10 years of prior PSA testing, 1st test showed PSA 1.2 at age 43 (father had prostate cancer). slacked off for 2 years while travelling, test showed PSA had gone from 1.9 in 2012 to 4.3 in 2014. (more than doubled). No symptoms or night time bathroom visits.
Begged for DRE, my Dr was reluctant! resulted in noticeable lump being found. (A prior DRE 2 years before had also shown a lump but for some reason that DR sent me for a sigmoidoscopy, which showed a healthy colon).
Biopsy showed 4+3 Gleason Grade, stage T2b
Talked with Surgeons and Radiologist. 1st decision was surgery as I was fit and healthy. 1 day prior to surgery MRI revealed lump might extend outside of prostate and could involve seminal duct (resolution of MRI makes it hard to be 100% sure).
I opted for radiation as chances seemed high I might end up in radiation anyway after surgery if seminal duct was revealed by surgery to be involved (no point in doing both surgery and radiation!)
Later research led me to Anderson Associates cancer treatment center video of Dr. Roach. His statistical evidence really impressed on me the gains that had been made in radiation and the better outcomes for man's best friend ;-) when compared to surgery and nerve damage.
Had 4 mths of Zoladex prior to radiation, fatigue and hot flashes but not enough to stop me surfing!
Gold seeds implanted to guide radiation (ouch). Daily radiation treatment was fine few side effects beyond fatigue and increased night time peeing, 3-4 times.
I did a fair amount of swimming and hiking, watched my diet using myfitnesspal, kept near recommended vitamin and nutrient balance, took calcium+Vit D, also probiotics.
Finished 2 months of treatment 78gy total dose.
It's now 45 days after treatment and I feel pretty good, no more side effects than before! Insisted on bone density test, revealed I had ostopenia (-1.7) most likely due to hormone treatment, wish I had had a test prior to treatment!
After 9 mths total of Zoladex I am thinking of quitting and not doing the last 3 mths zoladex my Dr recommended due to bone loss, and it seems most do not continue for much more than 2 months after radiation anyway.
After radiation sex has been a bit painful in 1st week but now is ok. "it" still works 100% but I of course still feel the loss of libido and desire, the darn thing has a mind of its own though.
Just started an increased fitness and resistance training regime to help my bones. I think exercise and hiking really reduced my side effects of fatigue and helped my mental state.
2016, Feb 29th ! one year and 2 months after end of Hormone treatment.
I did the full year of Hormone treatment even though I had comcerns about bone loss, Dr thought as I was 5ft 7" and have always been under 150 Ibs or less perhaps my Osteopenia has always been there?
It seems to me my penis did shrink a bit, scare tissue damage from radiation I guess? but works fine!
Side affects from the radiation and hormone treatment have been better than expected. Libido is returning as Testosterone returns to normal range. I had a slight uptick in PSA 1 year and 2 months after end of radiation treatment to 0.15 ug/l (lowest it ever went was 0.019 ug/l which was just prior to radiation treatment) as the testosterone returned to near normal range, lets hope is keeps under control as the months pass.
Life is mostly normal and my regime of fitness and resistance training has me in better shape than before this all started, I am positive this has helped with side affects of all kinds and also helped improve my mental state. (I have always been an optimist).
In last 3 months or so I find I need to be careful with high fiber foods like museli and irritants like coffee as I have very occasional bright red blood spots in tissue after taking a dump, I am almost certain the fiber is to blame. Must still need healing internally. Online this seems like an expected side affect from radiation in some people. All other bodily functions are normal.
I am happy to be through the battle and happy that I was proactive about my health and had my PSA; and the DRE tests, and have hopefully saved myself from my fathers fate.
I would 100% take the same treatment again and I am relieved not to have had surgery with its side affects.
PSA being tested every 6 months, PSA had a jump to 1.0 at 17 months. (0.019 12 months prior)
hopefully as this is at the 17 month from end of treatment it is a benign pop, one article I read indicated the 18 month benign jump as a good indicator and those that "did not" see small a pop at 18 months had a higher failure rate at 5yr point. Another article on this site pointed out a reading of 0.07 is technically still "undetectable".
Anyway I feel good, still very active, paddle boarding, highly recommended as a easy, gentle full on work out with low body impact and good muscle building all over! also swim and surf.
I have continued to take Theracumin as it stops my pain from rotator cuff injuries completely.
I also have started taking pomi-T, UK double blind study showed dramatic benefits for lowering PSA, don't like tablets so I break them open and sprinkle on my fruit, nut, yogurt breaky, along with vitamin+K2, be sure to take K2 with D.
PSA has seen a slow rise from after radiation treatment of 0.09 to today at 1.7, really hope it goes no higher! 2.0 seems to be the threshold that BC cancer uses to start thinking about recurrence... had an MRI 2 days ago, should help show any obvious changes in Prostate.
Feel great, healthy, lots of exercise (surfing), always trying to remember I am statisically more likely to die from something other than cancer...