I was recommended to have a prostate biopsy after a routine blood test picked up an increase in my PSA from 1.4 to 7 over the course of 12 months. The biopsy came back as positive for prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 9. My urologist advised that surgery was not the best option and referred me to the Oncology Radiology doctor at Auckland Hospital.
I was quite frustrated at the waiting time between appointments but very pleased at the speed of progress once I got to see the Radiology Oncologist who arranged a bone scan and a CT scan both within a week. The good news was that there had been no mets to bones or other organs and he immediately started me on a course of hormone tablets and a week later a hormone injection of Eligard. Now the waiting starts and I have a PSA test scheduled for 3 months time.
We are also investigating the possibility of brachytherapy, if this turns out not to be an option then external beam radiotherapy will begin at the end of the first 6 month injection of Eligard.
Just to update things, I had brachytherapy 2 weeks ago, without any major side effects so far apart from feeling very tired on occasions. Treatment was at Waikato hospital in New Zealand with 15 rods, had bleeding in urine for about a week afterwards but seems to have settled down now and none of the other side effects have appeared as yet.
Start external beam radiation on 13 December to follow up.
I had a course of 23 radiotherapy sessions during Dec 2012 and January 2013 and apart from tiredness and exhaustion have had no other major side effects. In February 2013 I had another Eligard hormone injection which completely killed my sex drive. Not until September 2013 did I have any return of sexual function, but it has gradually returned with the help of Cialis tablets, my gut feeling is that it will never be normal again. My PSA has gradually risen form undetectable on the first test after treatment up to 0.5 and on the last test in December 2013 was 0.75. The oncologist is confident that the rise is just a blip associated with the rise in testosterone levels after stopping the Eligard hormone treatment. I have an appointment next in February 2014 and they are continuing to monitor progress and PSA levels. If the level rises again they will consider restarting the Eligard treatment.
2014 proved to be a very good year with the doctors at Auckland Oncology giving me the all clear and now only have to have 6 months PSA monitoring. Concentrating on moving forward and enjoying life again.
This is year 4 since diagnosis and I have received no treatment over the last 12 months. The 2 PSA tests over the last 12 months have shown scores of 0.5 and 0.4. Everything seems to be tracking well.
12 months since the last update and all is good, my PSA is still low and no new side effects, happy if things continue like this.
Dave's e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org