Looking for (non) hormonal treatment experiences

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susie4chris
susie4chris Member Posts: 1 *
edited October 2023 in Prostate Cancer #1

My 67 year old partner was diagnosed with prostate cancer (Gleason score 4+3). We chose radiation as a therapy method, however are very sceptical about the 6 month hormonal treatment, which the docters recommend. Can anybody share their experiences choosing hormonal or no hormonal therapy after radiation?

many thanks in advance.

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  • Old Salt
    Old Salt Member Posts: 1,398 Member
    edited October 2023 #2
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    To properly respond, one would need to study the complete biopsy report. For instance, how many loci were cancerous and what were the individual Gleason scores. How close were the cancerous spot to the edge of the prostate?

    Very much in general, it is often stated that ADT will make the cancers more susceptible to radiation. Six months of ADT isn't that bad (I had 18 months) although individual reactions vary greatly. Age plays a role as well; older men do not recover as well as younger ones. Moreover, exercise can be quite helpful in overcoming the side effects of ADT.

    As I stated earlier, more info would be helpful because they will help to identify the criteria that are used in the medical literature to recommend ADT (or not). Presumably your partner's radiation oncologist will know all of this, but one never knows...

  • On_A_Journey
    On_A_Journey Member Posts: 111 Member
    edited October 2023 #3
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    Hey there @susie4chris , welcome aboard!

    I had 'salvage' radiation treament about 6 months after my prostatectomy because my PSA didn't drop to anywhere near negligible levels. My Gleason score was 3+4.

    I didn't have Androgen Deprivation Therapy (hormone therapy) with it. There was no mention of it. Years later I learnt that ADT is quite normal in conjunction with radiation, either as a primary treatment or as a secondary one, as was my case. I now have what is technically known as recurrence; my PSA is rising once again due to cancerous cells left behind, even after radiation. I'm not suggesting that if I did have hormone treatment in conjunction with my radiation, things might be different, but you never know, it might have. Now, I'm looking down the barrel of hormone therapy anyway to push it back and keep it from metastatizing for a few years.

    Bear in mind that your partner's cancer is a bit more aggressive than what mine was. Same Gleason score, but different pattern. If the doctors recommend hormone therapy, it's probably for the best.

    Be assertive and make sure that the doctors properly explain the different types of hormone therapy available and what the side effects are. Some doctors might try and steer your partner away from certain therapies because they make assumptions about which side effects are tolerable and which aren't. But, it's all about his quality of life.

    This is an excellent article explaining ADT: Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Fact Sheet - NCI