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The Return of PCa: When?

Posts: 931
Joined: Jan 2010

I know a man who had his prostate out at a very prestigious hospital with a good surgeon back in 1998. This man is now in his mid- upper 70s. His PSA is rising and he knows the cancer has returned. He is not interested in any treatment at this time- he is going to let the stuff run its course.

But the point is this. At the time of surgery he was clean, PSA remained flat for several years and now it is back 11 years later. Is that the nature of this beast we are dealing with? Can we expect this thing we all hate to make a return visit in 5- 10 years? His numbers were better than mine at time of surgery. He had no positive margins, needed no Lupron.

I met a man at Loma Linda who was there because 6-7 years after a very good surgery with no positive margins, good urinary and sexual function now had a flare in his PSA and was getting proton treatment to the prostate bed area.

This stuff likes to return. Anyone seen the movie "What About Bob?" Well, does this stuff ever go away or does it just hang around like Bob?

Posts: 797
Joined: Jan 2010

Like you said some time ago, we are all snowflakes… I am now part of a study (actually several at Northwestern) and 10 years seems to be the current milestone to meet if recurrence is going to happen or not… My father had his PC come back at 79 (after 17 years after surgery and not nerve sparing) and died of something else at 81 (hormones was his last treatment which he stopped due to quality of life)…One thing for sure that before PC I did not give to much thought to dying and with PC I am aware that we all die at some time and like an alcoholic, I choose to live my life the best I can one day at a time….

Best to all

erisian's picture
Posts: 107
Joined: Dec 2008

Some of the stuff I've been reading criticizes conventional treatment as "symptomatic". In other words, surgery, etc, treats the symptoms (tumors), but not the causes. From that point of view, things like diet and lifestyle and stress are important parts of the "terrain" that grew the disease. If those things remain unchanged, then the terrain remains fertile for recurrence. Apparently, cancer cells which have migrated away from the primary site can lay dormant, or at least remain non-aggressive for years, then some little molecular switch gets flipped, and they start multiplying. And just because no metastases were found doesn't mean that there weren't any PCa cells floating around. All it takes for a recurrence is one malignant cell and the right terrain.

It's yet another good argument in favor of integrative care. Wipe out as much cancer as possible with conventional treatments, then get busy making your terrain inhospitable to cancer development. Then keep it that way.

Posts: 797
Joined: Jan 2010

I agree well I actually believe that diet and frame of mind will carry me after conventional treatments...

Posts: 195
Joined: Aug 2006

I have seen somewhere that even for those supposedly cured of prostate cancer that intense microscopic examination of lymph and blood and marrow will detect some cancerous cells. These cells simply are not numerous enough to create distant tumors. There is insufficient growth media, or the cells have been "neutered" by the immune system, or the location of these metastasized cells is an infertile location for cancer growth. At some point in the future some of these cells may mutate sufficiently to begin new growth. So there is no alternative for vigilance. This may apply to other cancers also.

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