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Prostate Cancer

getting checked is better than dying

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Andy Joyce15/09/2019 18:23:17
54 forum posts
15 photos

Thanks Glyn for the info. Believe I get 20 treatments, but sure I will find out when I next see the consultant. Interesting about the enema, was not aware of that. Had a similar experience for a colon examination. Thought it had not worked then boy or boy did it do its job. Worst was the taste of the liquid they gave me.

No hot flushes as yet but certainly the interest in ones manly duties has reduced, so the drug must be working.

Glyn4415/09/2019 18:33:14
700 forum posts
92 photos

You don’t get to taste this type! Enjoy.

Andy Joyce16/09/2019 07:33:51
54 forum posts
15 photos

Spoke to soon about the hot flushes, on the positive side its the only thing that is heating up the bedroom.

David Ovenden21/09/2019 12:15:49
335 forum posts
17 photos

I know this thread has been running for a while as I’ve been following it. I’ve refrained from posting , even though I have prostate cancer, as I thought I needed to see how I progressed before saying too much. I think it might be good to post my experience now as we are not all the same and things seem to vary so much from person to person:

I went to the doc with peeing problems last summer. He told me “nothing to worry about” , its your age (63) - have some pills. They didn’t really help. So I went back to see him and he sent me for a blood test. Result a PSA of 9. I was worried when the results came through. The doctor said not to worry as it was highly unlikely I had cancer. I explained I was very worried as I had breast cancer in 2008 (Yes breast cancer -it happens to men too) I was told “not to worry, I very much doubt its cancer. I’ll send you to see a urologist” There was a 5 month wait for the appointment.

On seeing the specialist he did a rectal examination. Result - prostate enormous & v. hard. Bad news. 2 week wait for biopsy( which was excruciatingly painful). So this obviously varies enormously from person to person. Biopsy revealed Gleason 9 (5+4) and a rare high grade cancer. MRI tests showed the cancer had spread to my seminal vesicles (this was pretty bad news to receive )but thankfully no further. A bone scan showed no problems there, which was better news. Overall the conclusion was T3b prostate cancer.

David Ovenden21/09/2019 12:15:56
335 forum posts
17 photos

As far as treatment goes, I’ve had my prostate re-sectioned (TURP) so I can now pee normally again – hooray!. Plus I’ve had monthly hormone injections (Firmagon) since May. The result of the hormones is, as others have said, very frequent hot flushes but nothing worse in my case. (Even the manly function still mostly operates). 10 days after the first hormone injection had my PSA dropped from almost 10 to 0.17. After 3 month the consultant was amazed that my grossly enlarged prostate had almost “totally diminished” in size. (His words) He also wrote that it was “very encouraging”.

I am now 4 weeks into a 8 weeks course of daily radiotherapy. Thankfully the hospital has Rapid ARC machines which are very accurate and quick. Less than 2 minutes for the actual radiation part. Usually only 10 mins in total. As others have said, the hardest part is arriving ready with a full bladder and empty rectum after a one hour journey to the hospital. They did supply me with a jumbo pack of suppositories for daily use! So far after 4 weeks I have no real negative effects from the RT. There are till 4 weeks to go of course. I have stuck rigidly to the low-fibre diet that the consultant advises during the RT treatment. Sticking to the diet is much harder than having the treatment.

Currently the doctors are pretty positive and say my progress is good and are looking for a full cure. We will have to wait and see what the tests show after treatment is complete, and then what happens in the longer term. However, I am very positive that I will get through this and “see-off” this (2nd) cancer. I am feeling well and doing just about everything like normal. Next moth I am having some genetic tests to see what makes me so popular with cancer cells. Hopefully this will help others in my family in avoiding what I’ve been through.

Why am I writing this? It is certainly not for sympathy or because it’s pleasant to talk about. However, my experience may be a little different to someone else’s. It’s important we know that we are all different and that things don’t always happen in the same way. What I have learnt is:

  • Do insist on a second opinion if you are not happy with what the doctor says at first or, at least, insist on a referral sooner rather than later. Mine was classed as “non-urgent”.
  • Biopsies can vary enormously. Many say its’ “nothing” mine was excruciating even after local anaesthetic and gas/air mix.
  • In my case the hormone therapy was very effective in slowing down/reducing the cancer.
  • A serious cancer can be treated and treated successfully. Modern procedures and treatments can have a dramatic positive impact even with serious cancers.
  • Don’t despair. Stay positive and keep with the treatments.
  • Keep flying!
  • Oh! Did I mention? Get tested and don’t put off going to see the doctor if you have any concern about peeing or prostate. For most people it is not a problem. But you never know until you get it checked.
BackinBlack21/09/2019 16:58:39
92 forum posts
1 photos

David, Thank you for your story, so glad that things are going in the right direction for you.

It does highlight not only the different treatment experiences we have all had, but also the difference between medical professionals (and areas?) in assessing the need for and type of treatment offered.

Having related the usual pee symptoms to my GP, she immediately took a sample for PSA test. 2 days later I was recalled to the Surgery to be told they as I had a PSA of 8.5 I would be referred as urgent (to see a Consultant within 14 days). MRI and biopsies followed within a couple of weeks, treatment options offered, discussed and chosen with Radical Prostatectomy (DaVinci method) just 10 weeks after initial PSA results. Brilliant work by the Churchill Hospital, Oxford. Thankfully I now have over 12 months of PSA less than 0.01.


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