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Old 08-14-2022, 09:38 AM   #1
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Prostate Cancer...

Prostate Cancer, two words that are generally not very welcome. Many men will hear those words at some point. For years my family doctor and I watched my PSA slowly climb. When it hit 4.0 I visited a urologist for the first time. Two biopsies later it was confirmed that I have prostate cancer. The urologist said we were going to watch it for a while. The PSA continued to climb and when it hit 7.5 he decided that now was the time to do something. The urologist, being a surgeon, offered two options surgery and traditional radiation.

So some research on my part at that point did not paint a rosy picture, The surgery has some frequent inconvenient side effect and the radiation is a long course of treatment, with possible side effects, that if unsuccessful leaves you no other options, surgery at that point is not possible.

So I continued my research for treatment options. I discovered CyberKnife. CyberKnife is not surgery, but high dose radiation. A five year study done on over 300 men who had the CyberKnife treatment resulted in a 97% effective solution with less than 2% of the men experiencing any side effects. I elected for the CyberKnife treatment and here is what it entailed.

First, 4 gold markers are placed in the prostate, under general anesthesia, next is an MRI and CAT scan. The doctors then use all that data to map out the exact locations they want the radiation applied, with sub millimeter accuracy. Several weeks later the treatments begin. The treatments are five consecutive days for an hour or less. During the treatments you are completely able return to your normal daily activities. So are there any side effects during the treatment? Yes, the prostate will begin to swell and it will affect your urinary flow and output with minor burning, all completely manageable.

So after the treatments did I suffer any side effects, no, other than my urinary flow is different than it was before the treatment but no big deal, so no incontinence, no ED and no bowel problems.

My PSA before the treatment was 9.0 it is now 6 months later and Iím at a 3.2, success! Please if you or someone you know is facing a prostate cancer treatment decision look into Cyberknife. If youíre lucky enough to live in the Seattle area, Swedish CyberKnife is one of the most experienced treatment centers in the country.

I hope that this can help other RV'ers who may be facing the same situation.

Gary
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Old 08-14-2022, 09:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Krieg View Post
Prostate Cancer, two words that are generally not very welcome. Many men will hear those words at some point. For years my family doctor and I watched my PSA slowly climb. When it hit 4.0 I visited a urologist for the first time. Two biopsies later it was confirmed that I have prostate cancer. The urologist said we were going to watch it for a while. The PSA continued to climb and when it hit 7.5 he decided that now was the time to do something. The urologist, being a surgeon, offered two options surgery and traditional radiation.

So some research on my part at that point did not paint a rosy picture, The surgery has some frequent inconvenient side effect and the radiation is a long course of treatment, with possible side effects, that if unsuccessful leaves you no other options, surgery at that point is not possible.

So I continued my research for treatment options. I discovered CyberKnife. CyberKnife is not surgery, but high dose radiation. A five year study done on over 300 men who had the CyberKnife treatment resulted in a 97% effective solution with less than 2% of the men experiencing any side effects. I elected for the CyberKnife treatment and here is what it entailed.

First, 4 gold markers are placed in the prostate, under general anesthesia, next is an MRI and CAT scan. The doctors then use all that data to map out the exact locations they want the radiation applied, with sub millimeter accuracy. Several weeks later the treatments begin. The treatments are five consecutive days for an hour or less. During the treatments you are completely able return to your normal daily activities. So are there any side effects during the treatment? Yes, the prostate will begin to swell and it will affect your urinary flow and output with minor burning, all completely manageable.

So after the treatments did I suffer any side effects, no, other than my urinary flow is different than it was before the treatment but no big deal, so no incontinence, no ED and no bowel problems.

My PSA before the treatment was 9.0 it is now 6 months later and Iím at a 3.2, success! Please if you or someone you know is facing a prostate cancer treatment decision look into Cyberknife. If youíre lucky enough to live in the Seattle area, Swedish CyberKnife is one of the most experienced treatment centers in the country.

I hope that this can help other RV'ers who may be facing the same situation.

Gary
Thanks for the writeup Gary. Its a wakeup call for sure.
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Old 08-14-2022, 09:48 AM   #3
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Thank you for sharing your personal journey. This is super important info. . . .
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Old 08-14-2022, 10:01 AM   #4
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Ugh, Cancer sucks. My brother just finished this very radiation treatment for this very thing, and I was amazed at how well he tolerated the treatments. I'm a decades-long survivor of multiple myeloma, and I still have monthly tests and yearly bone marrow biopsies. I know the challenges.

As my oncologist always reminds me, treatment is always balanced against the quality of life, and some treatments crimp our quality of life. I have permanent neuropathy from chemo, but I'm alive and spending time with my grandkids.

Everyone tolerates and responds to treatment differently, something I'm sure you've already heard. Personally, I'm an outlyer as a survivor and living proof that the right treatment (and doctor) makes all the difference.

