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good news & question re ht & radiation

Posts: 102
Joined: Jan 2012

I am so happy to report that my husband's bone scan, x-ray and cat scan all came back negative and the doctor feels the cancer is contained to him prostate. I understand it could actually be a bit outside which won't show up on any of these tests, but still this is great news for us. Have been sitting on pins and needles til these results were it.

He will start treatment in Florida the end of this month, likely hormone therapy and radiation.

I've read some bad side effects from hormone therapy, anyone do the radiation without ht?

Gleason 9 (5+4)
psa 1.46
diagnosed 1/3/12

VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 3392
Joined: Nov 2010


I am glad to read about the negative scans. As you commented the cancer may have some micro extensions which areas should be considered in the RT’s isodose planning.

I do not know what you have read about the hormonal “bad side effects”, but the treatment is well tolerated by the majority of us. Some guys are more sensitive to the lower levels of testosterone in the body (this is the reason of the “bad symptoms”) and experience acute menopause like symptoms. The typical and most reported are hot flashes, fatigue and lost libido.

Most of those effects can be handled with side medications or a change in life style. In my case, diet and physical fitness (daily walks, gardening and golf on week-ends) has helped in countering the effects so that I have never taken any medication. HT has been friendly and is controlling my case.

RT can be done without HT; however, the combination treatment is verified in studies with better (25 to 35%) results. HT will sensitize the cancerous cells receptor to radiation therefore helping in the “killing” process. Apart of that, HT will also care for any far micro metastasis not at the focus of the RT.
In any case, HT alone may be sufficient for your husband at his age.

I would recommend you to discuss the matter with his new doctor, specialist in prostate cancer.

Here is a good book on HT;
“Beating Prostate Cancer: Hormonal Therapy & Diet” by Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Myers.

Good luck in your continuous searches.


Posts: 102
Joined: Jan 2012

Many thanks to all that have responded. I am so happy I found this website. I have learned so much.
It has been very helpful to hear from so many and to read about everyone's experiences.
I will keep you all posted. You have given me much hope and positivity, I'm very grateful.
I pray for all of us here and pray that somehow we've become better people because of our experience.

Posts: 195
Joined: Aug 2006

Mrs. S:
Vasco, as usual, gives good information. If Mr. S goes with Dattoli, or whoever, then please consider the advice and counsel of the radiation oncologist foremost. Considering Mr. S and his G score, age, condition and so on, the doctor should make the best possible decision about treatment. I certainly would not shop for treatment while neglecting the experience of the radiologist. There are risks to every treatment combination. It is best that the doctor weighs these, while answering all of the questions from Mr. S. It is worth noting that side effects of treatment are perhaps more important to a man the age of Mr. S. who will be unlikely to die from this cancer.

Old-timer's picture
Posts: 196
Joined: Apr 2011

I am not qualified to tell you what is best for your husband but my experience may be interesting to you.

I had rp in 1991, rt in 2004, and ht begining in 2008. The surgery was successful for many years. Radiation was unsuccessful (the cancer had moved outside the pelvic area). The ht has given me seven consecutive PSA readings of <0.1 (undetectable), taken at six month intervals. I was 65 years old when this story began; I am now 85, and still enjoying life (very much).

My Gleason score: 7 (3+4)
PSA in July 1991, prior to surgery: 4.0
PSA for several years after surgery: .0
PSA when I began radiation in 2004: 1.16
PSA after radiation: 1:20
PSA when I went on hormone therapy in June 2008: 20.4
PSA in Oct 2008 to Jan 2012: <.0

I do not know why my urologist and oncologist did not recommend or put me on ht at the time of I was taking radiation. My hindsight is that I am glad they didn't.

Now for information about side effects. Prior to surgery in 1991, I was aware that side effects were a possibility, but I mentally refused to believe that they might affect me. Of course, I was mistaken about that. I have and do experience side effects but I have learned to live with them.

Hormone therapy is easier to deal with than I had expected. The few hot flashes went away after a few months. It changed sex but it did not delete it. In fact, it's better in some respects.

Best of luck to both of you.


Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2011

My situation is pretty much the same as your husband. Gleason 7, Second Stage. I took 45 IMRT radiation treatments and 3 Harmone treatments. To tell you the truth afterward I have never felt so tired. I talked my urologist in stopping the harmone treatments after 3 injections over a 9 month period. I have not completely recovered . My good news is that my PSA shows no cancer, which was the objective of the radiation and urology physician. My urologist told me I should not be too concerned about the side affects if I am free of the cancer. The side effects vary from person to person. I hope your husband has very minimal problems with it.

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