Jun 13, 2013 - 11:16 pm
I am 71 years old, very active physically (my wife and I are training to run our first half marathon within the year). We recently moved to Austin Texas.
In 2005 I was diagnosed with uveal/choroid melanoma (eye cancer) and received proton treatment.
Until several years ago my PSA was stable, under 1, then it rose to 1.88. After a spike in June '12 (to 4.88) my doctor monitored it. After our move my psa rose a bit again to 5.3, and I saw a urologist, who recommended a biopsy. I was then diagnosed with an 'aggressive' prostate cancer three weeks ago. Six cores from right side of prostate: one seven, two eights, three nines (100%); six on left - three sevens, one eight, two benign prostatic glands and stroma.
Between my diagnosis and follow-up meeting with the urologist I began gathering as much information as I could from the various online sources, including this discussion board. Because of my previous history with cancer, I met with an oncologist prior to meeting with my urologist. He was convinced the cancer had not spread, that while my Gleason scores were high, they didn't start with 5s. And wasn't concerned about the possibility of uveal melanoma metastasizing, and demonstrated no interest in discussing recent studies on that issue.
When I met with urologist, he expressed his opinion about the seriousness of my Gleason score, answered every question I had at the time, and explained why he would recommend radical retropubic prostatectomy. Based on what I've read in many messages here and other places I told him I wanted a second opinion on the biopsies. He didn't balk, but did tell us that the pathologist they use is a specialist in urology. He disagreed with the oncologist's dismissal regarding the possibility of uveal metastases. He sent me to a radiation oncologist, and during that lengthy and informative conversation, he explained why he would use IGRT to treat my prostate cancer.
So far my bone scan, pelvic MRI, CAT scan of abdomen and pelvic area are clear. Because any melanoma metastases would 'trump the prostate cancer' the radiation oncologist ordered a brain MRI. I am meeting with an eye specialist with expertise with eye cancer on Monday, and my urologist on Wednesday.
After reading through quite a few messages on this board, as well as others, and numerous websites, I respect how difficult the decision-making process must have been for each guy going through this journey. That's why I'm here. I'm not asking for you to make my decision for me, I am looking for input on how you made the decision between radiation and surgery.
Regarding second opinions for surgery/radiation treatment. If our insurance coverage allows, I would return to MD Anderson for a Multidisciplinary Prostate
Finally, my brother-in-law was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer last fall, had spread to the bones and I believe other locations. He stated there weren't a lot of options available, didn't like the ones that were, and decided to seek alternative treatment. He went to Issels in California, and received Dendritic vaccine (subcutaneous) and LAK Lymphotic Activated Killers (IV)in Mexico. Reportedly doing well. I am not considering following in his choices, however am interested if others have investigated this type of treatment.
Thanks for feedback.