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Radiation Treatment for Side Effects

Posts: 41
Joined: Jun 2004

I am a 5 year survivor. I am 63 years old. I've been visiting this site for close to 5 years. It has really helped me through all of this. To those that maintain this site; "My hat is off to you!" This is a great service and I hope everyone appreciates it as much as I do. I've been through surgery, then a rising PSA, then 39 radiation treatments, implant surgery and now a rising PSA again. I was talking to my doctor yesterday. My PSA has gone from doubling in 1 year, to doubling in 6 months and now doubling in 4 months. It is definitely accelerating. I'll be starting harmone therapy in 6 months or so. I questioned him about the side effects of this treatment and what if anything could be done to offset the side effects. He mentioned irradiating my breasts to prevent them from enlarging from the effects of the harmone therapy. I visit this site several times every week and have not seen this topic discussed. I would appreciate some information from someone that has been through the procedure. Thanks a bunch for your help.

ismetals's picture
Posts: 70
Joined: Feb 2009

Sounds like you are going thuough our worst nightmares. please keep us informed and I will do my best to pass on anything I find out about this. I'm getting my six months checkup soon and your case will be brought up. Good luck for now.

RRMCJIM's picture
Posts: 149
Joined: Mar 2009

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you. I for one am so glad this site is here for all of us. Keep us informed of your progress.

JoeMac's picture
Posts: 77
Joined: Jun 2008

Aloha Mark58,
There are a number of web-sites, where you can share & ask questions.
Johns Hopkins
Mayo Clinic
You have been placed in a position, where you had no choice. I have had lots of problems getting answers from doctors, where even "I do not know" would suffice.
I would suggest that you seek help from BHS, talk to a theropist-counceler. They do not really have any answers, but will help you find peace & comfort within yourself. Facing life is not easy, I need all the help I can get. Suffering is part of being human.
Faith, Hope, & Love,

Posts: 27
Joined: Mar 2007

i have the same problem been there 39 radiation after surgery now on lupron and casodex psa still rising hope hormones work for you so far only side affects after v6 months on hormornes hot flashes and impotience good luk

Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2002

I was on hormone therapy for several years after radiation treatment. I have since learned that there was no good reason to be on it so long.

As time passed the effects of hormone ablation became extreme. Other than the hot flashes and impotence there was the weight gain around the middle, the loss of muscle mass, osteoporosis (bone deterioration) (had to take Fosamax). But the worst were the psychological effects – oppressive depression to the extent that it was affecting my job and personal life was a particular problem. I went to a psychiatrist at Navy Medical, Bethesda, MD who tried the usual antidepressants with no effect. I did find that wellbutrin alleviated the depression to some extent. All these effects went away (except the breast growth) when I went off the treatment.

I had little gynecomastia (breast growth) and it was only later in the treatment period so I never had the radiation.

In your case I suggest you Google 'Intermittent hormone ablation' and research this mode of treatment. A Canadian doctor has pioneered this treatment. As I understand it you go on hormone suppression for a period of months until the PSA reaches some designated lower level, then you go off the treatment until it climbs back up and repeat the cycle. Apparently it is more effective for much longer than straight hormone suppression and alleviates most of the problem at least some of the time.

You will need to find an oncologist (few urologists seem to know about this) who is familiar with this mode of treatment. I found out about it from Dr. Charles Myers, an oncologist who was director of the U. of VA Cancer Ctr. for a number of years. He specializes in prostate cancer and seems to know a lot more about alternative treatments and treatment variations than anyone else I have talked to.


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