My first ever PSA test in May '05 gave a reading of 11 ng/ml and my doctor had me do a biopsy with results to me on June 7 '05 of cancer, contained within one lobe of the prostate. On that date I got a 3 month dose of Lupron--a hormone shot meant to put the cancer in remission and shrink my enlarged prostate. To decide the treatment, I talked with about 20 men who had prostate cancer and all except one had been treated, some with brachytherapy, others with surgery--primarily open surgery.
I seriously considered HDR temporary seeding and robotic surgery, never open surgery. After four consultations with urologists and oncologists, lengthy discussions with others who had prostate cancer and had been treated, lengthy study of Internet sites, and watching a robotic prostatectomy video, I ultimately decided upon HDR temporary seeding.
A complicating factor for me was that I had Chron's disease, discovered about one year prior to the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Two oncologists asserted that I was a very poor candidate for radiation because it would affect my Chron's. My treatment oncologist suggested that robotic surgery was much more likely to affect my Chron's because the surgeon would be going through my belly button and would have a good chance of hitting the Chron's area.
The HDR Brachytherapy I received on September 14, 2005 in Michigan with Dr. Martinez was first-rate treatment. Although there were no immediate aftereffects, 10 days after treatment I began vomiting and was completely exhausted. (The radiation was indeed, working.) But one week, later I felt great and since then have had no side effects; i.e., no urinary incontinence, no sexual dysfunction, and no effect on my Chron's.
The HDR temporary seeding was for me a monotherapy. I received no external beam radiation or any other treatment following the one day treatment. I would highly recommend this approach to those who have newly-diagnosed prostate cancer if they are eligible for it and I would be glad to mentor those on this site.
I believe that I have learned a lot in the past 6 months about prostate cancer and myself.
PSA tested on Jan. 14, 2006 and it read 0.10 ng/ml. Appears that treatment worked so far to kill the cancer. But testosterone read only 17, way below normal and is preventing me from maintaining an erection for long and from ejaculating although I do have orgasms.The doctor recommended that I cut back on Flomax and take Viagara on a regular basis. Have begun to do these things.
My concern is that I have some erectile dysfunction at this point and my treatment of choice was supposed to have good odds for no problem in this regard. My doctor says testosterone may be built over time and we have to wait to find out.
Anyone have experience with this sort of situation?
My latest PSA done in March '07 was < .06. My testosterone is building. March '07 reading was 116 (double November, '06) vs normal low testosterone of 240. At this rate of increase I might be close to normal low by Sept.'07
So E.D. problems are dissipating. But because I take Flomax for an enlarged prostate, I do not produce much semen during orgasm.
My testosterone build has adversely affected my emotional state. Now going back to anger, and other negative behaviors. I need to constantly meditate, study and meet with addictive groups like Alanon to maintain the emotional benefits of low testosterone. And as a final note, my testosterone was zapped by my taking Luprin--a hormone--not by my HDR treatment.
If you are going to get radiation or surgery for prostate cancer, I recommend you not get a hormone shot, although it had those emotional benefits for me.
My PSA since the HDR brachytherapy has never been more than .05. My testosterone level has been building since the luprin hormone shot and is only a little below normal, but both tests scheduled to redo tomorrow.
Lost all testosterone as a result of 3 month Luprin shot preceding the HDR Brachytherapy, and it took almost 4 years to recover to a low, normal range number. Went to 19, with normal range =280-800. Now in low part of normal range.
No side effects from HDR Brachytherapy as "monotherapy" treatment. PSA has continued very low!!!!! Still less than < 0.05.
Have had no prostate cancer symptoms since I had the treatment - HDR Brachytherapy as a monotherapy. My PSA has stayed very low. And I have been gaining testosterone to a normal level, having had a big loss of testosterone from a drug called Luprin [aka Lupron]. My brachytherapy doctor asked me why I took Luprin and I answered I thought it held off the growth of cancer prior to having a more long-term treatment.
Would be glad to tell a prostate cancer patient why I chose the HDR Brachytherapy.
Have done a PSA and testosterone test every year since the one-day temporary seeding (7 years ago) destroyed the prostate cancer. Oct. 2011, my last PSA was < .05, testosterone at bottom of acceptable range. No more ED as of a year ago, but only a little semen when having orgasm.
My approach of temporary seeding as a one day treatment has proven to work well.
So, low but normal range for testosterone. PSA<.05.
All else normal!!!
So, since my treatment 9 years ago, my PSA (done yearly) has always been < .05. My treatment--temp. brachytherapy as a monotherapy --has proven to be quite successful. My testosterone level is in the low end of the normal range reflecting the lack of recovery from lupron which was suggested by someone other than my fantastic oncologist. Please contact me with questions or ideas for more info.
Had a "heart attack" in Nov. 2014 and stent procedure had a hard time with my prostate condition. Was told by a urologist that I had "scabbing" from the original short-term brachytherapy and that urine was staying in my bladder and eventually in my kidney. So urology problems became a bigger deal than the heart situation.
Eventually, after a few months, the urologist broke thru the scabbing and I could piss better. So the radiation killed the prostate cancer but after 10 years left me with some scabbing of the urethra.
My PSA still <.05.
PSA very low and testosterone building but not quite "normal."
BUT some scar tissue built up where radiation was done causing my bladder to build urine and ultimately back into my kidney. Used catheter to get rid of scarring and mostly eliminated although perhaps some is rebuilding since my urine flow is slow. Enlarged prostate so not completely sure about what's going on.
Every year I get a PSA and testosterone blood test. So far, PSA VERY low (<.05) and testosterone marginal.
But no signs of cancer returning, so all good!!!
Am due now for a PSA and testosterone blood draw.
Ira's e-mail address is: ira AT ithacabakery.com (replace "AT" with "@")