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MikeL46
03-08-2015, 04:40 PM
Ok, this has nothing to do with machining. If you are not concerned about prostate
cancer just close this thread and go to another topic. This is not intended to scare or
upset anyone, but with over 30,000 men dying every year from this disease this is an
important subject and much of the information I share here was not available anywhere else.

1 man in 6 will suffer from prostate cancer. 1 in 6!! I am one of the unlucky ones. My
diagnosis started with a routine PSA test that was slightly high (4.6 vs. 4.0 max limit),
followed by a biopsy and some worrisome days. There are many on this forum that are or will
be in the same boat. If you or someone you know is suffering with this disease I will offer
some observations that may help you through the first couple of months. My dad went through
this 20+ years ago, we never talked about any of it until I was going through it - then he
said my experiences mirrored his.

I spent hours talking to doctors and learned about treatments and complications - but
nothing about how it can affect your day to day life. There is a book, Prostate Cancer for
Dummies. Get a copy and read it. It is a very good reference on the subject


There are 4 main options for prostate cancer:

- Surgery to remove the prostate

- External beam radiation to kill the cancer (and adjacent tissue)

- Implanted seed radiation to kill the cancer (and adjacent tissue)

- Watchful waiting. Keep an eye on the cancer, but do not treat.

Watchful waiting is primarily for patients who's tumor is not expected to be a problem
before the end of life. Very slow growing tumors and older patients.

Generally younger, healthier patients choose surgery. The prostate is removed and biopsied.
If you choose this option you will have a answer as to the whether all the cancer was
removed or not.

Generally older or less healthy patients opt for one of the radiation treatments because it
is easier on the body and doesn't have the physical recovery issues.

There is no Chemotherapy for prostate cancer. Generally, Chemo kills fast growing cells
(most cancer, hair) and prostate cancer is slow growing. Prostate cancer that has spread
beyond the prostate is not always treatable. If you are in this condition, you and your
doctor have difficult decisions to make. You have my sympathy.

If you choose treatment, start the Kegel exercises as soon as possible. These exercises
strengthen a muscle that is needed to close off the urine flow, a task the prostate handles
until it is removed or damaged by treatment. The muscle is the same muscle that women use to
control urinary flow. It takes about 3-6 months to get reasonable bladder control after the
exercises start. After the 3-6 months you probably will no longer need to wear diapers, but
you may still need some form of incontinence control (underwear pads). The sooner you start
the Kegels the sooner you will have urinary control.

For multiple reasons I chose to have surgery instead of radiation. This is a choice you need
to make with help of your doctor. Your preference may be different than mine. The success
rates for the 3 forms of treatment are nearly identical, your decision will be based on
factors other than the prospects for a positive outcome.

Since I had surgery, I can not comment on recovery from radiation. Perhaps there is someone
else on the forum that can discuss external and implanted radiation.

Here are some thoughts about pre and post surgery.

If possible, schedule surgery late in the year. Diapers will be needed until you regain
control of your bladder. Diapers are basically plastic and waterproof. In moderate weather I
found myself sweating in the diaper. I cannot imagine wearing a diaper in hot weather. Since
prostate cancer is slow growing it is usually acceptable to postpone treatment for a few
months. I had planned on hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up in one day, so
I put off treatment for 3 months, until after the hike. I'm glad I did because I lost enough
muscle during recovery that I don't think I could do the hike now. And I suspect at my age
(66) it will take a year or two to rebuild the muscle and stamina to do that strenuous hike.

My surgery was with the aid of a robot with small incisions and quicker recovery. What no
one ever warned me about was effects the gases can have on your body. What gases you ask?
For robotic surgery they use gas pressure to inflate your abdomen so the surgeon can see
what he is doing. The next morning I was in bed feeling as well as I could expect. Then I
needed to take a walk around the hospital. After surgery exercise is important. And all was
going well, so I decided to take the longer route back to my room. Bad decision! After
about 10-15 minutes upright the residual gas migrated up to my shoulders and caused pain
I couldn't imagine. Eventually I got back to my room, laid down and waited 5-10 minutes for
the pain to subside. This was the worst part of the whole experience. Later I talked to my
daughter after her robotic hysterectomy, and she had an identical experience. So, take more
frequent, shorter walks for the first couple of weeks after robotic surgery of any kind.

