Afterglow's Journey with Adenocarcinoma, Prostate Cancer

Survivor: Prostate Cancer > Adenocarcinoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 7 years ago, Male, Age: 73, Progressing despite hormone therapy: No

  1. 1
    • Afterglow
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Pros...
    about 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Call from family physician indicating PSA at 23.4, need to see urologist asap. Kind of ruined my day. Previous PSA was 2.4 three years earlier (my fault for not getting annual physical). Follow-up DRE and PSA (25.9) supported initial indications. DRE indicated tumor on part of one side. Subsequent biopsy confirmed preliminary diagnosis, two Gleason 8's (4+4), 11 of 12 cores showing cancer. Bone scan and CT scan showed no indication of metastasis. DEXA scan showed normal bone density. Diagnosed stage of T2a indicating that the cancer probably had escaped the prostate capsule but was still localized. Started treatment immediately with Eligard (estrogen).

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  2. 2
    • Afterglow
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Pros...
    about 5 years ago
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    hormone treatment

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Started two year regimen of Eligard (estrogen) almost immediately on diagnosis. Dosage consisted of 45mg subcutaneous shot every six months (first shot June, 2009). Have experienced several side effects, though in some cases the side effects may also be caused at least in part by other treatments. First noticable side effect was hot flashes. These became severe enough to require medication (megestrol, 20mg) to control. After about 15 months, needed to increase megestrol dose to 40mg (20mg twice a day). Other major side effect has been on libido and sexual abilities-these went to non-existent. Other side effects include body hair loss, breast enlargement, testicular atrophy, light-headedness, urinary frequency, slight emotional change (more sensitive), possible fatigue, possible coordination issues. Impact on daily life has resulted mostly from change in libido and sexual abilities and from the urinary frequency (always need to know where the nearest toilet is). Hot flashes have been an inconvenience but have not had a major impact on daily activities, and are starting to abate as the Eligard begins to wear off (two-year period ended June 2011). Since the estrogen increases the likelihood of osteoporosis, I started a regimen of resistance exercises (under supervision of a personal trainer) and increased my intake of calcium and vitamin D.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    • Afterglow
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Pros...
    about 5 years ago
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    External radiation (Instensity modulated)

    Radiation

    I had IMRT on a TOMO consisting of 45 treatments at 81Gy. The first 25 treatments included the seminal vesicles and lymph nodes. From a physical perspective the radiation treatments were essentially painless. I did suffer some side effects, including urinary and bowel urgency and frequency, primarily for the first 2-3 hours after each treatment. The urinary urgency may still be with me (see comments about hormone treatments) but the bowel urgency abated after just a few months. However, there was another much more serious side effect, that of rectal bleeding. This has been treated via sigmoidoscopies and argon plasma coagulation therapy (three treatments so far and may need a fourth). The urinary and bowel urgency have had some impact on daily life, primarily an inconvenience. The rectal bleeding had a significant impact on daily life until the argon plasma treatments began to bring the bleeding under control. Since the time the third treatment took effect, there has been minimal impact on daily life.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Afterglow
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Pros...
    about 5 years ago
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    See comments

    Side Effects

    Most of the side effects I've had have been discussed with the individual treatments that are believed to have caused them. I am currently waiting for the estrogen to wear off and then can better determine which side effects may be long-term. The most serious of the side effects listed, which have also had the most significant impact on my daily life, have been the hot flashes, the loss of libido and sexual function, and the rectal bleeding from the radiation treatment. At this stage, I've not suffered any incontinence problems, probably mostly to the fact that there was no surgery.

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  5. 5
    • Afterglow
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Pros...
    about 5 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    After completion of my radiation treatment my wife and I spent a few days at one of our favorite B&Bs just to relax and start to get our lives back in order.

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  6. 6
    • Afterglow
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Pros...
    over 4 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    Getting over treatment side effects, hot flashes nearly gone and off medications for them. Latest check shows PSA holding at 0.01 or less. DRE indicates no problem. Now almost three years form diagnosis and all is going well.

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  7. 7
    • Afterglow
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Pros...
    about 3 years ago
  8. 8
    • Afterglow
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Pros...
    over 2 years ago
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    Anniversary

    Celebration

    Five years this month from diagnosis. Just had my six month follow-up with my urologist, PSA holding at 0.15 and everything continues to look good. If next six month follow-up is the same, I go to an annual schedule. We continue to celebrate life.

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