tiny there that will be zapped with Radiation which would be my dream come true as I am 30 in August so from what was going to be a party I am now just going to have a meal instead as I don't need to celebrate anything except having my family around me and I would prefer it etc...

Thank you so much for your reply and I really hope you are on the mend to as its good to hear from other people going through the exact same thing that Daddy is going through.

Best Wishes,

Gary.

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

Gary,

I'm sorry to hear of your father's condition and the anxiety it has caused your family. From what you described in your posts, it would appear that your father's prostate cancer has returned after his prostatectomy several years ago. This is evidenced by his rising PSA scores and the lumps felt during his rectal exam which are likely small tumors growing in the prostate bed where small amounts of prostate tissue remained after his surgery. Prostate cancer recurrence is not unusual and for men who have surgery, about 35% see a recurrence within 10 years.

Since your father has had his prostate removed, your guess that his present condition might be BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia -- an enlarged prostate) is off the mark. As others have pointed out, the only thing that generates PSA in men is a normal healthy prostate, inflamed prostate cells, or prostate cancer. It is unlikely that the small amount of prostate tissue usually left behind after surgery is the cause of the PSA readings your father is seeing now and the scores would certainly not be rising from benign cells remaining in the prostate bed area.

On the positive side, the PSA scores you describe indicate a very slow growing cancer which is much less of a threat than what many men experience who see a very rapid rise in their PSA scores when the cancer recurs. A MRI exam will help the doctors judge the extent of the cancer today and enable them to develop a treatment plan best suited for your father's condition.

In the United States the usual treatment for recurring prostate cancer is radiation to the prostate bed and hormone therapy. Sometimes these treatments are used in conjunction with each other. Hormone therapy blocks the production of testosterone in the male body, most of which is produced in the testes. Prostate cancer needs testosterone to grow so the theory is that halting the cancer growth while radiating the cancerous cells to damage their DNA to prevent cancer cell mitosis (mitosis is when the cells divide)is an effective treatment.

Although I have spent much enjoyable time exploring your beautiful country I don't know anything about the Irish health care system or what standard treatments for your father may involve. I know you are doing research on options and I encourage you to continue this course.

Your local doctors should have picked up on the rising PSA score back in 2004 and addressed it then. The fact that they didn't may mean that your family doctor is not well trained in prostate cancer treatment. This is all the more reason for you and your father to educate yourself thoroughly on prostate cancer and understand what the medical tests mean and what the treatments involve, including of course, likely side effects. Regardless of the whether or not your doctors are expert about prostate cancer or your local health facilities are as modern and fully equipped as the hospital in Dublin, your father's health is his responsibility and the choices he must make are his alone. Only an educated patient can get the best possible outcomes. From what you describe, you have made a good start in this direction and I hope your father is fully involved as well and not hanging the burden of this entirely on you, which can be an enormous load for an adult child to bear.

Regarding radiation and hormone treatments. Most radiation today to treat recurring prostate cancer than is confined to the bed of the prostate consists of about 45 sessions where a small fraction of the total radiation is delivered each day. This system of delivery is highly accurate and minimizes radiation to surrounding organs and tissue. Each man reacts to radiation treatment in different ways and the general health of the patient to begin with is an important factor. In my own case, I never experienced any fatigue but I had radiation from a different system delivered in five sessions although the total dosage was higher. Some men to experience mild fatigue toward the end of their course of treatment and most of the men I know who have undergone this simply take a nap in the afternoon (not a bad thing at all) and the condition usually passes within a few weeks to a month. Some men also experience some urinary discomfort or a sense of urgency or needing to urinate more frequently. This too passes within a few weeks and can be treated with drugs such as Flomax or in mild cases, Advil. Hormone treatment, depending on the drug used, can have several types of side effects including swelling at the point of injection, hot flashes, breast enlargement, and loss of sexual desire or libido. Some men experience little if any side effects from hormone treatment. If your father's doctors suggest HT, make sure you and your father fully understand the potential side effects of the particular drug proposed.

It's important not to panic and there is really no need to over worry excessivly about this now. Even in men with recurring prostate cancer, life expectancies exceed 10 years even without treatment. Overwhelmingly, men with prostate cancer die from heart disease (unrelated to cancer) not the cancer and from the conditions you describe in your father, he is most likely looking to many, many more satisfying years.

Hope this helps, Gary. Best of luck to you and your family.

K

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Kongo,

Thank you so much for replying he is very frustrated that it wasnt picked up in 2004 its the other surgeon up in Dublin and his new Doctor had said it to him and he should of had the treatment in 2004 etc...
I am keeping Dad informed I have just asked him and the Prosectomy was done in November 2001, so I think he is doing well and I hope the chance like you said of survival is 100%.
I told him about the hormone treatment also and he said no he will refuse to do that as does not want to grow breasts etc but depending on the MRI scan it might be very small what ever is inside him that he might only need a small bit of hormone treatment again I dont know.

Can you explain how it works once something is found in the MRI scan. Dad is worried it has spread to other organs and thats whats making him anxious and me as when that is the case the dangers are more greater so in my own heart I am praying it is just around where he had the operation in 2001 then I will be happy. Thank you for clearing up about it being benign I was unsure etc.
But once something is found they will tell Daddy where it is and then mark him and explain he will get radiation is that correct?
Will they take another PSA test before starting treatment and will they give him the full treatment ie 12 weeks and how soon after that will they test his PSA. Does that kill all the cells that are cancerous and then it begins again ie in another 5 or 6 years the tissues reactivate and it starts again and then you look at treatment again or once the radiation zaps it is it going to be under 1 then his PSA level etc?