Even with minimally invasive Robot Assisted Laproscopic surgery (even more so with
conventional surgery) you will have very sensitive abs. By doctor's orders I could not lift
5 lbs. for 3 months. I was unable to get into or out of bed by myself. And laying flat
(stretching my abs) hurt so bad I refused to go back to bed. In order to be able to get up
and down by myself and sleep sort of comfortably I rented a reclining chair. Using my arms I
was able sit down on the recliner, lean back and sleep in reasonable comfort. And I could
use my arms and legs to get the recliner upright and then up and out of the chair. After 1
month I had recovered enough to get back into my bed. My strongest advice is: If you opt for
prostate surgery, have a recliner ready before surgery. I cannot even imagine post surgery
recovery without having the recliner.

You will leave the hospital with a catheter for a couple of weeks. Sitting (essentially on
the catheter) is painful. I had to sit on open centered pad to take the pressure off. After
the catheter was removed I was still quite sensitive for a couple of months. Sitting on two
pillows, one under each cheek will make it more comfortable. You will need adult diapers
when the catheter is removed, and until you gain bladder control. Start those Kegels early
for a faster recovery.

During the first 3 months after surgery you may be physically restricted. Watch your diet!
With the reduced activity, I gained 20 lbs. in 3 months!! Nothing to do but sit around and
eat. Getting the weight off is very difficult for me.

After you have enough control to stop wearing diapers you can resume most normal activities.
I was told NO bicycle riding for 6 months. I'm not sure if a special, two pad, prostate safe
seat would reduce the downtime or not. For sure a normal bike seat is quite painful after 5
months and after a year I can ride pain free.

Good luck with whatever treatment you choose.

If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to PM me or reply to this post.

Mike

Edwin Dirnbeck
03-08-2015, 05:59 PM
Thank you for sharing your experiance. I have known a few buddies that have had the same treatment and are doing well. Good luck ,EDWIN DIRNBECK

KiddZimaHater
03-08-2015, 07:34 PM
Thank you for your post.
It's a topic all men should pay attention to.
I only wish the NFL and the media would promote prostate cancer awareness the same way they promote breast cancer awareness.

Kiwi
03-08-2015, 07:38 PM
Hi that is also my story, two years ago in May there is only one essential difference and that is mine was classified as aggressive the PSA was climbing fast being the only symptom that I had. I elected to have the prostate removed by keyhole surgery as I had 4 positive strands in the biopsy about two months from biopsy to surgery in recovery my surgeon told me if I left it another week he wouldn't have got it all as it had escaped the prostate. SO DON'T ASSUME YOU HAVE TIME. he did get it all as I've just had my all clear the gas from the op was not a issue with me I think the general anesthetic affected me the most. The exercise is definitely a must I've always had good bladder control before the op not now afterwards, and I did the exercise. However it still getting better never had to use full nappies just a pad for about six months so all in all not to bad Now for the hard bit Erections (can't believe I'm putting it on a public Forum) but it should be said after your prostate is removed, Don't know about other treatments like the radiation!In my case they are coming back very slowly The Viagra and Cialis pills apparently help with most people but with me they just give me a headache. Injections (mood killer) but boy they work like a school boy and can really last but one must be careful not exceed an hour
oops have to go
Cheers Kiwi

TGTool
03-08-2015, 08:12 PM
Similar experience and advice. One piece from my Urologist - radiation makes affected tissue more friable so surgery later would be problematic. Sooo - on the chance that you might need a backup therapy if the first isn't 100 percent successful, take surgery first. They can give you radiation later, but if you've had radiation first, surgery is out.

I just used baby diapers (nappies) tucked into briefs at my doctors suggestion. Cheaper option and worked satisfactorily.

