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Hormone Therapy

douglak81
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2014

In March of 2014 my father was diangnosed with prostate cancer at 52 years old. His PSA was at 153 in March. In May, he had his prostate removed and his PSA level is now at .21 post surgery.

This week my dad goes in to meet with his Oncologist, and after that appointment, he is scheduled to get a Lupron shot. The plan is for him to take one shot to weaken the cancer cells, then use radiation.

My dad is on pins and needles right now. He's read all about Lupron and it's side effects, and this has really caused him a lot of anxiety. He's scared of the side effects, and isn't quite sure that he wants to do that shot.

I want to know if any of you have experience with Lupron, and if you can share the types of side effects you had/have at your current age. Is it easier for a man at 52 years old to endure the side effects  than say a man at 70?

Also, what are your thoughts on just the 1 shot. I think this could be the Dr.s way of getting my dad to take the first shot just because he knows my dad doesn't want anything to do with this. 

Thanks to all who share their thoughts. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Douglas

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1677
Joined: Nov 2010

Douglas

Welcome to the board. Your father is lucky in having a daughter caring for him. Having a member of the family with cancer is a frightening experience but you should know that nowadays there are many treatments available “in the trade” so that one should learn to control anxiety and confront the bandit with knowledge.
Prostate cancer in general grows slower than other cancers allowing time to research, getting second opinions and deciding on what to do. Here in this forum there are many survivors that can help you with their experiences. You need to share details for better advices.

Lupron is a LHRH agonist (shot) that will “turn off” the testicles from producing testosterone. The cancer is feeding on this hormone so that by closing the “tap” one may expect the cancer to die of starvation, or become sort of dormant. Lupron will cause hypogonadism (low level of testosterone circulating in the body) which condition causes side effects similar to women’s menopause. The typical are hot-flashes, loss of muscle mass and fatigue. You can research the net for details typing; side effects of hormonal treatment for prostate cancer. Here is one link;
http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/type/prostate-cancer/treatment/hormone/side-effects-of-hormone-therapy-for-prostate-cancer

The good thing about hormonal treatments is that one return to normalcy once we stop taking the drugs and these lose their effectiveness. I am on hormonal therapy administrated intermittently. I took Eligard shots (Leuprolide same as Lupron) during 18 months which caused me many side effects but all mild. Fatigue was the one that most border me. Libido less was “irritating” but I managed to survive and now free from the drug’s effects all returned to previous status. The testes are fully functioning again and I am enjoying the return of the androgens, but so do the cancer. It stopped its dormancy too and is growing but I will knock it down again once I restart the Leuprolide shots. Patient’s age does not alter the effects but some guys are more sensitive to hypogonadism than others. I was 50 YO when diagnosed 14 years ago. Did surgery, then radiation and started HT at the age of 60. In PCa, each case is different but you can read about some guys HT experiences in back posts of this forum. Mine is in these links;
http://csn.cancer.org/node/244938
http://csn.cancer.org/node/253261
http://csn.cancer.org/node/265316
 

I wonder why your dad’s doctor recommended so many treatments at once. Can you share data about his initial diagnosis?

What is the Gleason score?

Is there any positive image study or bone scan who located the spread of the cancer?

Does his doctor consider his case as recurrence?

The PSA at 0.21 ng/ml past two months from surgery is high but it comes from a much higher initial level of 153. Probably your dad could wait for another PSA result before deciding on a salvage treatment.
Typically urologists use PSA=0.2 as the threshold to diagnose biochemical failure. Recurrence is declared with more facts at hand. In any case, some doctors chose higher levels of 0.40 ng/ml to start salvage treatments.

The traditional is radiation (RT) which may be administered with or without hormonal treatment (HT). The combo of two therapies is recognised to be better because they complement each other. The rates of success for RT are 30% higher if done with HT rather than alone. In any case, your dad can avoid HT if he so desirers. I did RT alone back in 2006, recurred and then started HT in 2010.
Here is a link about the outcomes of the combo treatment;
http://www.redjournal.org/article/S0360-3016(13)01075-4/fulltext
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140406214415.htm

I would recommend him to read this book on Hormonal Therapy; Beating Prostate Cancer: Hormonal Therapy & Diet” by Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Myers.

Diet and a change in live tactics become important to counter the treatment effects. Physical fitness programs and proper nutrition are important when dealing with prostate cancer. UCSF got a publication on Nutrition & Prostate Cancer, which copy I highly recommend to your dad;
http://cancer.ucsf.edu/_docs/crc/nutrition_prostate.pdf

 

Maybe your dad wants to join this forum too. He can share his opinions with us and get peace of mind.

Best wishes for full recovery from the surgery and luck in his journey.

VGama

 

BLUEpac6
Posts: 37
Joined: Jun 2012

In 2009 i had apsa of 110 and gleason 9 and told agressive carcnoma.The urologist sent to surgeons who told me the cancer was out of prostrate and they wold not operate that it would be to dangerous.This where Iexperienced hormone shot.The uncologist I was going to have radiation by said i would have towait 90 days after shot to have the radiation as it would reduce the size of the prostrate.that was the worst 90 days I spent as the hot flashes were so bad I really never slept much at night.AS it turned out I would not have needed the shotas friend of mine urologist called me and said if you have radiation and cancer comes back there is not any cures left.He put me in touch with Dr.Lerner Baylor Clinic Houston and after reviewing negative bone scans,mri and catscans said he would open me up and if cancer was not in lymph nodes he would remove it which he did.2011 psa climbed to .06 and was tlod I would have to have salvage radiation which I did.Ido not know why your father has to take a hormone shot if his prostrae is already removed Idid not.ASof today my last psa in may 2014 was .011 and am doing fine.Hope and pray your father does fine.

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