I went to my own Doctor that same day as we were home early from Dublin which is state of the art the facilities up there but if he is getting radiation he will be getting it done in Waterford which is where myself and my partners new house is, but he will get a bus up and down each day as that is the bus he used to volunteer for also and help out the patients so if anything he knows exactly what needs to be done but he has told me today,
dont stay here and worry yourself and not move into your new house I will be looking forward to seeing you and it will be good for me an Mam to go down and see you and you come up etc dont think you have to wait until I am finished treatment I will be grand (although I can tell he is a nervous reck as would anyone and I am sure everyone who has replied to me who has had it including you Kongo were nervous) but its making me feel better talking to you all knowing well that your all still alive and doing well, its like something you have to live with but once it is treated you just keep an eye on it,

His own Dad had it but died at 78 so of course when I am 40 I am now going on 30 I will be getting tested for it of course I will get tested sooner if anyone on here recommends me to do so but he didn't die from prostate I think he died from lung or heart trouble I am unsure but lived until 78.

So after posting on here I will keep you all updated he will hopefully get the letter from the hospital in Dublin on Monday I dont know how soon they will send him for the MRI scan if they saw him on Wednesday just gone I am hoping it is very soon so he can start treatment etc and then get rid of the cancer for good.

Kongo I really appreciate as do I with anyone who posts on here to me as no matter what age you are I am a child still to them an adult one but one that always is close to my Parents and not only are we dealing with this but his other son (my brother) knows nothing about Dads ilness as he is not diagnosed yet but suffers from Bi-Polar or something like it as there are text messages that come to Dads phone that call him a "sick B*****rd" "wasteful dad" "dont text or call me again or I will call the police" "your nothing but scum" all messages like this so between that and this it is difficult but he has said he doesnt want to hear from Mam or Dad and he will let them know when hes dead (ie my brother said when he himself dies he will let them know) its things like that have made us realise he is unwell and is treating his own condition as he does not know what he is suffering from as he thinks everyone is against him its hurtful on Dad and Mam.

So we are staying well out of his life now and all I want is to have Dad well for Christmas and the Doctors to give him the good news that all the cells have been destroyed and we will be watching you every 6 months now but you can enjoy your life and retirement as we have caught it in time.

Thats my Birthday wish (13th August I will be 30) and also my Christmas Wish,

Thank you everyone,

Gary.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1545
Joined: Nov 2010

Gary

Thanks for the beautiful words.
I sense that you know that you are not alone in this difficult moment in your life. Many here will help you to understand the causes of the problem and many will guide you with their experiences. Just be positive.

I am 61 years old, retired and I am enjoying my “free” time under the sunshine of the Algarve. On weekends I enjoy golf with my best buddy Liam, an Irish citizen, and during the week I do some gardening, walk my dog “Fellow” (7Km) and do some oil painting. Wine is good and life is supper, and my treatment is working as demonstrated by the PSA now at 0.05 level.

I have been a lucky survivor of prostate cancer with mild side effects, even after enduring two failed treatments. Radical prostatectomy gave me ED (sex never returned to normalcy level but it still exists) and salvage radiotherapy gave me only the symptom of partial loss in rectum sensation when passing stool. Though, I never had incontinence problems (urine or stool).

The radiotherapy was simple and not scary at all. The treatment was done in a modern IMRT facility in 37 fractions, every day except Sundays (Total dosage of 68Gys). The daily sections become a kind of a routine. One hour in advance I would drink lots of water to fill the bladder (it helps in minimizing the side effects), and then I would drive to the clinic (50km far from my house). There, I would dress a light gown and lay face up on the machine’s stretcher while the beam head would move around me stopping here and there to deliver the rays. All actions and movements were controlled by the staff in their computer screens live, in a separate room. Each section would take approximately 15 to 20 minutes (2 to 4 minutes under radiation). I never felt fatigue (played golf on weekends) or nausea or anything that impaired my daily routine. I had a sensation of burning pain on my fifths’ week of treatment when urinating and the stool became much liquefied with traces of blood (proctitis), although no skin burning marks. These side effects were treated with separate medicines in two months post treatment, and they never come back.

Your daddy will do well too. His cancer does not seem to be aggressive because the doubling time PSADT is very long (over 70 months). The MRI may be negative for any metastases but I hope the doctors can locate the tumour and radiate it for good. There are established protocols to follow in cases similar to your fathers’ even if no spots are shown in the image studies. Expect the best and that will happen with or without spots.
Surely the doctors will check on the advance of the cancer through PSA tests. They usually take one before starting the treatment and then every three months post treatment.
Remember that the success of the treatment depend very must on the quality of the equipment delivering the radiation and of the radiologist experience. Try to investigate about the facilities where your father could get the treatment and check for the equipment specifications (Model, Years in use, Software, etc.) as well as about the curriculum of the doctors and their team.

Give a hug to your mother. She is feeling hopelessness for the problem affecting your father. Cancer chooses no boundaries. We are all affected but we should learn how to continue a normal life living with the culprit.
Your father may be saddened if he finds out that you gave up with your “dream” plan of acquiring a house, because of his cancer. I think you will find an answer in discussions on the matter with your mother. She is the best to help you in that decision.

I wish you find that peace of mind.
The best to your family.
VGama

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

Gary,

I would suggest that your father keep an open mind about hormone treatment. While HT alone won't cure cancer, when it is used in conjunction with radiation treatment it has been shown to be more effective in most cases than radiation alone. The percentage of men who "grow breasts" or have other ill effects is very, very small and you should listen carefully to what the medical teams explain to you about its potential benefits as well as possible side effects. At this point, I don't believe it is prudent to make decisions on preconceived notions that have no basis in fact. Education is the key here, not myths and folklore.