My surgery wasn't the robotic version but just an incision (roughly navel to pubis) but it wasn't a particular recovery problem so I don't know how I might have healed with a different approach. Four months later I was shoveling snow - gently.

In terms of timing I ran into one gotcha I'd never considered. Surgery was in October and bills continued to arrive into the following year. That meant I had to meet the deductible for two consecutive years. I wouldn't recommend postponing surgery. My doc wanted it ASAP after biopsies were in so I only waited a week or so. Just one more unfortunate wrinkle in the health care business.

Do keep getting those PSA tests and DRE's. Prostate cancer isn't a good way to die, though I don't know if there is a good one.

Steve Middleton
03-08-2015, 08:23 PM
I went through this in 2005 and elected surgery. My recovery was relatively quick BUT 10 years later my PSA is about 0.5 so they missed a fragment of diseased tissue. I'm sure everyone's experience is different but you definitely need to be aware.

Joe Rogers
03-08-2015, 08:23 PM
Add me to the list also. Similar results but I didn't have gas problems. I did have a pinched nerve in my right thigh that was due to the method of positioning for the surgery. Took several months to calm down. I can recommend the DaVinci Robotic surgery. It was minimally invasive. My problem in the whole process was the biopsy. The first urologist downplayed the impact of the procedure and I found it to be much more difficult pain wise. And I have a high pain threshold. Misleading information for sure...
Joe

davidh
03-08-2015, 08:25 PM
my turn ! about 6 years ago, i went in for ream job. my dr said my choice was microwave or the knife but he recommended the knife. not a bad thing to go thru. but. . . they saved the little snips of meat that was removed and it was tested. out of 19 little pcs, two of them had cancer cells. . my psa test was below 1, on the charts but. . .now what ?
after as much information as i could gain, i opted to do the removal. so we did the schedule, and in i went. when i wok up the good dr. said he could not remove it due to way too much scar tissue from prior prostate infections, and if he would have done it anyway i would have been using an external bag for ever. not a good thing for me. the next option was radiation but first i needed to have two gold markers stuck in my prostate, rectually. then the radiation machine could be set with a couple tattoos on my hip bones and these two markers so the can actually hit the spots with the beam. after i healed from that i started treatments . . 42 sessions on the strange machine. they say thats as much as i could have so now what next. ?
after 42 sessions of radiation, i was pretty weak, and the radiation was still doing its thing, even after the sessions were over. . . I'm not sure how long it really took, like in weeks or months but the outcome was not pretty. . . .
in doing the "burning" they claimed that they try to hit every bit of the prostate plus about a 1/2" beyond. . . now think about the last rectal test , the prostate is right about there. . . so they kill stuff. stuff that would not repair itself. my "switch" that tells me i best hit the potty was severely burned & scar tissue at and around my lower intestine caused it to shrink and become not round anymore, and its very easy to get compacted. and i had nearly uncontrollable diaharia. i could not comfortably go anywhere without knowing exactly where the next bathroom was. and it was very uncomfortable besides from all the diaharia.
i finally went to a lower g i doctor she actually inserted a camera in my insides, told me what she saw and recommended a bulk forming laxative. . . laxative ? ? like i wasn't having enough trouble.
i was very surprised that it worked. i still take them daily and its has made my life much better.
they have come a long was since i was radiated, i went and visited the radiation doctor and told him of the problems i had and he said they have changed methods and machines and it was much better now.

a friend of mine had a similar problem and he went to someplace in chicago for the same treatment as i had. he has had no problems like mine.

as far as erections are concerned, thats all gone, i guess i can live on memories but........at 73 yrs old, wt heck.

i have had my annual test and short of psa results there is really no way to know if it was fixed.

thanks for reading,
davidh

garyhlucas
03-08-2015, 10:49 PM
Okay,
I'll add my experience. My PSA went from a 1.2 to 2.4 in one jump. So they did a biopsy. Mild discomfort my ass! More like a telephone pole. MAKE them knock you out completely! I feel sorry for the poor bastards that had it done more than one because the weren't sure of the results. Came back with cancer cells in 8 out of 12 samples. I started researching all the options. My general doctor sent me to an Oncologist who was great at working me through the options. When my urologist wanted to do robotic surgery he told me to ask him how many times he had done this surgery. My doctor said 25 times. All the literature suggests the doctors technique will continue to improve up to about 400 surgeries, if done frequently enough. So the oncolgist gave me the name of a doctor that had done 2500 already. He wasn't in my health plan. So I found another, a Dr Lee at Penn Presbyterian in Philadelphia. He had done over 3,000 before he did mine.