My wife and I grow a large garden and we're both big believers in eating clean, fresh foods we cook ourselves. I was on opiates for years (back pain from the myeloma) and in 2015 switched to medical cannabis and dropped the oxy for good. I take no other medications, including over-the-counter. My dr knows and approves of this regime, and I bring her fresh tomatoes. :-)

Listen to your doctor, listen to your body, and live life to the fullest. The advances we've made in cancer treatment over the last ten years are nothing short of astonishing. Thanks so much for sharing your story and I wish you many more happy years.
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Old 08-14-2022, 01:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Krieg View Post
Prostate Cancer, two words that are generally not very welcome. Many men will hear those words at some point. For years my family doctor and I watched my PSA slowly climb. When it hit 4.0 I visited a urologist for the first time. Two biopsies later it was confirmed that I have prostate cancer. The urologist said we were going to watch it for a while. The PSA continued to climb and when it hit 7.5 he decided that now was the time to do something. The urologist, being a surgeon, offered two options surgery and traditional radiation.

So some research on my part at that point did not paint a rosy picture, The surgery has some frequent inconvenient side effect and the radiation is a long course of treatment, with possible side effects, that if unsuccessful leaves you no other options, surgery at that point is not possible.

So I continued my research for treatment options. I discovered CyberKnife. CyberKnife is not surgery, but high dose radiation. A five year study done on over 300 men who had the CyberKnife treatment resulted in a 97% effective solution with less than 2% of the men experiencing any side effects. I elected for the CyberKnife treatment and here is what it entailed.

First, 4 gold markers are placed in the prostate, under general anesthesia, next is an MRI and CAT scan. The doctors then use all that data to map out the exact locations they want the radiation applied, with sub millimeter accuracy. Several weeks later the treatments begin. The treatments are five consecutive days for an hour or less. During the treatments you are completely able return to your normal daily activities. So are there any side effects during the treatment? Yes, the prostate will begin to swell and it will affect your urinary flow and output with minor burning, all completely manageable.

So after the treatments did I suffer any side effects, no, other than my urinary flow is different than it was before the treatment but no big deal, so no incontinence, no ED and no bowel problems.

My PSA before the treatment was 9.0 it is now 6 months later and Iím at a 3.2, success! Please if you or someone you know is facing a prostate cancer treatment decision look into Cyberknife. If youíre lucky enough to live in the Seattle area, Swedish CyberKnife is one of the most experienced treatment centers in the country.

I hope that this can help other RV'ers who may be facing the same situation.

Gary
Thanks Gary for sharing your story.

Mine was similar with a couple of exceptions. My surgical procedure, two and-a-half years ago, was a Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy (RALP). While I was prepared for several months of incontinence recovery, I was actually done with the grownup pull-ups and chair/bed pads within a month (Good thing I practiced the Kegel exercises before the surgery). My PSA somewhere north of 7.5 before surgery, and has been "undetectable" since first checked two months post-surgery. The only side effects I experienced were the improved urinary flow (good thing) and ED, which was expected to last up to two years. Unfortunately at the 2.5 year mark, while there has been some improvement (aided by a daily low dose yellow pill), is still present. Could possibly be further removed from the ED but some of the options offered (penile injections) do not sound pleasant.

In hindsight had I known of the Cyberknife I may have gone that route, but who knows....it's too late to second guess my choice.

My advice to any male over the age of 40 is to get your annual checkups done and listen to your doctors, but make sure you do your own research as well.
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Old 08-14-2022, 02:27 PM   #6
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When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010 at 50 years old, I went down the road of treatment discovery like all do. What I found was that medicine is a business. The surgeon wants to cut you. The radiologist wants to cook you. That's all understandable, because that's how they put bread on the table, I get that.

An aquaintance who I did not know very well called me one night after having heard of my situation and told me about something that no doctor had mentioned to me. It's called Proton Beam Radiation, and it's nothing short of remarkable. Too long to type about here, but the technology is miraculous. My experience is now 11 to 12 years old, which in tech can be a lifetime, but back then the Proton Beam Radiation machine was the most expensive in medicine, and there were only 7 of those machines in the country at the time. That machine and that technology saved my life. I was so fortunate that one of the 7 machines that were available at the time was in downtown Houston at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, only 25 minutes drive from my home.

In all my inquiring at the time, I ran across not one guy who had chosen surgery who did not have some sort of side effect, be it leakage, ED, or whatever.

Gary seems to have great results with the CyberKnife, that's incredibly wonderful to hear. Like Gary, my PSA is vastly reduced, from 7.0 prior to treatment to 0.5 now. I have zero side effects - no leakage, ED, urinary issues - nada. Thank God.

I made up my mind at the time this had happened to me that with so many men at the time who so generously shared with me their most personal journey, that I would pay that forward by eagerly and openly doing the same with those who came down this road after me. If anyone who faces this situation currently or in the future would find comfort on talking or is looking for information, PM me and we can share phone numbers, I would be more than willing to talk with you about my experiences. Sometimes it's just comforting to speak with another guy who has been there as well.