The MRI will help to pinpoint the area of where new tumors are growing. Keep in mind that prostate cancer, like many other types of cancer, is inherently metastatic. This means that it almost always tends to spread and it does this by cancer cells traveling through the blood stream and lymph system in the body. Fortunately for us, most of these cells are attacked and destroyed by the body's immune system and never pose a problem. Those that do tend to take root in other organs (liver, lung, and bones are favorite places for prostate cancer) tend to grow very slowly (the histology of prostate cancer is greater than 50 years) so those of us who have it eventually end up passing on from some other malady.

What the MRI will most likely be able to pinpoint is where most of the cancerous prostate cancer cells are clustered near where the prostate used to be. This information enables the doctors to develop a radiation plan to target these areas so that the cancer cells can be destroyed. Radiaton does not kill cancer cells immediately. The radiation damages the DNA in the cell making continued growth of the cancer cell through division impossible. Since cancer cells live for a long time (about 18 months on average) it takes some time for the radiation to have effect and sometimes it takes a couple of generations of cancer cells to pass by before the effect is fully felt.

Radiation to the cancer tumors detected by the MRI is no guarantee that eventually microscopic cells undetected by the MRI in different areas of the body won't grow and start a PSA rise all over again. There is always a possibility that some other cancer might develop that is unrelated to prostate cancer but life is uncertain at best.

The doctors should take a PSA test just before the treatment to establish a baseline. Typically they wait six to eight weeks following treatment to begin PSA testing again. After radiation the PSA levels gradually drop to some low level and remain there. Typcally this number is less than 0.1 ng/ml for a man who has had his prostate removed. It might take a year or so to reach this level for the reasons described above.

Many of us who have had prostate cancer cast a critical eye at our diet and in particular, our dairy intake. Many studies have shown that dairy products contain chemical compounds that accelerate cancer growth. In my own case, I eliminated dairy completely shortly after my diagnosis and my PSA dropped from 4.2 to 2.3 in six weeks. Meat products, particularly beef raised and slaughtered in large feed lots such as they have in the United States, also contain growth hormones that promote cancer growth. Most doctors are not trained on the impact of diet and nutrition on cancer so I would encourage you to do your own research on this. In particular, I would recommend you and your father read a book by Professor Jane Plant titled: Prostate Cancer--Understand, Prevent, Overcome. Professor Plant lives in London so I would think you could find it in Ireland easily or you could order it online. This book takes a very thorough look at the impact of dairy products on prostate cancer and is something you and your father should pay attention to. It makes no sense at all to me to treat your cancer and then continue a diet that can cause it to start up again. Something to think about.

I know your part of Ireland well. My son spent a year at UCC Cork during a study abroad program and of course I've been to the crystal factory in Waterford as well as the Jameson distillery nearby. I liked the distillery much more than the crystal factory.

Best,

K

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

I have just talked to my Dad and as much as I hate talking about it I need to let him know he will be fine and he is the type of person that always remains positive and is always the life and soul of any party so I am sure he will be soon again once treatment finishes.
I have just mentioned the Dairy thing to him and 10 years ago when he asked the surgeon and speciliast he said drink a glass of red wine each day (he hasnt) and he said nothing else about how to lower your PSA etc so from what you have said you have been there done that and Mam is on my side and is thinking more positive with regards the Dairy and will follow it.

I have bought Pomegranate Juice it has 48% and then you dilute it in water if anyone knows another one to get please do let me know, But regards the Dairy and stopping everything please advise...

He drinks Tea with milk is this ok?
Do you cut out a glass of milk with your dinner?
Do you cut out all red meats so no steak, no beef, no lamb chops or roast lamb etc?
Do you cut out all eggs so no boiled eggs, no egg mayonnaises, no scrambled eggs etc

Change to Chicken - Fish - Pork etc...

Advice on what he should be doing now and if that will help lower his PSA etc and help him improve faster like you said Kongo no point in doing treatment if things like dairy can effect you this way...

I have also mentioned again about the Hormone treatment all he is worried about is growing boobs etc, My Dad would not be as slim as the average man he is carrying extra weight so I hope that wont have any negative effect on him but I doubt it will.
Side effects for hormone treatment as well as Radiation I dont actually know except it lowers the Testostrone in the man but Dad thinks you would be on it for life? I said I dont think you would be I think you just take a tablet once a day while on the Radiation Treatment to help with the Radiation again I dont think they mentioned this to him yet but if they do suggest it is the best approach Id rather trust them and trust you on here who have said this,

I will move and make Dad & Mam proud in the new house and it will be good for them both to travel down to me as I will be in the same area if he chooses to get treated there and I will make sure to look after him completely along with Mam and will remain strong, I did cry on Wednesday without my Dad seeing and again Thursday and then Today it just is coming on me in waves but since I have come home from town and read your posts its actually making me feel well this is what we have to do, this will give you the best outcome, all these people Dad who have replied (he cant use a pc or laptop) have gone through exactly the same thing as what you will be going through and you will be fine and Im sure your own families were just as worried about you as I am for my Dad but I really am thankful to of even found this site it seriously has put my mind at so much ease I cannot thank you all enough...

I am just so delighted that you are on here posting for other people who are going through the exact same thing and I am presuming you are all the same age as my Dad 65 (66 in November) or around the same area,

If you can let me know the Dairy things to stop I will be letting him know immediately,

Thank you all so much,

Gary.

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

Gary,
As you can tell you have found a great sight here with all of our support from those that have been down this path before. There are even woman on the forum who's husbands/boyfriends or other family members have had prostate cancer. They can lend support to your mother if she needs to talk also.

