Prostate Cancer

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 30, 2006 4:53 PM GMT
    I have had prostate cancer discovered 2 years after it started (the doctor estimates). There were no symptoms for this, just discovered in a blood test. For such a late discovery, I am going through a rigorous treatment of hormone, radiation, and radioactive seed implant therapies. It's not fun! I will be on hormone therapy for at least a year....with loss of muscle and bone mass.

    So my message to guys, especially older guys, is GET CHECKED. It only takes a simple blood test. Early detection saves you from hell on earth.

    Caslon ... Happy New Year
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1927

    Dec 30, 2006 7:27 PM GMT
    Thanks for the message Calson. I wish the best for you in your treatment and recovery. It is so important for men to get annual routine check ups which include prostate and colon exams.
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    Dec 31, 2006 4:10 PM GMT
    Good luck Calson in your treatment and thanks for bringing attention to this. If we do regular check ups as we age for prostate and colon cancer we can catch it in its early stages. If you have the slightest family history of either of these go sooner and more often. I just lost my 57 yr old brother to colon cancer a few months ago. God speed!
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    Dec 31, 2006 5:27 PM GMT
    My diagnosis was just confirmed the week before Christmas. Discovered by a routine PSA test. No symtoms. I plan to have the robotic radical prostatectomy in few weeks. News is devastating but it could have been worse so I count my blessing. Early detection is key and I, too, encourage all men to get their PSA tested and starting at age 40.
  • treader

    Posts: 238

    Dec 31, 2006 8:06 PM GMT

    Guys, thanks for the important reminder. I have my annual physical coming up in two weeks. I'll bug my doc about the PSA test. Thanks!

    Caslon, best of luck on your treatment/recovery.

    Happy New Year Everyone...
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    Jan 01, 2007 12:59 AM GMT
    Hmmm...I wonder why the one poster is going for "robotic radical prostatectomy"?

    I have a very aggressive form of cancer (your genetics determines this). The doc says he hasn't seen cancer cells this badly distorted in a long time. And, as I said, it has grown for 2 years...the cancer as far as they can see is still in the prostate, but right up to the "skin" of the prostate. But still he doesn't recommend cutting the prostate out. Instead I have had radiation all around the prostate: lymph nodes and seminal vesicles. At the end of January, radioactive implants will be inserted. The hormone therapy (blocking testosterone production; but so far I can still "perform", but shooting blanks hahaha ) for the next year is to "starve" any prostate cancer cells that may have escaped and migrated to other parts of the body, so they will die at the end of their natural cellular life span.

    If you dont have crappy genetics like mine or you get it caught early, you probably won't have to go thru all this.

    Thanks for all the good wishes guys.
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    Jan 02, 2007 11:54 PM GMT
    Hi Carlson,
    I want to wish you the best of luck in your
    treatment. Have you tried alternative medicine? mix with the regular medicine
    sometimes gives good results.
    Sending you a lot of positive energy for a good recuperation.
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    Jan 03, 2007 12:31 AM GMT
    Thanks, guillermo!

    I havent tried an alternative medicine.... unless you consider eating "anti-cancer" foods is alternative. But I haven't gone thru Prostate School yet. Yes, my friends, they have a Prostate School at the cancer center that all us patients are scheduled to attend. I haven't been yet as I said, so I dont know exactly what they are going to tell me. I expect it will be about diet mostly... maybe symptoms to watch out for... I have already told my dr that I think this whole thing is a cult. But I won't bore you all with that schtick unless someone asks to hear it. Hahahaha :-)
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    Jan 04, 2007 12:59 PM GMT
    Hi Caslon,

    You asked why I am chosing the robotic surgery. After I was told that my PSA doubled in a year, I hit the internet to find out as much as I could about prostate cancer and the treatments. I had read an article in Esquire a while ago about the robotic surgery and how this surgery had a better result, nerve wise, than traditional surgery. However, losing my prostate and not being able to shoot semen bothered me so I looked into other treatments. Everything that I've read leads me to the surgery.

    Each treatment has its pros and cons. I plan to head to a support group for gay men with prostate cancer. I'm not sure I could be as open about my concerns in with straight men. I hope to find out more about other men's experiences with their types of treatment. I'll report back.

