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John Thompson and Jean live in California, USA. He was 63 when he was diagnosed in October, 2008. His initial PSA was 40.00 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 7, and he was staged T1c. His choice of treatment was Brachytherapy (Seed Implant with EB and ADT). Here is his story.

In 1999 I had a PSA of 4.4 and had a negative biopsy. Over the years my PSA has continued to rise and over the last 10 years I have had 12 biopsies from 4 different doctors and an endorectal MRI that were all negative. My PSA by this time had risen to 40. All doctors said that I probably didn't have cancer, but to continue to get a biopsy every year just to make sure.

The 13th biopsy at UCI showed 2 cores out of 25 positive, Gleason 6 less than 5%. The urologist recommended surgery and was certain that the cancer was contained.

I was making appointments for surgery and fortunately my wife told her oncologist about my diagnosis and he insisted I get a 2nd opinion from a prostate oncologist that he recommended before making any treatment decisions. It was the best move I ever made.

The oncologist said the cancer that was found was statistically insignificant, and didn't warrant treatment, and most certainly wasn't the cause of my high PSA. He suspected something much more serious and ran a PSA3 and color Doppler ultrasound. Based on this he send me to an interventional radiologist who did a color Doppler ultra sound targeted biopsy. 3 out of 6 samples positive Gleason 7 were found. He had discovered a large tumour 16mm X 18mm in the transition zone that 13 previous biopsies and MRI had missed. I learned that most doctors don't biopsy the transition zone and when they do they go in at an angle that is not able to pick up most transition zone tumors. 25% of all prostate cancers are in the transition zone and are rarely biopsied.

My oncologist still feels that this still doesn't account for all of my PSA. Bone and CT scans were clear but he wants to make sure there isn't small cancers in the lymph nodes. He is scheduling me for a Combidex MRI, a lymph node imaging protocol, in Holland that is supposed to be 90%+ effective in picking up small lymph node involvement. I'm trying to get scheduled for late Feb. There is only one doctor in the world that does this MRI and he's in Holland.

The recommend treatment is Hormone therapy, followed by radiation, followed by more hormone therapy. The radiation will depend of if and where they find any lymph node involvement.

I'll keep you updated on my progress.

UPDATED

April 2009

I went to Holland to have a Combidex MRI to confirm lymph node involvement. The MRI came up clear and I chose seeds and IMRT as a treatment choice. I would highly recommend the Combidex MRI to anyone suspected of lymph node involvement.

I'm on Casodex and Proscar to reduce my 60mm prostate and PSA went to 15 after 7 days. I'm having a volume study done on April 7 and will start with seed implants in about 4-5 weeks.

UPDATED

June 2009

I had seeds implanted on May 19, 2009. It was a 3 hour procedure from the time I left my house to the time I got back; played golf 2 days later.

The only side effects are frequent and slight burning urination getting better this last week. I start 5 weeks of IMRT at the end of June.

I took Casodex and Proscar to reduce my prostate size, in 6 weeks PSA went from 30 to 0.6 and prostate from 60mm to 32 mm.

UPDATED

August 2009

Six weeks after I had seeds implanted on May 19th 2009, I had 25 treatments of IMRT which ended the 1st week in August. I had no side effects, energy level high, no fatigue. Only issue was urinary frequency for about 4 weeks after seeds. Now I just have to wait for my PSA tests to see if the treatment worked.

My last PSA was undetectable, but I had been taking Casodex. I'll stop Casodex in two weeks.

John Thompson

UPDATED

July 2010

Just had my 1 year PSA test at 0.10; I have had no side effects from my treatments.

JohnT

UPDATED

November 2010

I'm 19 months out now from treatment with Brachy and IMRT for a G4+3 and a PSA of 40. Last two PSA readings have been 0.1 and I have no side effects from the treatments.

UPDATED

November 2011

Last 3 PSAs were 0.10.

I'm nearing the three year mark and still have no side effects from treatments.

UPDATED

December 2012

As of Dec 2012 PSA; checks every 6 months have shown PSA; steady at 0.1 since treatments. I have experienced no long term side effects at all and all symptoms of pre-treatment BPH have disappeared.

UPDATED

January 2014

It's been nearly 5 years now and I'm happy to report all PSA's at 0.1 and no side effects at all.

UPDATED

February 2015

Nearly 6 years and PSA; has dropped from .2 after treatment to <.1. Still have zero side effects from treatments.

UPDATED

March 2016

Coming up on 7 years and PSA is still < 0.1 and still have no noticeable side effects.

John's e-mail address is: johnt111@verizon.net


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