In at 10:00 am on Wednesday, out at 10:00 am the next morning. Never needed anything for pain, not even a Tylenol. 7 days with a catheter, that's enough! The babe who pulled it out Kelly was absolutely gorgeous, and it still hurt like hell! Then they have you drink water and stick around until you pee so you are sure you can. They really need to warn you about that. After trickling for the past 15 years with an enlarged prostate suddenly I had trouble not hitting the wall! Still good after 4 years too. Did the Kegels before surgery and very little problem with bladder control as long as I don't try to show it who is the boss.

Now about that erection stuff. Before surgery I was good for an hour or two, often took a shower and came back to bed still ready to go. Used to laugh at the Dixafloppin commercials. Well, I think they lopped off an inch or so while they were at it. I don't have any trouble getting it or staying up, but getting that gun to fire is really really tough.

A guy in my office came to me and asked who my surgeon was and whether I could answer some questions. I said sure, but only if I can watch and maybe play with the Davinci machine just a little! Same surgeon did his surgery too. Joke in the office was that Solid Edge is cancer causing. Only two people in the office using it got cancer!

oldtiffie
03-10-2015, 09:15 PM
Ok, this has nothing to do with machining. If you are not concerned about prostate
cancer just close this thread and go to another topic. This is not intended to scare or
upset anyone, but with over 30,000 men dying every year from this disease this is an
important subject and much of the information I share here was not available anywhere else.

1 man in 6 will suffer from prostate cancer. 1 in 6!! I am one of the unlucky ones. My
diagnosis started with a routine PSA test that was slightly high (4.6 vs. 4.0 max limit),
followed by a biopsy and some worrisome days. There are many on this forum that are or will
be in the same boat. If you or someone you know is suffering with this disease I will offer
some observations that may help you through the first couple of months. My dad went through
this 20+ years ago, we never talked about any of it until I was going through it - then he
said my experiences mirrored his.

I spent hours talking to doctors and learned about treatments and complications - but
nothing about how it can affect your day to day life. There is a book, Prostate Cancer for
Dummies. Get a copy and read it. It is a very good reference on the subject


There are 4 main options for prostate cancer:

- Surgery to remove the prostate

- External beam radiation to kill the cancer (and adjacent tissue)

- Implanted seed radiation to kill the cancer (and adjacent tissue)

- Watchful waiting. Keep an eye on the cancer, but do not treat.

Watchful waiting is primarily for patients who's tumor is not expected to be a problem
before the end of life. Very slow growing tumors and older patients.

Generally younger, healthier patients choose surgery. The prostate is removed and biopsied.
If you choose this option you will have a answer as to the whether all the cancer was
removed or not.

Generally older or less healthy patients opt for one of the radiation treatments because it
is easier on the body and doesn't have the physical recovery issues.

There is no Chemotherapy for prostate cancer. Generally, Chemo kills fast growing cells
(most cancer, hair) and prostate cancer is slow growing. Prostate cancer that has spread
beyond the prostate is not always treatable. If you are in this condition, you and your
doctor have difficult decisions to make. You have my sympathy.
If you choose treatment, start the Kegel exercises as soon as possible. These exercises
strengthen a muscle that is needed to close off the urine flow, a task the prostate handles
until it is removed or damaged by treatment. The muscle is the same muscle that women use to
control urinary flow. It takes about 3-6 months to get reasonable bladder control after the
exercises start. After the 3-6 months you probably will no longer need to wear diapers, but
you may still need some form of incontinence control (underwear pads). The sooner you start
the Kegels the sooner you will have urinary control.

