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After Proton treatments for Prostate Cancer

Rockies59
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2021

Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question and yes I did a lot of research before choosing Proton Therapy for my prostate cancer. After my threatment this moring I had my weekly visit with the doctor. I asked the doctor what exactly is this treatment doing to my prostate and how do the treatment kill the cancer. In the 30 seconds he gave me to answer the question I was totally confused. 

So I'll ask the question again in this forum. Are the treatment just killing the cancer in the prostate or is it also destroying my prostate? Once treatment is done will the cancer killing stop or does the cancer continue to dye over the next few years becuase of the radiation? Thanks for the help.

Deadstick
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2021

Hi Rockies,

 

There are several sources of information on the internet about proton therapy for prostate cancer, some good, some not so good.   BUT, regardless of your treatment, talk to your urologist, medical oncologist or raditation oncologist about penile rehabilitation.  You didn't say how old you are and if you have erectile issues or not, but all prostate cancer treatments can impact erectile function.  Many urologists will place patients on 5 mg of Cialis or Viagra daily immediately after treatment to help preserve blood flow to help you maintain your erectile function.  Radiation induced prostate cancer effects usually take longer to manifest than surgery, but it ultimately will.  According to some sources, proton therapy causes less damage to nerves that control erections, but the jury still seems to be out about the long term efficacy of proton treatment compared to other modalities.  Here is one semi-impartial link:

https://news.cancerconnect.com/prostate-cancer/proton-therapy-and-prostate-cancer-treatment-AdwLTbXMdUWduEiogdJXmg

 

Wishing you the best...

Rockies59
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2021

Thanks Deadstick! I'm 61 years and am suffering from ED, but at this time I contribute that to being on Lupron for the last 6 months. My testostrone went from the 600 reange to 3. I'll take the information you have provided and talk to my doctors. Thanks again.

Clevelandguy
Posts: 691
Joined: Jun 2015

Hi Rockie,

From what I understand external beam radiation does not kill the entire Prostate, only where the beam hits do cancer cell die.  You will always have a Psa value as your Prostate cells that are still alive are producing  Psa.  Your Urologist or Oncologist should be able to give you an idea when your cancer cells are dead.

Dave 3+4

Old Salt
Posts: 806
Joined: Aug 2014

1. Irradiation causes breakages in the DNA of cells. In normal cells, these can be repaired, but the repair mechanisms don't work well in cancer cells and they will die a slow death. This is oversimplified, but better explanations should be easy to find on the web.

2. Lupron will lower your testosterone and kill your incentive to have sex. Once ADT (Lupron) is discontinued, the testosterone is likely to recover. This will take tiime; most men regain their 'manhood', although this is not guaranteed.

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