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    Jan 04, 2007 2:20 PM GMT

    Please do keep me informed about you, your progress, and what you find out about the robotic radical prostatectomy procedure. Not to scare you, but I thought that if they cut out the prostate it usually resulted in the end of sexual performance. Maybe that is because of the extensive nerve damage that you say this robotic procedure avoids.

    Do you have any danger of cancer cells having left the prostate yet? Since my cancer was out to the edge of the prostate, my doctor is concerned about that. So my radiation included the nearby lymph nodes and the seminal vesicles. The extended hormone treatment is to prevent any escaped cancer cells from growing into tumors elsewhere....usually in the lymph or bones.

    If at the end of this year, my PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen, what they test for in your blood test) is normal then I will be considered cured.

    For those who dont know:
    0-4 normal PSA
    5-10 intermediate PSA
    >10 high PSA

    Mine was 19.3 at diagnosis and rising.

    My cancer cells by the Gleason scale were 9.
    The Gleason scale goes from 1-5, 5 being the worst. So how do they get 9? When they look at the biopsy, all the cells aren't the same. So they add the numbers of the types of cells they mine they saw 4s and 5s. So I got a 9. Not good!

    (Oh, a word about the biopsy. Get the local anesthesia. My hospital did it without any and they are cutting LIVE tissue out of you, for goodness sake. OUCH!)

    Again, gentlemen, the best way to avoid this nightmare is to get tested regularly and get treated early. The earlier it is detected, the less the treatment needs be.
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    Jan 04, 2007 3:03 PM GMT
    The robotic surgery is the most precise method out there. It is the best at preserving the nerves. All men have different results. Some stories I've seen have men getting natural erections in as little as six weeks, others at 18 months.

    If the cancer is confined to the prostate, once it is removed, there is almost no chance of metastasis and no need for further treatment. However, recently I read that PSA may increase several years after surgery. I guess it is a crap shoot.
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    Jan 04, 2007 3:41 PM GMT
    If the PSA went up later, I would surmise that some cancer cells had escaped the prostate and it took that long for them to grow elsewhere....the lymph and bones are their favorite vacation spots when they leave home! (Sorry, just a little prostate cancer humor there).

    Prostate cancer is slowing growing and depends on testosterone to proliferate. The first testosterone blocking hormone treatment that the doc tried on me (Lupron) was a total flop. (That's right, you can't knock out my testosterone with a little shot in the butt!) Fortunately, the next therapy (Zoladex) worked. It works on the brain to stop testosterone-production regulating hormones from being produced. Unfortunately, it's side effects are stronger.

    Of course, without testosterone, I run the risk of loss of bone mass and muscle mass. So once the radiation is over and I feel better, I have to be sure to workout regularly and take calcium.
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    Jan 04, 2007 3:44 PM GMT
    oh, but so far with the zoladex, I haven't lost the ability to "perform" and climax. Just nothing comes out....hahahahahahaha... still feels good tho. ok ok perhaps that is TMI
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    Jan 09, 2007 1:30 AM GMT
    Tomorrow is my last day of radiation therapy. Hip, hip, hurray!

    I am so glad to have this over with. But it will also be a sad day for me. For I will be parting with my 3 radiology therapists: Chris, Brian, and Dimple (that's her name, I'm not making it up) These are 3 people whom I have seen every morning for the past 6 weeks ... like Groundhog Day! They have become friendly acquaintances of mine and I will miss seeing them every morning...and making them laugh. I have a "joke" every morning for them...and we laugh while they set me up to be zapped.

    But I also realize that our perspectives are different. For me, they are 3 constants that I see every morning. For them, I am just one 15 minute session in their whole day. That is not to be callous. But when I am gone, another is there to take my place and engage their attention.

    When tomorrow morning's session is over, I will leave and there will be no one to take their places in the morning for me. For them, there will always be a steady stream of patients.

    It made me laugh this evening when I thought of a parallel to Dorothy in OZ. I like Dorothy want to to health; her to Kansas....and nothing would keep either of us in "OZ." But I will miss my 3 new friends like she said she would miss her 3 new friends.

