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E-LETTER #11 - GO TO INDEX FOR EARLIER LETTERS
men need enlightening, not frightening
worry about the consequences of their treatment whenever the possibility of ADT
(Androgen Deprivation Therapy) is discussed. Most of these consequences are related
to the reduction in Testosterone levels. The most concerning is the so called
"feminising" of the body (and the mind). Most men on ADT have a loss
of libido - the desire for sex - as well as the inability to have an erection.
They also tend to have a loss of body hair, muscle tone, growth of breasts and
other such issues.
Men on ADT are not the only ones who have low Testosterone
levels after treatment. This is a fairly common experience of men who have had
surgery or radiation therapy, although the reduction may be more related to age
than treatment. Time and again the question is raised on Internet sites as to
whether it is possible for men with low levels to use Testosterone supplements
to raise levels and thus regain a feeling of "normality". The initial
thought of most men with a basic understanding of the current view of prostate
cancer is this must be a "no-no" because Testosterone is the fuel which
cancer cells need.
Other views are emerging which look more at the balance
between Testosterone levels and other hormones and tquestion whether, given the
low levels of prostate cancer in young men when Testosterone levels are very high,
perhaps boosting Testosterone levels might slow down the growth of prostate
cancer cells. A number of men on the Yana site have considered taking supplements
and some have proceeded with this course of action - you can find those who have
shared their views and experiences by entering testosterone supplements in the
site search engine at HOME PAGE
While answering an e-mail on this subject I came across a paper
which might be of interest to anyone considering this issue. It was written last
year, so is fairly current and you can view it as a pdf page at TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY AFTER PROSTATE CANCER
and my mind.....
of you who lurk or participate on the various prostate cancer related Internet
Forums or Lists know that I recently decided to stop making any contribution to
these (apart from the YANA Forum).
The main reason for this
is simple. I had my 70th birthday earlier this year. I never expected to live
that long, even before my prostate cancer diagnosis. Having achieved that age
I became more aware that, irrespective of what the potentially real danger of
an earlier death might be because of my health issues, my time to go is inevitably
shorter rather than longer. So my focus has turned to some of the long delayed
non-PCa projects I want to complete before going up the chimney.
I have withdrawn from other sites, the Yana site will continue to operate, thanks
to Mark Freedkin and the team who helped with the automation, which is running
very well. I also intended to continue this E-Letter because a recent informal
survey indicated that people found it of interest. It seems that most people who
receive the E-Letter open it, even if they don't all read it.
the best laid plans of mice and men .......
The reason that there was no
letter last month is that I've been hovering on the brink of that dark pit that
we depressives know only too well. This was triggered by the diagnosis and deaths
of a number of people - most of whom did not have prostate cancer. The one that
hit home very hard was a neighbour who passed on from melanoma. He had a melanoma
removed 27 years ago but the disease returned this year, killing him in six months.
I too had a melanoma removed . That was 23 years ago - would I suffer the same
fate as this man? Of course rationally, there was no reason for specific concern.
Emotionally, a very different matter.
Fortunately, over the years I have
acquired sufficient tools to beat back the black dog of depression. One of the
main weapons is simply to do some manual work. It not only tires me out, but my
thinking is better aligned to normality. Fortuitously our neighbour, who looks
after our joint garden has been overseas with her husband, celebrating their Golden
Wedding Anniversary. Spring down here in Australia means that there is a deal
of what I think the US citizens term yardwork - and of course there is always
a list of work to be done about the house.
So that's what I've been up
to. The fact that I'm sending out this E-Letter is a demonstration that I'm feeling
better and I'm sure it won't be long before I get around to updating the remaining
pages of the site - and hopefully sending out E-Letters at better intervals!
cousin's daughter - we usually refer to her as our niece, which is a simpler introduction
- was diagnosed last year at age 44 with oesophageal cancer. This has a worse
prognosis than prostate cancer but she has weathered the storm of therapy and
has so far been classified as NED (No Evidence of Disease) which is the equivalent,
I guess, of our Undetectable PSA.
Although I helped her to find information
on the Internet after her diagnosis, she found that there was no one place where
general information could be found. This was much the same position back in 1996
when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. She is not in a position to set up
a Yana-type website, but she has written a basic Information Guide which she is
having printed. I offered to put her document up on Yana so that there would be
international access. It is a pdf document at THE FULL SPECTRUM - Living with Oesophageal Cancer
and I mention it specifically because I think she has been ingenious in how she
has treated the aspect of a diet which is suitable for helping to deal with all
cancers because it is basically a healthy one. As she says, echoing so many other
experts, we should aim to "eat a rainbow" every day and she provides
some suggestions. What I like is the way she has presented the list of food in
color for easy identification.
If you know anyone who has been unfortunate
enough to have had an oesophageal cancer diagnosis, perhaps you could point them
in the direction of this link.
Ray Stingray's wife mailed me in August to
say that Ray had passed on in April. I sent our condolences to her.
in my note above that the automation of the Yana site has been running well. Just
the other day, Mark drew my attention that six months have gone by since we went
live with the new database system and that 642 stories have been updated in that
That means that of the 1,143 stories on the site, no fewer than 854
have been updated within the last 12 months, giving newcomers an excellent picture
of how life goes on for most men after a diagnosis of prostate cancer, no matter
what the treatment choice is. I am always grateful for those who make the effort
to let us know how they are.
We have kept the 289 stories which have not
been updated lately because there is some value in reading many of these contributions.
I just wish the men concerned would let us know how they're doing.
of you may have noticed the addition of the RSS link and logo in the top right
hand corner of most of the pages on the Yana site. The link is not on all the
pages because I haven't got around to updating all the pages yet.
service allows you to tag a specific page and be notified whenever there is a
change in the page - updated information or additional information. It makes it
much more simple for you to keep track of what is happening in those areas or
stories of specific interest to you.