Your fears and crying are normal so don't worry about that at all. I think you moving will actually be good. With you in a location not to far away they can look forward to you visiting them and their visits to you!

For diet changes each person has different opinions if they will do any good or not. Myself when I found out about my prostate cancer I immediately eliminated all RED MEAT. I've gone over 2 years now with out red meat. I eat only Chicken and seafood. Some lamb on occasion - perhaps two or three times per year. I had not used eggs or milk for a very long time. I will eat cheese on occasion. The only eggs or milk I have are if the recipe calls for them in something that I eat.

I've started eating more soy products such as tofu. I'm using several different capsules of items as follows: Pomegranite capsules (This is less expensive then drinking the juice),
Acai Berry Capsules, Green Tea (decaffinated) in a capsule, Green barley in capsules. This can all be purchased on line or in a health food store in a larger city.

Is any of this doing any good? I don't know for a fact but I can tell you that pre-surgery I was a gleason grade 7 with a PSA of 5.4. In august 2011 I will be 24 months post treatment. After my surgery the doctor told me that I had a 'positive margin' THis means that cancer cells were found to the very edge of the specimens removed at surgery. Is some cancer still lingering in me? I don't know but so far my PSA Levels have been 0.
By having my PSA checked frequently If I get a rise I will know immediately and then can start a followup treatment plan such as Radiation.

If possible perhaps you could ask your father or look for his medical records from 10 years ago to determine the extent of the cancer back then. They should have given him a PSA level before surgery and what is called a gleason Score. Usually made up of two numbers such as 3+3 (Gleason 6) Or 4+3 (Gleason 7) etc. The higher the number the more aggressive the cancer was as his original diagnosis.

As pointed out though it does appear his reccurance is a slow doubling which is good.

Did you know that Monday June 6 is Cancer survivor day here in the United States? Perhaps around the world. You will have many more years ahead with your father. My own dad was diagnosed with Prostate cancer in 1997 and is doing fine and as mentioned earlier my mother with breast cancer and my favorite aunt with Cancer in her lymph system. That's 4 of us that are Cancer survivors with many, many more around the world!

Have a good weekend!

Larry age 56

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

I never new you could get Pomegranite capsules so will definitely be getting those, And the other capsules to should I get the 4 of them are they excellent?, I have just asked my Dad and his Gleason Score was 5, 10 years ago when he has the prosectomy which Dad said the surgeon said that was quite high, I will tell him about cutting out all red meats if possible he can its just a matter of being strict and changing your diet to actually eat other things but he does love roast beef and horseradish sauce and also he loves his lamb cutlets or chops with mint sauce so it means from what you are all saying cut them out completely which will be difficult for him, is mayonnaise also a no no with regards salad etc...

I didnt know about Monday being Cancer survivor day, I am so glad your family are doing so well it means allot to me even though I dont know you we are all connected as one I always feel.

Best Wishes,

Gary.

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1306
Joined: Apr 2009

the first Sunday of June

http://www.ncsdf.org/Pages/AboutNCSD.html

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

Gary,

Everything is relative but if you're going to really do the dairy thing, I recommend that you go cold turkey (an American expression) and eliminate ALL dairy, which includes milk with his tea, cheese, ice cream, yogurts, and so forth. You have to read labeling on food packages because dairy is in a lot of processed foods these days.

Instead of cow's milk, you might want to try soy milk with the tea or coffee or with a meal. I particularly enjoy vanilla flavored soy milk. Our taste buds completely change out every ten days or so which means that even if he doesn't like it at first within a week or so he won't even notice the slight change in taste. I also like almond milk, rice milk, and coconut milk. They also make no dairy cheeses, ice creams, sour cream, and so forth. I find them all quite tasty and didn't have a problem giving up dairy at all even though I was a huge cheese lover.

Please don't just take my word for it, do the research and reading on your own. If you understand the science behind the diet it will make a lot more sense.

I have pretty much gone completely vegan which is ALL meat products. I read a book several months ago called "The China Study" by a Dr. Campbell which lays out a compelling argument for going toward a plant based diet. My goal is to keep the protien from animal based products (including eggs and fish) to less than 10% overall. Studies cited in The China Study show that if you keep your animal protien to less than 10% of your total diet that cancers will actually reverse. If you have more than 15% of your protien come from animals the studies show that cancers begin to grow again. Besides cancer, a plant based diet also shows strong evidence of eliminating or reducing the effects of a host of other modern diseases such as MS, heart disease, dementia, lupus, and so forth. The old adage of "you are what you eat" makes more and more sense.

I do eat fish occasionally in small portions but always ensure it's either ocean fish or organically raised without growth hormones or other artificial additives. Instead of meat I mostly eat soy products (they make meat substitues with soy that taste like meat and have the same consistency), nuts, legumes, and so forth. I avoid eating eggs, even organic eggs, but will occasionally have scrambled eggs using a product like Egg Beaters (which I don't know if they have in Ireland but I am sure there is some sort of egg substitute there).

If you do eat meat, think about significantly reducing the amount of meat you intake and always try to get the organic products that are not bolstered by artificial growth hormones. These hormones pass through the animal directly to us when we eat them and many of these growth additives that make them fat and juicy accelerate cancer growth because of something known as Insulin Growth Hormones (IGFs) in these products.

Instead of using milk in baking I've found that you can do just as well with rice milk, soy milk, or almond milk although some recipies may require a bit of experimenting to get the right amounts. There are vegan cookbooks that can better explain how to do this.

I just got back from a week in the UK and found vegan restaurants and stores everywhere, even in the small villages. I'm sure it's similar in Ireland. Check it out in your local area.

Make sure, if your father decides to go down this path, that he explains his diet to his doctor.

