I first became aware of an elevated PSA when I had my annual physical on 10 March 1997. At that time it was 4.5, a rise of over 1.0 since the last checkup a year earlier. An appointment with a Urologist was set up for 31 March that year.
The biopsy: The Urologist recommended and performed a biopsy procedure immediately. Two weeks later no results had been received. The lab was apparently uncertain. They then sent the biopsy to a military lab in Baltimore for further evaluation. On 12 May the report came back "Positive Group1, well-defined carcinoma, Gleason 3+2=5".
The Urologist told me all the options that were open to me, but recommended surgery. (Radical Prostatectomy). I told him there would be no decision until I had talked to my family doctor, whom I believe is a great guy. My family doctor also set up an appointment for a second opinion with another Urologist (although not on the Health Plan). He confirmed the original diagnosis (no big deal) but went into great depth explaining the different procedures and providing videos. I left with a much better understanding, though a bite poorer!
After I had visited the first Urologist, I immediately started searching the internet for all the information I could find. I set up a spread sheet on my computer and started cataloging the plusses and minuses of each procedure. After much debate and soul searching I decided to go with seeding (Brachytherapy). When I conveyed this to my Urologist, it was like hitting him with a baseball bat. He no longer wanted anything to do with me, stating that if I changed my mind, come back and he would perform the surgery!
The quest for treatment: I found out that there are two kinds of seeding procedures: temporary and permanent. I contacted Tampa, Atlanta and Seattle clinics but these were all doing the permanent seeding, where the seeds are inserted and then left to work over several months. With further study, I found that sometimes the seeds did move, and I was concerned that what if the one I needed decided to move and did not complete its job? So I decided on temporary seeding. For those who are not aware as to what that is, the following internet site explains it well.
[This was also the treatment of choice for Andy Grove and you can read how he went about his research in his article, "Taking on Prostate Cancer"]
Radiation: On 26 June 1997, I commenced 3 months of Hormone treatment (Lupron). Then on 15 September 1997 I spent three days in the hospital at Tulsa Oklahoma, at Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tampa, receiving four (4) doses of high radiation seeding directly into the Prostate Gland through catheters that were placed and secured into the Gland. There was a little discomfort after the procedure. I received another three-month injection of Lupron Hormone and two days later I flew home to North Carolina. I arrived home on the Monday and turned around and left Wednesday morning, driving 1200 miles back for four weeks of low dose external radiation. During that procedure I experienced some urgency in passing urine, but nothing I couldn't handle. My PSA is currently 0.1 and has been constant throughout the one and a half years post treatment. I have no side effects and continue to enjoy reasonably good health, with just a touch of arthritis in my knees to slow me down. I was 59 at diagnosis. Nan and I have been married 45 years. We have five sons, twelve grandchildren and one great grand daughter.
Current Age = 64. Current PSA = 0.1. Current Treatment = Cured.Initial treatment = Brachytherapy, High dose Radiation.
I had what is known as Brachytherapy where after mapping of the gland and the tumor, catheters are inserted into the gland and remain there for three days. A series of high doses of radiation are fed directly into the gland through these catheters, burning it out from within. I just had my 4th year anniversary of treatment and am doing great, my PSA is 0.1. I also want to thank the providers of YANA and the untiring effort that has been put into this website. I also want to let those that are faced with this horrible disease know that I am willing to provide whatever knowledge and support that I can.
Bill's current PSA is 0.02 ng/ml. He says:
Hi! I am now nearing the six and a half year mark and am doing fine. I would like to offer this as living proof that you can beat this disease. I still have my PSA checked on a regular basis, and to date it is holding at 0.02 ng/ml. This is what it has been since treatment.
Bill is now 67 and his PSA is 0.04 ng/ml. He says:
I am now 7.5 years after treatment I have my PSA checked twice a year. I am doing quite well and have no ill effects from my treatment. For me it was the right choice.
I am also glad to help others that find their way to this page and will gladly answer any and all inquiries as to the treatment I chose.
Keep a cool head and open mind and a positive attitude you can beat this thing.
I praise the Lord for each passing day that I live Cancer free. Since my Treatment I have lived to see seven Great Grand children born. The Wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary (near 52 now) Have had two knee replacements and a few other parts replaced but all in all I am doing well.
This page has been a great contribution to those facing Prostate Cancer and if I can help in any way feel free to contact me. With the right mind and good medical choice and a faith in God "You can Beat this thing" Fight on there are great days ahead.
First I would like to thank Terry Herbert for the time and effort he has put into helping other men with Prostate Cancer.
I was Diagnosed in early 1997 at age 59. Through pages like this and others I decided on Brachytherapy where electrodes are placed into the prostate Gland and over a three day period radiation is shot directly in to the gland burning it out from the inside. For me this was the right treatment (everyone must be comfortable with the treatment they choose) as I kept a record on all treatments, side effect, and survivorship on a spreadsheet and this looked to me to be my best option. As time has past I feel that I made the right choice as I am now 10 yrs. post treatment and am doing fine. I still have my PSA checked twice a year and at last check it was still < 0.1
When times are good it is so easy to forget those time of stress and not keep up on the on going story, But I am here to tell you that this thing can be beaten and to encourage you all to study your options and remember NO ONE is more interested in your survival than you your self. And if I can help you with information regarding Brachytherapy, please email me I will be more than happy to respond.
The Best to one and all, Bill
Not much to tell at this point other than I am doing well. I just had my latest PSA test this week and it is less than 0.1 that would be my 11th year out test. So I am looking forward to the future.
I have had many new people contact me as to my treatment. Which I am delighted to relate to them and give as much encouragement as possible. To me it is a very small effort, which I hope is a great comfort.
Wish you the best in the up coming year.
I mailed Bill for his annual update and although he said:
Have blood test next week will send update then,
He hasn't sent in an update just yet - maybe the Holidays got in the way!
This Update is quite a milestone.
Was diagnosed in 1997. This month I will have reached 13 years free of cancer.
In '97 I was 60 (at treatment) and now am 73 - that's another 13 years of Life.
In '97 we celebrated 46 years of marriage, this year we celebrated 56 years.
We now have 12 Grandchildren and 12 Great Grandchildren.
So you can see "God" has greatly blessed us over the past 13 years. My wish is that all my Brothers who have met on this site will be as blessed. Take your time and understand your options then pick the best treatment for you, don't look back and fight, fight, fight. YOU CAN BEAT THIS THING.
If I can be of any assistance to any one, please feel free to contact me at my email address. I WILL ANSWER.
Past the 15 year mark and last PSA was 0.1. yil thanking the Lord for each day he allows me to live.
Hi: I am now approaching 16 years since treatment. As you can see my PSA is good. Only problems now are from old age. Am always glad to help any one I can please email me.
I am now approaching 17 years Cancer free (1993 to 2014) I have had no major problem from my choices of treatment. The "Lord is Good"
It's hard to add much to my story, as I am well Cancer wise and am nearing 18 years cancer free. I am still active, the wife and I run the church sewing group, also we attend a monthly sewing group for charity and have our own sewing room where we make children's clothing to be donated to the american native children. We find this part of our lives very rewarding. Again thanks to all that have helped me along this path, and a very great thank you to YANA. I am always glad to give information to others as best I can. Feel free to contact me.
Doing well and have never regretted my path of treatment. Anyone interested in contacting me I will be glad to assist in whatever way I can. "Alive and in the Hands of our Lord."
Bill's e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org