Most importantly, my deepest respect, thanks and appreciation to Gary for his kindness and generosity in bringing this up. Please guys, keep on top of those PSA checks. The earlier you catch this insidious disease, the better the chance of beating it.

Thank you Gary, and I'm so pleased that you're doing so well. Welcome to the survivors club!!
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Old 08-14-2022, 03:24 PM   #7
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good to hear it worked out well. Prostate cancer scares me to no end


i see my doc tomorrow for my 6 month HOW ARE you and lab stuff
psa has stayed at 2.5 for last 4 years. before that no one did the blood test?
i had to say...hey i am over 50...do you think we need to look at stuff


did the finger squeeze 1.5 years ago followed by a borescope of bladder and found scar tissue from an infection i must have had decades earlier ??
prostate was firm? urologist said it was ok.





the other thing for us is bladder cancer and they tell me at 57 you should have the borerscope thing in the bladder every year? the level of pain afterwards is hard to say YES go ahead.



thanks for sharing the treatment options
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Old 08-14-2022, 04:03 PM   #8
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prostate cancer treatment is like finding the right rv, there are many options and the best option has to fit the need. The key is getting diagnosed before it gets advanced. My brother and I were diagnosed with PC at the same time, unfortunately my brothers PC was advanced because he did not get regular bloodwork, he is no longer with us :(
I am cancer free after Image guided intensity modulated radiation therapy.

There are so many variables that effect treatment selection. If anyone gets diagnosed with PC, educate yourself on the pro’s & con’s of options based on your specific condition and Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2022, 06:34 PM   #9
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While I have not yet had prostate cancer a new family physician ordered a "Free PSA" test in addition to the regular PSA test I've gotten for many years. I'd never heard of that thing.

That test result is a percentage and the lower the percentage the higher the chance of cancer even if the regular PSA test is low. Apparently around 25% they start to do more checking and around 10% prostate cancer is fairly certain. Mine was 32% with a regular PSA of 3.2

So if your physician is just ordering the plain old PSA test, consider asking them to also order a Free PSA test.

Ray
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Old 08-14-2022, 08:43 PM   #10
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What a topic!!!
Iím 3 yrs prostate cancer free following Da Vinci robotic surgery. PSA has been at 0 since surgery. Each individuals treatment needs to match their expectations, desires and wishes. Side effects, sure but minimal. And, Iím here to talk about it!!
When they did the pathology dissection post surgery, they were having a cancer BOGO! Found out I also have Lymphoma to boot. Slow grower so just monitoring for now. Another stroke of luck. Weíd rather know than not.
Our son will get his first PSA monitoring soon at 40.
Men, get tested. Ladies, tell the men in your life to get tested. Caught early itís treatable. WaitÖ..could be too late. And for heavenís sake, donít be embarrassed!!!
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Old 08-15-2022, 07:04 AM   #11
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Well, guess I'm part of this club. My PSA reading rose to 21.0. Biopsy revealed cancer. Fortunately, it had not spread beyond my prostate. Finished my radiation treatment on June 6. Still taking one FloMax tablet per day to help with urinary flow. I will have my first PSA test, post radiation treatment the end of September. Hopefully, numbers start coming down.
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Old 08-15-2022, 04:28 PM   #12
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I had Da Vinci robotic surgery 3-1/2 years ago. Absolutely no problems. Went better than I anticipated. My PSA did not drop to 0. It has been .2 ever since. Checked every 6 months.
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Old 08-15-2022, 05:38 PM   #13
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It's been 7 years since I had my meeting with a Da Vinci, and have been "undetectable PSA" ever since. Everything still works as expected with the exception of a bit of bladder capacity reduction, and learning to live with only 1 sphinkter. Sneezing and heavy lifting can cause a problem many women deal with after giving birth. Gotta keep the Kegels, but still get and occasional leak. Just comes with getting old I guess.
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Old 08-20-2022, 12:12 PM   #14
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In spring of 2020 my PSA jumped from 2.0 - 2.5 up to 4.9 so doc told me to visit a urologist. The resulting biopsy found a tumor of 6 mm. The options given me were prostatectomy, traditional exterior radiation treatment, which occupies a lot of time, or a radiation treatment called brachytherapy. Brachytherapy is the insertion of about 100 titanium seeds impregnated with a radioactive isotope.

I did some research and after some soul searching, prayer and meditation, I chose to undergo the brachytherapy. A single outpatient treatment under general anesthesia was all it took. The immediate side effects were mild pain and some burning sensations, which dissipated over time, and I felt rather tired most of the time for a few weeks. I was actually radioactive for awhile, so much that I was told to keep at least 2 feet distance from people, especially children for 12 weeks.

At this point, the radiation half-life is long since passed and I can hug my grandbrats again. My PSA levels are very low and my prognosis is good. The titanium seeds will remain in my prostate until I die.

We must all be wary of the big C now. We never know when it might come around again.
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