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Mets to the bone

samNML
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2007

Hi All,

 

I am posting this on behalf of my father who is in his late 70s.

He was diagnosed 2 years ago with Prostate Cancer (early stages) and went through radiation therapy which was successful, he fully recovered and his Cancer was in remission until recently.(last year follow-up scan results of his prostate did not show a sign of cancer coming back)

However, he has started having back pain, first we thought it would be muscle pain but it became more and more persistent. The pain is around his lower back and became so sharp that he had to go to ER, first trip to ER after doing an X-RAY, they told him everything was fine and they sent him back home.

2nd trip to ER a week or so later, I went with him this time around and they did another x-ray but same result we were told everything was OK but his blood showed low in calcium, Potassium and hemogolobin and he was discharged again.

3rd trip to ER, finally he was admitted and they did a series of test like CT, MRI, bone scan and finally he was told today they they see cancer back in his backbone somewhere and that it's most likely mets from his Prostate cancer. He will also go for one last test today so they can have a look at  his prostate...

 

Can someone please tell me  "assuming"mets are from his Prostate Cancer then what would be the treatment options? life expectency? I am very worried, although my father is getting older but he is still my father and I really want him to be around for a few more years.

Is there a chance for cancer to be getting under control once it has speard to the bones?

 

Thanks and I apologize for the long message

 

Sam

Samsungtech1
Posts: 350
Joined: Jan 2011

SamNML,

Usually they can radiate bone mets and kill them.  This does not mean they will not come back, but it is a good start to extending his life. Obviously, two other things enter the picture: exercise, and diet.

I am not saying that all is well, but this will help extend his life. It has spread to his bones,and that is not good.  

PI wish you and your dad a long and happy life.

Mike

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1562
Joined: Nov 2010

Sam

I am sorry for the news.

You have not shared details of your father’s prostate cancer case so that we do not know about cancer’s aggressivity (Gleason score, PSA, etc). In any case, metastases in bone are usually treated with hormonal manipulations or chemo if the spread is wider. In case of existing just a fewer number of spots (oligometastases) then radiation may still provide cure if these are located at areas/fields out of the previous RT treatment.

Bone metastases typically cause pain. Deteriorated bone by the cancer also lead to osteoporosis that if in advanced status will require treatment with a bisphosphonate like Fosamax or Zometa.
http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-treating-treating-pain

Hormonal drugs may interact with medicines taken for other illnesses so that your dad needs to do extra testing before deciding. I would recommend him to get a Dexa scan and ECG and lipids for diabetes, etc, and surely, a PSA and testosterone tests which are important to define any future approach to his case.

There is no timetable to define the number of years he will survive. If fit and healthy, the hormonal treatment can control the spread for long periods of time (years). If the spread is wider and is affecting already other organs (lungs, liver, etc) then a treatment for cure is not practical. You should provide him with the best comfort along the treatment trying to avoid the side effects to the maximum. His quality of living will be affected much by the medications.

Best wishes.

VGama  Wink

samNML
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2007

Thanks for the reply and helpful information.

Although I don' have full details of bone mets but I can tell you that his PSA level is at (17) as I write this and the cancer (Thank God) has not speard to any other organs...

I will find out more about treatment options for him by this coming week

 

Thanks

 

Sam

samNML
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2007

Hi All,

 

Just a quick update on what I have previously posted regarding my father.

We have just learned from the Radiation especialist that there will be only ONE radiation treatment to treat more the back pain rather than the Cancer it-self.

 He did mention though to treat cancer cells we do need to follow-up with his Urologist so he could start Harmone Therapy... plus he is supposed to take 1 pill/day to keep his PSA level low?

Anybody else has experience with type of treatment?

 

 

Please advise

 

ThanKS

 

Sam

 

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1562
Joined: Nov 2010

There is no pills to keep the PSA levels low. Probably your father was given drugs for hormonal treatment that will try keeping the cancer under control and put to "sleep" (unactive). The effect of HT drugs can be verified by a drop in Testosterone and PSA levels.
You haven't share much about the status of his cancer but I assume his advanced. The sort of therapy you describe seems to be common to systemic cases.

I would recommend you to read books on prostate cancer so that you can better help him along his treatment. You need to know about the "basics", the therapies and about the side effects of the treatment. Find about the tests your dad will need to control his status. A change in daily life routines and diet is also important to confront the "bandit".

Get a copy of this book; “Beating Prostate Cancer: Hormonal Therapy & Diet” by Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Myers; which informs and describes in patient's "language" on diagnosis, treatments and the side effects for PCa systemic cases. You can order used/new copies from Amazon site.