For multiple reasons I chose to have surgery instead of radiation. This is a choice you need
to make with help of your doctor. Your preference may be different than mine. The success
rates for the 3 forms of treatment are nearly identical, your decision will be based on
factors other than the prospects for a positive outcome.

Since I had surgery, I can not comment on recovery from radiation. Perhaps there is someone
else on the forum that can discuss external and implanted radiation.

Here are some thoughts about pre and post surgery.

If possible, schedule surgery late in the year. Diapers will be needed until you regain
control of your bladder. Diapers are basically plastic and waterproof. In moderate weather I
found myself sweating in the diaper. I cannot imagine wearing a diaper in hot weather. Since
prostate cancer is slow growing it is usually acceptable to postpone treatment for a few
months. I had planned on hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up in one day, so
I put off treatment for 3 months, until after the hike. I'm glad I did because I lost enough
muscle during recovery that I don't think I could do the hike now. And I suspect at my age
(66) it will take a year or two to rebuild the muscle and stamina to do that strenuous hike.

My surgery was with the aid of a robot with small incisions and quicker recovery. What no
one ever warned me about was effects the gases can have on your body. What gases you ask?
For robotic surgery they use gas pressure to inflate your abdomen so the surgeon can see
what he is doing. The next morning I was in bed feeling as well as I could expect. Then I
needed to take a walk around the hospital. After surgery exercise is important. And all was
going well, so I decided to take the longer route back to my room. Bad decision! After
about 10-15 minutes upright the residual gas migrated up to my shoulders and caused pain
I couldn't imagine. Eventually I got back to my room, laid down and waited 5-10 minutes for
the pain to subside. This was the worst part of the whole experience. Later I talked to my
daughter after her robotic hysterectomy, and she had an identical experience. So, take more
frequent, shorter walks for the first couple of weeks after robotic surgery of any kind.

Even with minimally invasive Robot Assisted Laproscopic surgery (even more so with
conventional surgery) you will have very sensitive abs. By doctor's orders I could not lift
5 lbs. for 3 months. I was unable to get into or out of bed by myself. And laying flat
(stretching my abs) hurt so bad I refused to go back to bed. In order to be able to get up
and down by myself and sleep sort of comfortably I rented a reclining chair. Using my arms I
was able sit down on the recliner, lean back and sleep in reasonable comfort. And I could
use my arms and legs to get the recliner upright and then up and out of the chair. After 1
month I had recovered enough to get back into my bed. My strongest advice is: If you opt for
prostate surgery, have a recliner ready before surgery. I cannot even imagine post surgery
recovery without having the recliner.

You will leave the hospital with a catheter for a couple of weeks. Sitting (essentially on
the catheter) is painful. I had to sit on open centered pad to take the pressure off. After
the catheter was removed I was still quite sensitive for a couple of months. Sitting on two
pillows, one under each cheek will make it more comfortable. You will need adult diapers
when the catheter is removed, and until you gain bladder control. Start those Kegels early
for a faster recovery.

During the first 3 months after surgery you may be physically restricted. Watch your diet!
With the reduced activity, I gained 20 lbs. in 3 months!! Nothing to do but sit around and
eat. Getting the weight off is very difficult for me.

After you have enough control to stop wearing diapers you can resume most normal activities.
I was told NO bicycle riding for 6 months. I'm not sure if a special, two pad, prostate safe
seat would reduce the downtime or not. For sure a normal bike seat is quite painful after 5
months and after a year I can ride pain free.

Good luck with whatever treatment you choose.

If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to PM me or reply to this post.

Mike

Perhaps there is chemo-therapy for prostate cancer:

https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ssl#q=chemotherapy+for+post+operative+pros tate+cancer&spell=1

MikeL46
03-11-2015, 06:07 PM
Yes, they call some of the treatments chemotherapy, but they don't kill the cancer as other chemotherapy treatments can. They can to relieve pain and help men live longer and seem to be used only after traditional treatments have failed.

