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New and brachytherapy

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 885
Joined: Jan 2016

hi! I'm new on this board. I am on the uterine board myself, but now my husband has prostate cancer. He has had a month of hormone treatments and one luprone shot. Wednesday he will have brachytherapy. We have been shown all that it intails and doesn't look like a fun day. He is having the type that will just take place one day and will go home that night if he is feeling ok. A couple weeks later he will begin external radiatioN. His cancer is agressive yet he has a low PSA. The cancer was found in a physical exam. Question- how long did it take to feel better and side effects? I know side effects for my external have been long lasting, but this really seems the best treatment for him as he also has Parkinsons though he works and functions well. He is 64 years old.

Old Salt
Posts: 720
Joined: Aug 2014

Sorry you and your husband have to join us. But we will do our best to provide information even though we are not MDs. To do so, it would be useful to have more info regarding your husband's diagnosis.

I guess he is getting seed implants (conventional brachytherapy) and that follow-up radiation (IMRT?) will be required. Is this correct?

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

OP: You haven't given us any of the details of your husband's case but, based on what you've said about this hormone treatments and that you've said it is a "fairlyl aggressive", we much assume it's serious and probably in the Gleason 9-10 range.

This is also suggested by the fact that he will be treated with BT (brachytherapy) plus EBRT (external beam radiation treatment), which is double dose of radiation.

My guess is that he is getting HDR (high dose rate) BT and not LDR (low dose) BT because it would be inappropriate to use EBRT to treat the prostate subsequently if it is already filled w/radioactive seeds.  With HDR BT, the seeds are placed temporarily in the prostate and then removed.  With LDR BT, the seeds are placed in the prostate permanently  Between the 2 methods, HDR BT is the better choice, especially since that treatment is being followed up w/EBRT (which I assume will be done w/IMRT -- intensity modulated radiation therapy).

There will be different side effects from each of treatments. My guess is that the hormone treatments will have the worse side effects generally.  ADT (androgen deprivation therapy) by means of hormone treatment to reduce and/or eliminate the production of testosterone as a treatment for prostate cancer can have very serious side effects, including but not limited to a loss of interest in sex (lowered libido), erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, loss of bone density, bone fractures, lloss of muscle mass and physical strength,  changes in blood lipids and insulin resistance.  These side effects will last as long as your husband is receive ADT hormones.

As for the radiation treatments, he may experience difficulties w/urination and incontinence that he did not have previously.  Other side effects would include tiredness, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and digestive disorders, including but not limited to diarrhea and/or painful bowel movements. How long such side effect will last really cannot be predicted.  ED would also be a possible side effect of radiation but that risk is rendered irrelevant by his hormone treatments. 

We wish your husband the best of luck w/his treatments.  Please keep us advised of his progress. 

 

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