Hi jpc, I was diagnosed with PC last year. Type 2, Stage 1. My urologist said at my age(63) and being in good health, I had many options (radical prostatecomy, brachetherapy, radiation, etc). I was very concerned about the various side effects mainly impotence and/or incontenance.
My wife's cousin had the radical surgery a few years ago and he had no problems. He chose the surgery because he wanted it out right away. He ended up going to Johns Hopkins about an 1-1/2 hr from his home. He said it was one of the leading PC surgery centers in the East.
My daughter's father-in-law had brachetherapy a couple of years ago and he is fine. He said he wanted something that was less evasive and still had a high success rate and minimal side effects.
I never considered radiation because I did not want multiple trips to the clinic for treatment.
It turns out that there was an excellent radiation oncologist in my area (supposedly one of the best on the East Coast). I scheduled a consult with him and really liked him. He specialized in brachetherapy so I decided to go that way.
Because I had a large prostate, I had to get Lupron shots to shrink it. It took two injections to get it small enough to allow for swelling afted the procedure. It ended up being about 1 year from diagnosis to treatment.
The procedure was simple and painless. It has only been a month since the seed implants. So far no problems and I am relieved at that. I still am having some residual effects from the Lupron (mainly hot fashes, low libido). My urologist said it may take another month or so for the Lupron to wear off.
So, ask around like you are doing. Do you own research and find the best doctor you can to do the procedure.
Cancer is a scary thing to talk about. But the advancements in PC treatment in recent years has been incredible. Thankfully you got an early diagnosis so you should do fine.
Good luck with whatever treatment you decide.View Thread
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I was locked out of my webmd account. My new screen name is jd_day1_rev1
I hope this reply is not too late.
I had a good urologist. Based on the PSA and the DRE, he suggested a biopsy. After it was confirmed that I had PC, but it was very treatable and slow growing. He mentioned the most common treatments, including "watching and waiting". He said there was no need to rush into any course of action. and I could take my time to think about the options. He gave me the normal pamphlet on PC and lent me a book to use as a reference guide. The book was very good. It explained the types and stages as well as many treatment options. At first I was overwhelmed with all the options, risks, side effects, etc.
I was confused about what to do. Fortunately I had a relative that had gone through PC a few years ago. I knew he was doing OK so I asked his advice. He said his decision was easy. He was told he had type 2, stage 1 PC (same as me) but he wanted it out right away! So he went for the surgery to remove the prostate gland. He said he looked around to find a surgeon who had done "hundreds" of prostate removals. He ended up going to Johns Hopkins (about 1 hr from home). He was very happy with the result and would recommend that surgeon.
I said I was considering brachetherapy(BT) and he said that he knew a few guys that had BT and they used a local radiation oncologist. Turns out that doctor is one of the best on the East Coast and only 15 min from my home.
In the meantime, I was telling my daughter that I had PC and she said her father-in-law had PC and had BT. So I called him. He said was very happy the way things turned out. He had no lingering side effects, which was my major concern.
So I set up an appointment to see to local radiation oncologist. I really liked him from the initial consult. He said he often worked with my urologist so that made the decision easier.
Once I made my decision, I started telling my close friends and extended family about my PC. I was amazed at how many knew someone who had PC and elected BT and were all doing fine.
The only glitch I had was that my prostate was too large for the BT. Both my urologist and oncologist said that was not a big problem. I could get a Lupron shot to shrink it.
So I got a volume study to get a baseline size and confirmation that needed the Lupron shot. After 3 mo I had another volume study. My PG was still too large so I needed a second shot. After another 3 mo my PG finally shrunk down enough for the BT.
It was nearly 1 year from my diagnosis until the BT. Part of the delay (Nov 2011 until Mar 2012) was my call. I did not want to get my first Lupron shot until I got back from my winter vacation. The rest was 3 mo between the first and second shot, 3 mo until the second volume study, 3 more months for the Lupron to work, a month to get the 3rd volume study and another month to get the BT.
My urologist had assured me along the way that there was no problem with the delay based on (1) my PC type & stage and (2) Lupron is used in chemotherapy for PC. So in a sense I was be treated as I waited.
My recommendation is to get your self a good urologist that you like and trust. Then ask around to see what others had to say.
I did not mind waiting for the BT. I never seriously considered radiation because I did not want to go through multiple visits for treatment.
My urologist had told me about the side effects of the Lupron. So if you need those as prep for the BT it is something else to consider.
I can say the my urologist was not kidding about the "hot flashes" and "temporary impotence". He said not to worry about the impotence because the Lupron would also reduce the desire for sex anyway.
Fortunately I have a very understanding and patient wife.
Sorry for the lengthy reply. Hopefully is was worth reading.
I wish you the best with whatever course of treatment you choose.