Pomegranite juice is great for you but be careful in taking it if your father is on any chlorestoral medicine like Lipitor or Crestor. If he is on any of these drugs be sure to ask the doctor before guzzling down the juice as it can interfere with the drug and actually cause liver damage. (It works great in a Cosmopolitan martini too...)

BTW, I'm 60, which is a lot closer to your father's age than 30 but don't give up on teaching him how to use a computer so he can do his own research. You may be surprised at how smart some of us old folks can be if you give us a chance.

Best,

K

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Awww bless ya for letting me know I will tell him all this and hopefully then he will begin to understand it and cut out the dairy, On Wednesday when Dad found out it was basically straight to the car as me and Matt drove him up, but I didnt get to talk to anyone nor did anyone explain to me what happend except Dad said they are sending me for an MRI scan which luckily I had prepared for that, as before Dad even went up I had told them both dont be surprised if they want to send you for an MRI to get checked fully as they might find something when you get to Dublin so Im happy in one way as this is the case that he will be getting a full screening rather then just sit back and wonder am I alright without him knowing his PSA was 4.5 etc so in one way Im happy to know he is in the best hands and they will be doing everything smoothly and routinely and will get him back to full health and his PSA decreases back to 0 that is one wish I am praying for and in my Heart I feel it will come true and for Mams sake also, its times like this I think what a wonderful Dad I have and Husband to Mam yes we all have our problems and with what is going on with my Brother at the moment is not easy but he will have to take control of his own life the same way as Dad is now in control of his life and will get the treatment he needs, My plan is to start saving once I move to New House and send them both off on a foreign holiday at Christmas I am presuming if this month is June he will be finished by then I dont know when the MRI scan will be I am hoping its next week so everything gets moving...

Best Wishes,

Gary

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

You were right!!!
Dad is actually on tablets which I didnt know and he said that he can take the juice if he doesnt take the tablets with it is that right? the stuff I bought is 46% and you dilute it and it makes up to 5 litres, but Larry who posted here also said you can get them in Capsule formula would they also be dangerous if he is on the tablets again I dont know the name of them he will check in the morning.

Just said I would let you know Kongo, you definitely know your stuff are you in the medical field yourself or just have read an awful lot about this?

Best wishes,

Gary.

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

Gary, I'm not a doctor but my understanding is that you shouldn't drink the juice while on certain types of chloresterol medication. Each drug is different so your father should really talk to his doctor about it. You might also try researching the brand name of the drug on the internet...there is usually a lot of information about what potential side effects are and what you should or should not take with it. Good luck.

K

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1306
Joined: Apr 2009

"His own Dad had it but died at 78 so of course when I am 40 I am now going on 30 I will be getting tested for it of course I will get tested sooner if anyone on here recommends me to do so but he didn't die from prostate I think he died from lung or heart trouble I am unsure but lived until 78."

Various organizations recommend testing at age 40, however many believe that one need to be tested at an earlier age, mainly to have a base line...there is a 35 year old prostate cancer patient where I am being treated. if I was your age, and in a high risk group as you, I would be tested at age 35 or earlier. It is important to keep all records of your medical visits for future reference.

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi hopeful,
Thank you so much I will do that and just get checked just so I can say I have had the test etc, I always wonder why can we be tested for everything when you give blood it would not be viable I know but would be amazing if machine can do 1000 tests at the time of the blood sample,

Best Wishes,
Gary

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Around a year ago or 2 years ago I think it was a year ago Dad had something removed from behind his ear as the doctor was not happy with it so it got removed would that be something to be alarmed about now or is it when something happens that is cancerous it is treated on site etc so this is just a new cancer now that I have mentioned which will be picked up by the MRI...

Best Wishes,

Gary.

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1306
Joined: Apr 2009

when something is removed, the tissue is sent to a pathologist to determine whether or not it is cancerous.

It is possible that there can be an infection as a result of the removal.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1545
Joined: Nov 2010

Gary,

I like to see you so involved in the care of your daddy. His success will be closer with a son so excellent helping in the care of his case.
You could do researches on your own investigating facts done from studies whose abstracts are public at these reliable sites;
http://www.medscape.com
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Regarding PSA and treatment of PCa, you may realize that by changing diets or using supplements that lower the PSA it does not mean that your father is cured. The only possible way to get rid of the cancer is with salvage radiotherapy that will destroy the cells’ DNA with powerful rays, “burning” them to death.
Hormonal treatment or to a certain extent some sort of supplements are palliative treatments that will pin-down the cancer but one does not know when it will recur.
The side effects from hormonal drugs differ widely dependent on the medication used. The “heavy” duty drug LHRH agonist which is the primer on the treatment do not cause the “real” breast enlargement. DES type drugs are the culprit to such side effect.
You can read about details by googling on the above sites and you can have references to diet, supplements and their effects in the book of Dr. Myers I posted above.

The PSA after SRT will go down to nadir no matter the value of the PSA. However, in cases without prostate (your father’s and mine) the PSA should be kept lower than 0.10 ng/ml. My nadir took 13 months to reach a level of 0.05.

Regarding MRI, this test is done with a target. This time the MRI for your father is to check localized areas close to the prostatic fossa. Therefore it will only show the pelvic and lower abdomen areas. The problem at the ears, if any, is not related to prostate cancer.

I think that the majority of statins (drugs for the control of cholesterol) in Europe are based on “simvastatin”. This medication is sold generic under the same name or under the trade names of Zocor, Simlup, Simcard, Simvacor, etc. You can check the drugs contents in the description written on the drugs box or asking at the pharmacy.