Best wishes.

VG  Wink

 

samNML
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2007

Thanks VG for your suggestion, I have already placed an order from Amazon to get a copy of that book you suggested.

In the meantime, my father has had his only radiation therapy this past Friday before starting Hormone therapy, anyone knows how long it will take before the pain is gone or reduced? he is still in pain 4 days past the radiation treatment but pain hasn't gone or reduced much.

Has anyone else experienced someting similar to what my father is going through?

His last PSA count was 17 with mets to the backbone but the cancer has NOT spread to any of his organs...

 

Sam

 

Rakendra's picture
Rakendra
Posts: 75
Joined: Apr 2013

My heart goes out to you and your family.  I can share my experience with bone mets.  I have advanced stage 4 with extremely well spread mets everywhere.  There is no telling what will happen with advanced bone mets.  I have read of one survivor of thirteen years and some survive for many years, but my guess is that if you get 8 years you are ahead, and most are not going to get that. Maybe five years is a good target. Most have pain, others do not.  Decisions have to be made as to what treatments are acceptable.  Biophosphates are the current flavor of the month, but I will not take them.  I prefer naturopathic supplements, but this may not work for all.  Your decisions will be greatly influenced by your previous life style and your knowledge of general health.  I consider meat toxic and almost all foods contaminated with all sorts of unnatural additives that are destroying the mental and physical health of mankind.  There is so much to know and understand and what you have been doing with your life in the past will have huge effect on the decisions you make now.  Decisions are not easy for sure.  I have already trusted too many drs. and been disapointed.

   My mets were discovered last March.  With my supplements, exercise, diet, and spiritual program my 4 drs. do not believe the Pca will be what kills  me, and I am now 82.  My prostate is reducing in size rapidly, now two sizes smaller in the last year.  I now can go 4 hours at night without peeing, something impossible for many years.  I take a huge list of supplements and am looking forward to many more healthy years.  I am bodybuilding again and starting to regain my muscle.  But no matter what can or will happen, the only way to deal with this successfully is to celebrate every moment and everything that comes into your life whether you like it or not.  Best of luck.  Take responsibility for everything.  Live in Love.  Swami Rakendra

      

      

samNML
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2007

Hi Rakendra,

 

Thanks for your reply, can you elaborate a bit more about naturopathic supplements you take every day/week? how about pain management? I am sure you aren't relying on pain killers?

 

Thanks

 

Sam

samNML
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2007

Hi All,

 

Finally, it's time for my father to get his first hormone injection this coming Monday! Can anyone advise what to expect?

He still got some bone pain especially if he moves around a lot or does activity etc...although the pain has been reduced after he had a "one time" radiation therapy 3 weeks ago but it's still there to some degree...

Is there any other alternative to manage bone pain other than taking strong pain killer meds?

Will the hormone therapy help with the pain too?

 

He will start on Zoladex according his Urologist.

 

Has anyone ever tried the radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of prostate cancer with bone metastases? are they effective?

 

Thanks

 

Sam

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1562
Joined: Nov 2010

Sam

You can find answers to your queries on HT in the book of Myers. I am pleased to know that the spot radiation was good in relieving pain in your dad.  Smile
Apart of the typical pain killers, some guys in this forum have reported using Marijuana successful as a substitute to relieve pain.

Zoladex is LHRH agonist is taken with the intent of causing castration in a patient. Hypogonadism effects will set in so your dad will experience a series of symptoms. There are many ways to counter the effects that you may read in the book too.

Radio emitting medications like the beta agents of Strontium and Samarium, and now the alpha emitting radiopharmaceutical Radium-223, sold under the name of Xofigo (Alpharadin), were also used initially as palliative therapies for bone pain. However, the success of Xofigo in “killing” cancer in bone was so great during trials (phase iii) that the researchers decided to stop the trial and moved up to use the drug as a means of treatment. The main difference pointed out between the beta and alpha radios is that B-drugs irradiate a large area (affecting the bone marrow in skeleton) and A-drugs (alpha-emitting agent) only irradiates a much localized area (almost????).
These are newer drugs so there is not wide information on its use, apart of what is written in trials. Fewer doctors know how to administer this type of targeted medication and not many are administering Xofigo, so that you need to shop around in the oncology world.

Here are links to the blog of a patient reporting his experience with Xofigo and another about the drug;

http://pcaexperience.info/bobs-prostate-cancer-blog/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts9m9yKzT2Y

Best.

VGama  Wink

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