I am 73 years of age and was diagnosed as having prostate cancer sixteen years ago.
I was getting up quite a few times during the night to urinate so I went to see a Urologist on referral from my GP. The Urologist reported that my prostate was enlarged and that it would be a good idea to have it removed. He pointed out the usual facts that some incontinence would most likely occur and that impotence could also be a possibility and he suggested that a TURP (Trans Urethral Resection of the Prostate) operation would be the most suitable. [A TURP procedure does not remove the prostate - it merely 'reams it out' to make urination easier.]
The operation went smoothly but on the day I was to be discharged he told me that they had sent a sample to the lab and it had come back positive for cancer. This was a shock, we hadn't even discussed the possibility of cancer. The next stage was a visit to see the oncologist and make arrangements to have radiation therapy. This was carried out over a number of weeks and unfortunately left scarring at the head of the urethra at the bladder. Now, nothing was noticeable for a number of years, I didn't experience any incontinence but I did become impotent, something I learnt to tolerate.
So, things were not too bad until about three years ago when I noticed I was getting up more frequently during the night and sometimes I experienced urgency during the day. I returned to see another Urologist and he informed me that the radiation treatment method they used back in 1994 was not as accurate as it is now and consequently the scarring I experienced would most likely would not now occur (Hooray for those having it done now!!). He also told me that what I was experiencing was not uncommon ten or more years after the event. They had come across patients with similar problems after this length of time. The prostate was completely shrunken and it appeared that the valve that controls the flow of urine was damaged and consequently it had difficulty in holding back the flow. Incidentally I was getting up sometimes ten times a night.
Anyway to finish I was put on a course of a drug called Desmopressin - one squirt in each nostril just before going to bed. This has reduced the frequency to three times a night on average.
So, summing up prostate cancer treatment can have it's down side but it is certainly better than the alternative.
I hope this helps.
Since my last update I am still not taking any medication. Everything seems to be OK on the Prostate front.
Nothing significant has happened this year except for a friend of mine who left it too late to get treatment. Ignoring the signs can definitely be fatal.
It is many years now since I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and am pleased to announce that at todays date I am still healthy and well.
Nohing really to report. Last physical examination showed that the prostate had shrunk away to virtually nothing.
Nothing significant has taken place since my last update. My Prostate cancer has never come back.
Peter's e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org