I have just been diagnosed with prostate cancer in July 06. Luckily it appears to be very early and confined to one node of the prostate.
Discovered owing to a nodule on the prostate during my regular yearly checkup that ironically turns out is probably not cancerous but they found cancer adjacent to it. Owing to my age (52), my low PSA and Gleason and the side effects of surgery I am leaning heavily towards brachytherapy which is something that both my GP and Urologist have agreed is a good course of treatment for my situation.
I shall have a meeting with the clinic in Auckland in approx two weeks to have the CAT scan etc and then looks like the implants will be done by around end September.
I am looking at Brachy rather than surgery owing to the less brutal side effects. I would appreciate anyone else that has been in a similar situation giving me a yell so I can get all the information available.
Finally thank God for the Internet I don't really think I could have made this decision with out it. I also found a book that has been a great help to my family and I called Prostate Cancer for Dummies by Lange, written so dummies like me can understand it and by a surgeon that has had the damn thing himself.
Well the decision has been made and I am off to Auckland on 5th Sept for the CT Scan etc and booked for brachtherapy at Prostate Implants Ltd on 29th Sept. All my reading and conversations make me confident that Brachytherapy is the right choice for me. Fingers crossed that nothing in the CT Scan or other tests puts any spanners in the works.
Will update again after scan.
Hi again all,
I went to Auckland last week 5th/6th Sept and meet Dr John Matthews a great guy who runs Prostate Implants Ltd and started the procedure here in New Zealand after training in the US Has done over 400 procedures now in the 7 years he has been going The door should have a BIG sign up saying "Abandon dignity all ye who enter here" But the pre-tests are not to uncomfortable and are done with full explanations as to what is happening and what you are likely to feel Dr Matthews has a great calm manner and really put me at ease, a genuinely nice guy.
Thank goodness all the tests confirmed I am a good candidate for Brachytherapy and we are all go for the procedure on the 29th September back in Auckland. So far I have found the process really simple and seamless and consequently have my head in a really good place about it all. One thing I have started is that Brachytherapy is not publicly funded in New Zealand and the only way to get it is via insurance or paying NZ$30,000 odd. I'm OK as I have insurance but I really feel for those poor buggers that don't and cannot afford the $, as it must add real stress to what is already a really stressful situation.
I have written to our Minister of Health asking why its not available via the public system and await his reply. If any of you out there have similar situations in your country or indeed have Brachytherapy publicly funded then I would love to know as once I am thru this next bit I am going to get stuck into this situation here in New Zealand.
This website has been of immense benefit to me and mine and I also really appreciate all those that have made contact with words of encouragement.
Stay well all and kind regards Allan.
I went to Auckland on Friday (3 days ago on September 29) and had my seed implants -102 of them so I am told - at 3pm The surgery itself was frankly a breeze with the most uncomfortable bit being pain in the urethra following the cather during surgery. Soon dealt with by morphine by the great team at the hospital.
So far to today on a pain scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being very little to 10 being oh my god the scale is around 1 maybe 2. Not bad enough to take the pain tablets I have been given. My wife tells me I am very bruised around the perineum which means taking a bit of time sitting down etc but nothing to worry about.
Came out of hospital at 10am on the Saturday and went for a walk with my wife about 2pm that day down to the restaurants for a coffee. No problem with the toilet either 1,s or 2,s so far. Since then have been on quite a few walks but am taking it easy until a few more days have gone past.
I could not have been happier with the standard of the surgery by Dr Matthews or the Hospital service, the Nurses were all great and very helpful. So far then so good and fingers crossed that now that bits over I shall continue to get better day by day and have dealt to the cancer.
Kind regards to all Allan
Just had my three month check up PSA is down to 1.2 ng/ml from 1.9 ng/ml, all my functions are fine and I have come off all medications.
Each person has to make the right decision for themselves, from my perspective the decision to go with brachytherapy owing to the perception of minimal side effects has proved correct in reality.
I wish you all well, good health and tons of grandkids.
Just had my 6 monthly check up and the PSA has fallen further to 1.0 ng/ml. We are really happy that the procedure is working and so his our urologist. Side effects nil and no medication now of any type.