It would be nice if there was a chemotherapy that could get rid of prostate cancer, but it doesn't exist - yet. Someday maybe, but not today. At least nothing accepted by the doctors I am being treated by.

Mike

polaraligned
03-11-2015, 07:13 PM
Thanks for the great post Mike.
My dad had prostate cancer 20 years ago and had his prostate removed. It ended up coming back 10 years after his surgery, at which time, he was given a drug to stop the bodies production of testosterone, which the cancer needs to grow. It was like a "chemical castration" for him.
I am 50 yrs old now and need to be on the lookout because I am at high risk.

Weston Bye
03-11-2015, 09:11 PM
Yep, I'm under the influence of the "chemical castration" drug Eligard for a while. Knocked my .2 PSA to zero. .2 doesn't seem like much unless one's prostate has been removed, then it becomes the threshold for biochemical recurrence and radiation therapy - doing that too. The hormone therapy is not a cure, but the plan is that it will weaken the cancer and make the radiation more effective.

The "other" current thread on the subject:
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/threads/66265-New-Machine-in-my-life

oldtiffie
03-12-2015, 02:49 AM
Yep, I'm under the influence of the "chemical castration" drug Eligard for a while. Knocked my .2 PSA to zero. .2 doesn't seem like much unless one's prostate has been removed, then it becomes the threshold for biochemical recurrence and radiation therapy - doing that too. The hormone therapy is not a cure, but the plan is that it will weaken the cancer and make the radiation more effective.

The "other" current thread on the subject:
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/threads/66265-New-Machine-in-my-life

Is the PSA reading "zero" really "less than 0.10 parts per million (PPM)" which seems to be the bench-mark in everything else rather than absolute zero (i.e. a true 0.00PPM)?

If it is 0.00PPM then as the machines can only measure down to 0.01PPM means that if there is PSA between 0.00PPM and 0.10PPM the machines will not pick it up but it can be increasing all the time until 0.01PPM when it will become evident in the PSA blood test.

My last two PSA tests were:

24 Sept 2014: 0.17PPM: and

22 February 2015: 0.19PPM.

which are not too bad, but I am on hormone therapy after my PSA rose after my radiation therapy.

My Doctor and my Urologist are quite happy at that at this stage.

It is true that Hormone therapy as is the case with many medical conditions is probably chronic and cannot be cured but only controlled by medication as say Diabetes and a lot of others.

The "castration" bit is not to be laughed at as it is true.

This is an extract from my previous/first hormone tablets medication:


Side Effects

Check with your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you have any problems while you are taking Procur 100 tablets, even if you do not think that the problems are connected with the medicine or are not listed in this leaflet.

Like all medicines, Procur 100 tablets can cause side effects. If they occur, most are likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and need medical attention.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.

Infertility and impotence are expected effects of Procur 100 and cannot generally be avoided. The most common side effect that may occur is tiredness and loss of concentration which may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery. Procur 100 may occasionally result in gynaecomastia (swelling of the breast area which is sometimes also associated with tenderness or sensitivity of the breast area to touch), changes in body weight, diminished libido, nausea, allergy, headache, depressive moods, shortness of breath and blood clotting (which may lead to a clot on the lungs, stroke or heart attack).

This is not a complete list of all possible side effects.

Robg
03-12-2015, 12:00 PM
I went through prostate cancer treatment and chose radiation when I was 64. It has been about 2 years now and have maintained a PSA of .5 or less since which is considered fine by my oncologist, it was about 12 before. I was put on a hormone to stop testosterone production during the 38 treatments. The hormone shut down the "drive" for about 6 months but things returned afterwards but not quite like the old days, however things still work. Any differences would most likely be due to what the result of the radiation. Never had any incontinence problems at all before, during or after. I had 4 gold markers placed in my prostate and also 4 tattoos to allow proper positioning of the radiation. I guess it tired me out somewhat but it wasn't overwhelming and I am good now.
Currently I feel very well. I would recommend this procedure.