    ...for me, by the way, Brian would be my scarecrow, Chris - the tin man, and Dimple - the cowardly lion. Hmmmm....does this make the doctor the wizard? hahahahaha ...

    oh, and the Wicked Witch of the West, she would most definitely be the doctor who did my biopsy with no anesthesia. What was she thinking!!!!
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    Jan 09, 2007 3:14 AM GMT
    oh, by the way, nobody asked about how prostate cancer is like a cult.

    Well, you see, first they scare the bejeezes out of you by telling you that you have cancer...and you think, oh my god, I'm gonna die. So now you think you need them.

    Then they just give you little needle pricks to draw some blood for testing....and you think, oh this aint so bad. They give you a little full body bone scan. Again, no pain, no problem.

    Then they awe you by taking you into the MRI and you think, wow, this is something.

    Now they test you to see if you have what's necessary to be a part of this cult. They give you a biopsy .... with no anesthesia ... OUCH! If you are still around, they gotcha!

    And they start taking over your life.... first, with radiation therapy, which grabs hold of your schedule...every day at the same time you gotta be there. Then the dietitian calls and dictates what you can eat. And they schedule you for Prostate School so you can be indoctrinated with the finer points of the cult philosophy.

    And then finally, they put the radioactive seeds in you so they can tract and control you remotely.

    But as I told my doctor, I am too smart for them, because I know.....DONT DRINK THE KOOL-AID!

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    Jan 09, 2007 3:26 PM GMT
    Hah now the cult comparison made me laugh. Caslon and Gem, you both seem to be active in determining your treatments which I think is very wise. I'd think that and keeping your sense of humor helps keep a person mentally healthy and who knows but what that does impact the body in a positive way.

    I truly wish you both a very quick and as painless as possible recovery. Please do keep us posted!
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    Jan 18, 2007 1:16 AM GMT
    What? You're still not taking prostate cancer seriously. Ok, listen up.

    Next week, I have my radioactive seed implants (look like pieces of mechanical pencil lead) implanted.

    Post procedure diet:

    First MONTH:

    NO caffeine - coffee tea colas chocolate

    NO alcohol - beer, wine, hard liquor

    No fruited yugurt with nuts, seeds and skins

    NO fried, cured, pickled and processed meats, such as hot dogs, cold cuts, spicy ham, sausage, bacon, fried / cajun fish

    NO crushy peanut butter

    NO raw eggs (not a problem for me)

    NO raw vegetables, including salads, tomatoes and avocados

    NO strongly-flavored and gas forming (THIS IS THE CULPRIT...GAS), such as Brussel sprouts, califlower, broccoli, cabbage, sauerkraut, peppers, pimentos, cucumbers, radishes, celery, regular peas, chinese vegetables, onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, zucchini, summer squash, okra, rutabagas, turnips, turnip and collared greens.

    NO legunes, black-eyed, and split peas, lentils, soybeans

    NO beans, lima, kidney, navy

    NO tomatoes or tomato products

    NO corn

    NO raw fruit, pineaple, berries, spiced and dried fruit, prunes and prune juice

    NO citrus fruit and juice, orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime

    NO cranberries and cranberry juice

    NO bread and rolls made with coarse whole and cracked wheat flour, breads with nuts and seeds

    NO whole grain crackers

    NO whole grain cereals, shredded wheat, all bran, bran flakes, raisin bran

    NO potato chips and corn chips

    NO brown and wild rice

    NO whole wheat pasta

    NO highly seasoned soups and those containing vegetables (see above)

    NO bacon fat

    NO salad dressings

    NO desserts made with nuts, seeds, skins, coconut

    NO marmalades and jams with rinds and seeds

    NO pepper, chili pepper, strongly flavored herb or spice garlic

    NO BBQ, steak, tabasco sauces

    NO mustard, horseradish

    NO pickles, olives, relishes

    NO nuts, seeds, coconut, popcorn

    NO pizza

    NO fiber supplements

    That leaves me with, in case you are wondering:

    meat, eggs, fish


    smooth peanut butter and jelly

    mild cheeses

    refined grain products

    cooked, skinned, seedless vegetables: tender cooked carrots, beets, asparagus tips, green and waxed beans, mushrooms, spinach, petite peas, pumpkin, winter squash and eggplant (no skin)

