Older guy with prostate cancer

bob101 Member Posts: 1

I am an 81 year old guy in good health that was just diagnosed with prostrate cancer of the low level. A nodule was found when a doctor was performing a colonoscopy which prompted a biopsy which only 1 section of the 12 biopsy's taken is cancerous. My urology doctor wants to observe and I am not sure I want to do that. It is not going to go away. I hope to be around another 10 years at least and don't need the pain and suffering if it would spread. Is there anyone else in the age category out there with this problem? My urology doctor says I am not a canidate for surgery because of my age. I think he belives I am ready to die off at anytime. Not true. I am very active male physically, mentally and sexually. Does radiation kill all hopes or erections? Does it cause urinary problems? I hope that men that have gone through the radiation will respond to this. I don't need theories. What is the best radiation tratment? I see there are several available. i have an appointment soon with another radiologist and want to be prepared to ask questions. Thanks in advance..


  • VascodaGama
    VascodaGama Member Posts: 3,665 Member
    Quality of life in jeopardy


    Welcome to the board. The first thing to inquire is to find how aggressive the cancer is. The second will be to find its location with a PET/CT exam. The third will be to inquire if you are really fit for a radical treatment. The fourth is to inquire how many years would it take for the cancer to border your common way of living.

    All treatments for prostate cancer have risks and are linked to side effects that put the quality of life into jeopardy. I wonder your PSA, but if the cancer is sort of indolent, at 81 years old I would try just being vigilant.
    You can read the story of other 81 and what they have chosen in this site;


    Best wishes and luck in your journey.


  • Clevelandguy
    Clevelandguy Member Posts: 1,032 Member


    Was the cancer found inwards of the gland or on the outer edges?  If it's in the center of the gland then Active Survalence might work by keeping a close eye on it. I would want to know that before I would decide any treament plan.  If it's close to the edge of the Prostate then radiation could also be a treatment mode.  Radiation does has side effects, I'm sure others who have had radiation will speak out.

    Dave 3+4

  • hopeful and optimistic
    hopeful and optimistic Member Posts: 2,339 Member
    edited April 2017 #4

    It is very possible that you may be able to live the rest of your life without having to suffer major side effects of an active treatment; for example, side effects include but are not limited to erectile disfunction, incontinence, side effects from radiation burns.

    You mentioned that one of the twelvevecores taken was positive. There is a "Gleason" scale that measures the aggresiveness of the cancer. ...the score goes from indolent, that is, not likely to spread and you can go on with your life to a more aggessive score...please share the gleason score found by the pathologist, and we can comment. 

    Also you did not mention the trend of your PSA scores; this can be helpful in determining what is going on.

    As vasco mentioned, you want to have proper diagnostic tests before reacting. 

    I for one, nine years ago had been diagnosed with an indolent gleason score, and since then I have been closely monitored, and have gone on with my life without experiencing side effects of an active treatment. I hope to do this the rest of my life.

    You at 81, if your numbers are right can more readily consider an Active Surveillance choice than say a man who is younger.

  • ASAdvocate
    ASAdvocate Member Posts: 193 Member
    Bob,  Please advise of your

    Bob,  Please advise of your Gleason score for each core that was found positive.

    I was diagnosed with low risk prostate cancer at age 65, and have lived just fine under Active Surveillance for 8 years now.

    You should probably have the same odds IF your biopsy pathology is also very low or low risk.

    All treatments have side effects. Some totally ruin the quality of men's lives. Go slow and learn all the facts about your situation and your options.

  • Swingshiftworker
    Swingshiftworker Member Posts: 1,017 Member

    Without knowing anything more, I'd say that you're an excellent candidate for Active Surveillance and that there is no need to pursue treatment immediately, not even my favorite Cyberknife (stereotactic body radiation treatment).

    Why? Mainly your age.

    You're 81.  Surgery would be inapprorpriate for a man your age.  Just too many risks and known side effects to justify the trauma of surgery.  Personally, I think that surgery at any age is inappropriate but at your age it definitely should be out of the question.

    Radiation could be used w/o any major side efffects but why bother unless it's absolutely necessary.  Radiation treatment has its own side effects, less than surgery but side effects just the same.

    With only 1 out of 12 biopsy samples positive, it is most likely that you cancer is a Gleason 6 or 7 and does not require immediate treatment and can be effectively monitored by means of active surveillance.

    However, if you are one of those men who just can't stand the thought of a cancer in your body (relatively dormant or not) and just have to get it OUT, then my recommendation is Cyberknife which can kill all of the cells in your prostate (including the bad ones) with the minimal risk of any negative side effects -- including ED (which may not be a major issue at your age), incontinenece and/or collateral tissue damage.

    Good luck!