They all are the same drug with the same prohibitions in regards to reaction to other chemical compounds in drinks or in supplements. Lower doses such as 5 mg to 10 mg daily have little effect if the patient is taking grapefruit. In higher doses over 40 mg daily, grapefruit juice could cause problems in the liver. The reason is that our body cannot metabolize the drug fully for the lack of the enzyme (cP450) which grapefruit inhibits. Too much of the drug (daily) will “flood” the liver and cause it to failure.

Crestor and Lipitor (commented by Kondo) are statins made of different medication (rosuvastatin and atorvastatin). Our liver can metabolize better the rosuvastatin at low levels of the enzyme which makes this drug friendly even if one takes grapefruit juice or supplements.
You can investigate by googling in the above sites.

Hope you are more composed and that you too are becoming acknowledge with the matters of prostate cancer.

Take care.
VGama

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

I am feeling better knowing you are all here for me and can let me know more then I could ever know with regards medicine etc VGama and Kongo I really appreciate your indept responses and you have either studied medicine or are doctors because you both are seriously amazing, I will check his medicine today to see what it is and will let you know, since I bought the juice 2 days ago he is just having a glass of it in the evening.
Once he starts the treatment for the 3 months it is a waiting game then to know if it has worked is it or will Dad get some good news sooner that his PSA is going down will they do another MRI scan after all treatment to make sure nothing cancerous is remaining or can they tell that from the PSA results.
He went out last night and was speaking with his Brother as he will be letting them know and I gave him some money to go out as he told his Brother when he rang he has none which is true so I said Id give him some money. Once he starts treatment will that break that he usually has on a Friday stop completely? or can he continue to have 3 pints on a Friday or will he be to tired etc?

I am going to google the sites you mentioned VGama today and read up more on it, he is having a lie in this morning as what happens to Daddy is he will just be awake at night time as he will be worried and find it hard to sleep and thats why he is having a lie in now as he is probably just worried as we dont know when he will be checked in for the MRI I am hoping it is next week so we can look after him and bring him to it.

Regarding the MRI they will only do it based around that area is that correct? they wont do his chest, legs, arms etc I have read other people saying if it has spread to the bone etc I think thats what Dad might think as when he was told he has to go for the MRI he thinks it might of spread but having spoken to you I am feeling better that it is more then likely the exact same place as where he had the operation just on the bed of it so I do understand why they will just check that with the MRI I just think silly sometimes and thinking they will do his whole body.

Best Wishes,
Gary.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1545
Joined: Nov 2010

Gary
You daddy can continue to have his “3 pints” on Fridays, unless his doctor gives him medications or recommends him to stop drinking. Salvage radiation does not cause serious fatigue effects. He may experience same fatigue at the end of the therapy but nothing so abnormal.
I always enjoyed my red wine with meals and a cold white in the afternoons.
He should not drink excessively and the diet should be balanced with vegetables and fruits.

Metastases to bone are usually found with a bone scan. This is a test that would show spots of cancer in the whole body skeleton. MRI is for localized areas and it permits to check for deformations/spots in the organs, etc.

You can make a list of questions, even if they seem "odd" and give them to your father so he will enquire when he meets his doctor.

Take care.
VG

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Is the reason why they are doing an MRI scan is after they done the Rectal examination and felt something they are only treating it as Localised so hence the MRI scan will show some cells in the Prostate bed etc, With regards the bone scan they will not do this right? I dont feel it has but just want to make sure what you would recommend but with his PSA being 4.5 and just the nodule felt I think that is why it is just an MRI scan,

Best Wishes,
Gary.

Ps he will be delighted that he can still go out with his brother on a Friday obviously just to relax and remain calm etc the more normal his life is the better and then once I move I can look forward to having them come visit me as it will be good for them to spend an hour or 2 in my new place and I can cook dinner etc and make them both feel pampered.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1545
Joined: Nov 2010

Yes Gary
That is exactly what you saying. DRE accused some suspicious deformations at the prostate fossa (area where prostate used to be) therefore they want to take an image of the spots they touched.
In cases of guys with a PSA lower than 10 (your father 4.5) it is quite common that, both MRI and Bone scan are negative to metastases. However, some doctors recommend taking one of this tests (or both) when something suspicious occurs.
They believe that your daddy still have a localized recurrence to which SRT is highly effective. Hope for the best.
Wait for the results and let us know his progress.

VG

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

I will definitely be updating you with the results, My Dad has rang the hospital today to find out when the MRI scan will happen as we are just waiting on the letter and it will probably be here before the end of the week so once he is scheduled in for that I will be letting you all know, this site seriously is just unbelievable and having members as valuable as you guys really is excellent.

Thanks so much VGama for letting me know,
Best Wishes,
Gary.

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

My Dad just had a call from the hospital saying that they are going to do an MRI scan and also a Bone Scan, the last time he had a bone scan 10 years ago it showed up Arthritis on the Spine that's what he told her.

This scan should happen soon as she will be ringing him back or sending out a letter but at least they are checking everything so I am happy, his PSA Level also the full number is 4.62 as he asked her on the phone.

Best Wishes,

Gary.

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1306
Joined: Apr 2009

to have the results of his lsst bone scan for comparison...........additionally, good idea to have a copy of all records.

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

Sometimes the worst part is the waiting and not knowing. At least things are starting to happen now. As all ready suggested see if you can get as much of your fathers previous information from tests, labs etc dealing with his prostate cancer. In the united states we have a HIPAA Privacy law and you may have something similar in your country. He would have to sign stating that you can have access to his records. If you get them keep them and organize for reference as you start this second part of his treatment.

larry (lewvino)

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

I have told Dad what you have said and from previous poster :) and he is off to where he had the operation 10 Years ago to get all this information as it is his information and it is what is needed, I suppose the Bone Scan is routine along with MRI scan but I am impressed from the hospital that they are doing such tests,

Best Wishes,
Gary.

