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I hope someone can help me!!!

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

My cousin who has prostate cancer and is 46 years old is so embarrassed about having radiation on his penis. Is this normal?? I don't want him dieing with being so embarrased about this situation. I have volunteered for the American Cancer Soc. for years and would love to beable to help people out more! I have told him about the 800 number but don't think he has called I guess I am looking for someone for him to write to that has had the same experince as he is having. So I thought I would post my message here. Thank you!

gkoper's picture
Posts: 174
Joined: Apr 2009

Do you mean radiation on his prostate?? I have never heard of radiation on the penis. While I don't know his diagnosis...it appears his fears are unfounded. However, with radiation to the prostate, there are side effects his doctor should inform him about.
As we all know at this site, the news you have cancer is frightful. Help him find a good doctor that offers the right treatment for him.

lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

If your cousin has prostate cancer there is nothing to be embarresed about! It is not something we asked for. Also he has many options to choose from for treatment from what is called watchful waiting, surgery, seed implants, radiation and other treatments.

Also the penis is not exposed to radiation in prostate cancer. The prostate is inside the body and sets underneath his bladder. That is where they aim the radiation beams towards.

Enjourage your cousin to ask questions and to read. This will help to educate him on his journey.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

I am sorry I need more information from him but also I think it might be in the urethra also. I know it is a cancer that usually hits older men than him. Thanks for answering and don't give up on me finding out about his cancer.

brookjax's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2009

First, the prostate is just below the bladder, under the stomach, and it is above the waistline, not below it, so that is where the radiation goes.

Your cousin also needs to consider surgery. Something called robotic surgery is fairly new in the last 10 or so years and has been very successful in reducing the recovery time for the surgery drastically because it involves using four much smaller one inch incisions to do the same job that took one 8-inch incision in standard surgery.

I was initially leaning toward radiation because I remembered my dad's standard surgery twenty years ago looked painful. But after investigating robotic surgery, I felt that it had a much better chance of complete success at a cost in recovery time which was minimal.

More to your question, the ACS has a group called Man to Man, which has chapters all over, sponsored by doctors and meeting monthly. Call the main ACS number and they can tell you where and when the local chapter is meeting. Your cousin doesn't have to participate in the meeting; he can just listen to the others, who usually discuss their own experiences, which are quite informative.

JoeMac's picture
Posts: 77
Joined: Jun 2008

Aloha Brookjax,
The prostate is actually below the waist line. My tatoos (used to guide IMRT/EBRT) are located below the top of the thighs when you are sitting. These tatoo locations are determined by a CAT scan.
Whether to have radiation or surgery should be determined by your PSA history, biopsy, and other scans (Bone, MRI, CAT, etc.). Generally the lower your PSA, Gleason, biopsy positive cores, the more you should tend toward surgery. If these scores tend toward agressive, radiation is a better choice, as the surgery margins would be iffy. If test results are sufficiently low, then perhaps watchful waiting would be the best choice.
Faith, Hope, & Love,
Joe 68 Hamakua Coast 23 months cancer undetectable

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