    ... for a WHOLE MONTH


    NO citrus fruit or juice-orange grapefruit lemon/lime

    NO caffeine - coffee tea colas chocolate

    NO alcohol - beer, wine, hard liquor

    NO tomatoes or tomato products

    NO hot, spicy foods

    NO vitamin C supplements

    NO asparatame - aritifical sweetners

    NO glucosamine chondroitin supplements

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 18, 2007 5:26 PM GMT
    Wow. That would be a challenging diet for me.
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    Jan 18, 2007 5:35 PM GMT
    Look on the bright....this diet will make grocery shopping a lot easier! :-)

    The motivation for following the diet is: otherwisem your bowels may rupture (which cant be repaired) and having to have a colostomy bag for the rest of your life...

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    Jan 18, 2007 6:10 PM GMT
    Um...ok so no cheating on this eating plan. You really do have my sympathy on this for what it's worth. I guess another bright side is that it's just for a few months. But no raw fruits and vegetables and BEER? Ok, it's just for a few months and a healthy colostomy bag life.
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    Jan 21, 2007 7:33 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the good wishes, guys. It does help to hear them at a time like this. Thursday I have the radioactive implants. :-(

    I am happy to hear that I have raised the awareness of some on here to Prostate Cancer. I cant go back and get tested earlier myself, so I will have to take happiness from the notion that maybe I am saving others from these therapies.

    The earlier it is caught, the better! It only takes a blood test for your PSA...just a little prick (this time that is a good thing! haha)
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    Jan 22, 2007 5:43 PM GMT
    Caslon, those radioactive seed things are nothing to worry about. It sounds like what you've been through is much worse. My brother-in-law had those seeds implante...and while it was uncomfortable for a while, he adjusted really quickly. And, they worked. His cancer cleared completely.

    As for the PSA test, hopefully all here on this site, being very concerned about our bodies, have that done routinely as part of our yearly physical exam/blood test.

    Good luck through this, and I am sure you will be fine.
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    Jan 22, 2007 9:10 PM GMT
    good luck guys with your respective treatments. Keep on fighten :)
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    Jan 25, 2007 10:41 PM GMT
    The radioactive implants are in....

    I am writing this while sitting on a bag of frozen baby peas....recommended to keep the swelling down. Obviously, there is no indignity too great to be perpetrated on the prostate cancer patient!

    The implant procedure went fabulously! Not a moment's problem or discomfort. The IV was inserted in my hand with the slightest of pricks. I went into the operating room feeling over on the table....had the gas mask put on my face.....and that is the last that I remember.

    I woke up in the Recovery Room feeling great....amused the nurses with my Donald Duck voice and light banter. My Recovery Room nurse said I was a real pleasure to have as a patient and that she even wished she could spend more time with me.

    I came home feeling great. But I am told that is because the anesthesia hadn't totally worn off. Who cares? hahahahah I was feeling just fine!

    But no day in Prostate Cancer-land is unalloyed.

    I don't know exactly what this procedure has to do with urination, but I will find out tomorrow when I go back to the hospital for a check-up. However, urinating is like being electrocuted, I imagine. The pain made me fear that I was truly going to have a heart attack! I can't stand up to urinate, the body can't control its muscles. Even sitting, I must hold the bathroom doorknob to steady my body. I must gather up all my fortitude knowing what I am about to endure each time, but there is no choice. It's like having to throw the switch on your own electric chair. Afterwards, my body just slumps ...and later I make my way back to my bed to let the body recover. UNBELIEVABLE!

    And, they put the patient in a Catch-22. I take a medicine that requires 8-12 glasses of water a day so that the medicine doesn't crystalize in the urine.

    I am going to suggest to my doctor that there are still a few kinks in this procedure that they might want to see about. The medication they are giving me for this pain.... i s n ' t w o r k i n g .....he said with a lilt in his voice., other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?" hahahahahaha
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    Jan 29, 2007 12:28 PM GMT
    Hi Calson,
    I am so happy to know the surgery was fine.
    I wish you the best. Keep up the good spirit
    you have.
    A big hug.