Ps this is a completely different hospital it is a top one in Dublin as where we live is a small town.

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

Glad to hear that he is getting his records! Those are very important to have. As example I wanted to point out that in a previous post you had said that "I have just asked my Dad and his Gleason Score was 5, 10 years ago when he has the prosectomy which Dad said the surgeon said that was quite high"

There are so many numbers to keep up with on prostate cancer. I actually imagine that 10 years ago your fathers PSA was 5 not his Gleason Score. That will be good for you to confirm when you get the records. The Gleason score is made up of two numbers such as 3+3 (6) or 3+4 (7) or say 4+3 (7). The importance of these numbers are on his original diagnosis they would tell you what the most common type of cancer cells were. They are graded on a score of 1-5. 1 looks close to a normal cell where a 5 does not look like a normal cell at all. So with say a 4+3 that means the majority of the cells in the sample were grades as a 4 and the second most common cell types seen were a 3.

My own dad (I believe as I mentioned earlier) was treated in 1997 with a Gleason 6 and he also get's his numbers confused! I was a Gleason 7 - Pre surgery 4+3 (7) from biopsy slides but after surgery and they looked at the entire prostate changed to a 3+4 (7).

Those are both 7's but my post surgery score was slightly better then my pre-surgery.

Larry

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Dad is getting a letter from his Doctor later today and he will go back over all the records this Doctor was not Dads Doctor back then but he hopefully will go back over all the information,

I will let you know later when he has that letter,

Best Wishes,

Gary.

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Dad got the letter from the Doctor and this is what it says,

2001 Cancer of the prostate Gleason gr. 4, Multi-focal, Radical Prostatectomy.

That is what he got off his Doctor today Larry as he can bring this up with him when he goes to hospital it also shows any other illness that he had when he was younger etc like Pneumonia etc...

Best Wishes,

Gary.

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

Gary,

Glad you have received the info. I am not a medical professional but it sounds to me like perhaps in 2001 they only reported the Primary number of Gleason and did not report the secondary grade. I'm sure the doctor can educate you and your father on the terminology of the Gleason gr. 4.

Larry

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Hey Ya,

Nurse called my Dad today and he has to go to Dublin this coming Friday 17th June, For consultation with Urologist and then Bone Scan Monday June 20th, He had one of those 10 Yrs ago the first time so after the Bone Scan I dont know how long it takes for the results? but then he will be having the MRI Scan done hopefully that will happen soon.
Will he be feeling weak after the Bone Scan? Should I go up with him he wants to get the train on his own up to Dublin as he gets Free Travel or could he feel weak after it, he said he will be fine?

Best Wishes,
Gary

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1545
Joined: Nov 2010

abaixo

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1545
Joined: Nov 2010

Gary

The bone scan is a simple test that causes no symptoms (rare cases of reaction against the tracer may occur). Your father will receive an injection in a vein in the arm of a isotope that will give contrast in the image study. The injection will be done about three hours before the scan. Your father has time to visit a friend or do others things in Dublin while waiting for the scan. (maybe read a book about his problem)

I hope you too have researched about the recurrence problem and other matters related to treatments. Have you gotten a copy of Myers’ book?

Just read this article;
http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Bone-Scan.htm

The best to both of you
Vgama

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

That is perfect thank you so much Vgama,
We will go up with him on Monday as once he gets it done he will have to wait 2.5Hrs to 3Hrs before the scan is done, Can I ask is the bone scan results a week after the test or will they know pretty soon if there is any cancerous cells in his bones obviously the best outcome we want is to have no cancerous cells in any of the bone scan so I am praying and keeping my fingers crossed,
Best Wishes,
Gary.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1545
Joined: Nov 2010

Gary
The image (gamma-rays) will be analysed by a specialist (radiologist, etc) in nuclear medicine and the results will be given two or three days later. The hospital in Dublin may be busy so that they may give results later. However you can inquire if they would give you the results by phone.
I hope the results will show nothing which means that your father’s recurrence is localized.

Do not be anxious. The cancer in your father seems to be low aggressive so that there is enough time to check for metastasis and get the best diagnosis. That will lead to a better treatment.

I hope your dream is "alive" and that everything will come as you most wish.

VGama

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Hey Vgama,

Dad is back from his consultation again and the nurse checked him out again and explained what would happen, Monday is the day of the Bone Scan and like you said I am praying that it is localised which in my heart I feel it will be. She also told him where he would be getting treatment and although he wanted it in Waterford which is 40 Minutes away as there is a dedicated bus like I have mentioned before this happened he volunteered driving it, They will be doing the treatment in Dublin which is 1Hr-45Min away but I don't mind as they are looking after him and I am grateful to them all.

They also explained of the accommodation that he can stay in while getting his treatment which provides room for Mam also and while he is getting his treatment he can stay there and go home the weekends and it is difficult to even get in their but the nurse told him you should be no problem and they even provide you with your Breakfast - Dinner - Tea. There is 49 Ensuite bedrooms and I think he will go for this its just a matter of making Mam strong enough as today she even thought he wouldn't have to go for any treatment which I had told her Dad would but it is difficult for all of us but I am seeing this as a blessing in disguise that he is getting treatment now and it was found rather then when he was much older.

The link of where he will be getting his treatment is posted underneath this text and the name of the place they both will be staying is Oakland Lodge.

He wont be getting treated until after the MRI scan is done but it should all move fast then, The nurse mentioned it might be just 6 weeks treatment which would not be as bad.

Thank you Vgama and everyone,

Best Wishes,

Gary.

