Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jan 8 2009 Treatment Options

Jan 8 2009 Once diagnosed the frenzy of researching prostate cancer with respect to treatment options is imperative.

I want to provide two thoughts;

1. Become proactive, be your own advocate, do the research, ask the questions, seek second opinions, interview doctors, cancer patients, cancer survivors; this is your life at stake.

2. Ensure the websites you visit are legitimate i.e.,,,,

Don't discredit the blog sites, they can be very helpful when it comes to actual cancer survivors experiences.

When discussing treatments you have six options;

watchful waiting
In watchful waiting, you get no treatment, but you see your doctor often. If there's no sign the cancer is growing, you continue to get no treatment.

radical prostatectomy
Radical prostatectomy is a surgery to remove the whole prostate gland and the nearby lymph nodes. There are two options the open surgery or the daVinci robotic assisted surgery.

radiation therapy
There are 2 types of radiation therapy. In one type, called external beam radiation therapy, radiation is given from a machine like an x-ray machine. In another type, radioactive pellets (called "seeds") are injected into the prostate gland. This is sometimes called seed therapy or brachytherapy. The external beam therapy option has an alternative method called “proton therapy”,

hormone therapy
The purpose of hormone therapy is to lower the level of the male hormones, called androgens, which are produced mostly in the testicles. This is because androgens, such as testosterone, help the prostate tumor grow.

liquid nitrogen freezing of the cancer

In our research there were only two options for us; surgery or external beam radiation. So I will attempt to explain our decision. Here is our argument; we have the option to remove the cancer from my body for good, using cancer and cure in the same sentence vs. treating a cancer with the ability to kill it but still having to monitor the PSA, the DRE and possibly follow-on biopsies while both treatments can/could have the same side effects. What quality of life are you seeking? We opted for the surgery utilizing the daVinci system and seeking out the best surgeon for the procedure.

I would never attempt to provide advice to any other prostate cancer patient on what treatment would be best for them. It is all based on the individual’s situation regarding cancer stage, patient age, health and quality of life thereafter. So take control and you make the decision.

1 comment:

  1. You've done a great job on this. You are facing a Giant but you've got the greatest Father there is on your side. I noticed back on your 31 Dec blog about the 30, 60 & 90 day appointments. Do you want me to attend and record TMERs?