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I am a 60 year old man, diagnosed with prostrate cancer and due to get hormone therapy treatment of 3 injections for 3 months followed by radiation. My wife and I are aware of all the side affects, including the loss of libido. My question is, has anyone my age have the same treatment I am looking at and have you experienced any return of libido.

Posts: 140
Joined: Sep 2001

Guess we are close fit. I am pushing 60, had prostate cancer 2-1/2 yrs ago now and .....

Firstly, believe you are looking at this whole thing skewed my friend.

You want to get rid of the cancer in the best method you / your doctor decide and the rest is secondary.

I had hormone therapy BEFORE and AFTER radiated seed implant.

Reasons given by my doctors were:

1. it physically shrunk the prostate - thus, since radiation is based upon physical size of area to be treated so, instead of the approx. 120+ seeds I normally would have had - I required only 55. This may also apply to extenal beam radiation?

I BELIEVE this was a major contributor to my recovery by not having the prostate / colon area zapped with more than necessary or normal?

Radiation burns / kills and scars, that is why I chose hormone therapy /implant - wanted minimal other tissue burned via external methods (even though greatly improved)and it put the radiation in with the cancer. Eitherway, I had to choose as do we all and live with the decision.

2. the hormone therapy starves the cancer of what it feeds on (testosterone).

3. because it starves the cancer cells they are more susceptible to the radiation.

Now, for the side effects. Yes there are some, and they VARY with EACH individual.
1. I had major emotional mood swings (always wanted to go shopping)

2. Had hot flashes (can be minimized by medicine or live with it, women do all the time.

3. Sexual drive was GONE - even if not, it did not matter - nothing was possible.

4. SLOWLY, it returned. Erection not as hard as before. The libido slowly came back. I wanted to have sex more to test and get the system working again. Time does a lot. Don't push it.

5. Length of erection short so work fast - Viagra helps - reaching point where it doesn't add anything more - thinking of stopping it.

My second choice was external beam radiation which, I believe you are considering - just as good a choice. I was traveling a lot (job) at the time and thus, 4-6 weeks staying in town was not an acceptable option.

They took an ULTRA SOUND through the colon. This supposedly was going to be fed into a computer which, would then control the X-Ray beam and minimize any burning of non-prostate /cancer. In either case it was also used to aid in placement and amount of the radioactive seeds in the prostate.

I personally believe use of hormone therapy for the reasons above were the main contributors to my quicker recovery. I may be deluding myself but...

You may want to ask your doctor about the amount of radiation (dosage) he would use with and without the hormone therapy? and whether it is a good idea to continue it after? -- continue the starving of cancer cells that may have not been fully killed off? Check with your medical professional re: above.

I beleive from reading all of the postings on this web site since joining, that no matter which treatment you have, you are looking at a year minimum before things return to some resemblance of normal. Some of our fellow members have had great success and others have not fared well for whatever. We are all built, heal and react differently. I do not believe or expect a return to 100% but don't care if it elilminated the cancer!

Hope this has helped.
Good Luck, stay in touch

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