St Lukes Hospital Dublin And Oakland Lodge
http://www.slh.ie/accommodation.php

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Hey Ya,

Bone Scan is negative Dad got the news today so he is like a different man and is over the moon which next comes the MRI so it will be localized now although daunting I know but at least one thing is out of the way MRI is next before treatment,

Thank you everyone :)

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1545
Joined: Nov 2010

Gary

I am very glad to read your news. This is a relief and a happy moment for your family.
MRI may as well be negative but as you probably have found in your researches, the cancer maybe composed of micro tumours which size cannot be caught within the equipment’s tolerance (<1mm). The same happen in my case. I had micro-metastasis.
I do not know if this applies to your father because the DRE was positive whether in my case it was negative.
Nevertheless, cancer is localized and the doctors (radiologists) will plan a field for the radiation that includes all the spots where the bandit usually hides.

I have searched about the equipment installed at “St Lukes Hospital Dublin And Oakland Lodge”, and I read that they use a modern IMRT/IGRT machine. This is a very reliable way for delivering radiation with precision causing lesser damage (side effects) to surrounding tissue. The staff can check live for any dislocation of close organs such as the bladder and rectum.
(http://www.sightlinehealth.com/cancer-prostate-radiationtherapy.html)
Every day our organs move slightly requiring millimetre adjustment in the radiation field.

In your dad’s next consultation with the radiologist (after MRI) he could ask about the protocol such as; number of sections, total dosage in Grays, planned fields for radiation (include lymph nodes?), list of side effects and how to handle them, etc.
This info is important to keep for future reference and for inclusion in nomograms for biochemical free survival rates.
(http://nomograms.mskcc.org/prostate/)

It seems that all is going according to your wishes and I am very happy about that.

Wishing your dad the best.

VGama

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Thanks so much for your response and so quickly to,
I will tell Dad to ask those questions when you say total dosage in Grays that means the amount of Radiation is it? Will the tiny spots show up on the MRI or will they just presume that that is the offending cause and treat it with Radiation or could the MRI come back negative also?

Thanks so much,
Gary.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1545
Joined: Nov 2010

Gary
Even with negative scans, the increase in PSA is due to cancer recurrence and your father needs to be treated with radiation. The rays will be targeted to the prostate fossa where the doctor has felt the tiny spots and they will also radiate other presumed spots at the pelvic area such as the lynph nodes.

The total dosage is the total amount of radiation applied in the 7 weeks of treatment. Usually the amount is 2Gys per section (daily) which multiplied by the number of sections in 7 weeks (40 days ?) becomes the total amount of (40 x 2) = 80 Grays.

Take care.
VGama

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

I will ask him yup to find that all out,
The MRI should show these tiny spots will it?
Best Wishes,
Gary.

PS MRI SCAN IS BOOKED FOR JULY 28TH HE IS DELIGHTED THEY ARE MOVING SO FAST

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Hey Ya,

I said I would let you know the MRI Scan is on the 28th July 2011 just wondering will it be just around the Prostate now that the Bone Scan was clear, My Dad said that's all it will be will they not just do a full body scan or would that take to long?

Best Wishes,

Gary.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1545
Joined: Nov 2010

Gary
It is unusual to have a MRI of the whole body. MRIs are expensive and done for specific locations to verify for uncommon millimetric deformations in body tissues (organs).
A generalized MRI is directed to cover a portion of the body where that organ is located. In your dad’s case, the doctor wants to check those spots he felt in DRE and the picture on the lower abdomen will also provide a view of the pelvic area where the prostate used to be, the bladder, the urethra and the portion of rectum. This will check for localized metastases. Distant metastases of prostate cancer are common in bone (PCa likes to travel faraway and settle in the skeleton), so doctors perform a bone scintigraphy test of the whole body.

Metastasized Cancer tumours are microscopic cells that cannot be seen by the scans. However, prostate cancer causes lesions in the organs and in bone and that can be caught (such as those tiny spots).

Do your father know already about the side effects from SRT? I would advice him of taking this waiting period to educate himself about the treatment.

I would also recommend you to advance with the request for the treatment. MRI is part of the process but your father is already diagnosed with recurrence for localized cancer (negative bone scan). He should start SRT as soon as he gets the results, but it seems that in Ireland you have to follow doctor’s norms to be admitted for treatment. That may cause unnecessary delays. Just call your dad’s doctor and inquire for a scheduled date for the treatment.

Hope for the best.

VGama

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

As soon as the MRI is done I am hoping it will be 1st Week in August he starts his treatment that is what I am hoping, I have told him the side effects of the treatment so he is aware of those but he doesn't mind now that the bone scan came back negative hes all go go go and just wants to be finished the treatment,

Thanks so much for your quick reply it means so much to me having you here,

Best Wishes,

Gary.

Irish-Psychic
Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi All,

Had consultation yesterday and saw Oakland Lodge where my Dad will stay which is absoulty excellent, They explained what is going to happen the MRI scan is next Thursday 28th July 2011, and The following week Dad will have a Ct/Cat Scan is what they said, as it gives a better indication on where to treat the area, what does the Ct scan involve again, They said his treatment will start the end of August and will be over 7 weeks with 35 Sessions I think they mentioned. Mam asked me the question how can they presume it is 7 weeks if they have not done the MRI scan and I said that is the standard time they do is this correct? and he will have to have treatment as the rectal examination can also tell them they will need to give the Radiation. In Oakland Lodge they also give you the meals and all these are done specifically with regards diet. In the consultation yesterday they checked Dads weight and Height to.

Best Wishes,
Gary.

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

I believe that the 35 sessions is standard. Here in the USA the Radiation is given 5 days a week with a break on the weekends.

larry

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