Best wishes to you all.
My apologies for not updating prior but luckily I have not had anything to report. I have no symptoms or any side effects from my brachytherapy surgery. I was due for my ongoing yearly check-up in May but my wife and I traveled south for the winter to spend time with our grandchildren and consequently I have put the check-up off till we are back home probably around October or so.
That I have postponed the check-up shows my confidence that I have the cancer beaten, my previous checks and health say to me that all is well and I am positive the next check will only confirm that I shall be sure to update with the results when I have them later this year.
Meanwhile be well and regards.
Hi again and apologies in the delay on updating.
Well I finally got back to my urologist in November 2008 with my PSA score below 1.0. His words to me were " Well mate, you appear to have this beaten, don't worry about having to come back to see me again but just monitor your PSA with your GP yearly."
Great news and for me brachy was definitely the way to go.
All else is well and no side effects of any kind. All the best to the rest of my brothers out out there, this cancer can be beaten and our job should be to see that all our mates get the early check ups so if they have it it can be found in time and sorted.
Good luck to you all.
Just an update from my last one that all continues to be well with no issues or side effects whatsoever.
I wish all a very (rather early) Merry Christmas and Holiday period and also the best of health.
Hi again all,
This is just an update to say that thank goodness all continues to be well, my PSA is fine at 1.4 ng/ml and I continue to have no issues following the brachtherapy In all truth its as though it never was and ain't that grand!
Be well and the very best to you all from Astrid and I.
Just an update some years on from my brachy therapy and frankly its as though it never was.
I have absolutely no side effects at all and my urologist is very comfortable with all my tests and confirms that we best it before it took hold.
The very best to you all who are battling with this and don't forget to get onto your mates and ensure they get regular checks.
I recently was emailed and wrote the following response which I then figured may as well be used as my update as it may be of assistance to folk, name of recipient withheld for privacy reasons:
Firstly my sympathy on having the damn thing, secondly my congratulations on getting the checks and finding it at what would appear to be an early stage. Now as to what I think, carry on what you are doing which is seeking as much information as you can and the options for treatment that you have in front of you I found it very important to me to gain as much information as you can get, one of the best things I found was a book called prostate cancer for dummies by Paul H Lange an American surgeon, really a fabulous clear to read and understand resource for those of us who have no idea of the this cancer until we get the news I have just had a look and its available on Amazon for about $15usd, really worthwhile to assist your thinking in my opinion.
Now the 4 main treatments as I was told are.
Do nothing and watch and wait, not really for me as I could not stand the thought of cancer growing inside me, it simply had to be dealt with in some way.
External radiation and or surgery, my urologist assisted me here with these two, they both have been round a long time and undoubtedly work but, and to me it was a big but, the potential side effects are not flash.
That left brachy, for me the choice was made after some months research and deliberation and as of now over 6 years later has proved to be the best for my situation. I have no side effects at all, the surgery itself was a breeze and the cancer all agree has been dealt to. My last PSA; reading about 3 months ago was virtually nil. So for me no question brachy was the way to go.
Seek second opinions from your urologist particularly if he has a vested interest in your going with him for surgery, luckily with this cancer they are slow growing so you have time to seek all information and come to the right decision for you and not necessarily for anyone else's bank account. I really do hope this assists, the very best to you and yours and our thoughts are with you as you work your way through it.
Just an update to say that things continue for me as before, no side effects, no concerns and indeed the reminder from Yana that its time to update is probably the first thought I have given to the subject for over a year.
Simply put it is as though it never happened and aint that a good thing.
Bracky was right for me and has proved to have nil side effects BUT and its a big BUT make sure you do the right thing for you.
Good luck and good health to you all and no side effects ever.
Just an update and apologies for not updating for some time, thanks to the YANA admin for giving me a gentle nudge.
Basically all is well thank goodness, my treatment was copy book and the the brachytherapy for me was the way to go, I have no side effects at all and as I have said before it is as though it had never happened.
I know I am one of the really lucky ones and it was the combination of a good doctor finding it early plus great surgeons that sorted my cancer out.
All I can say if you are a male over 40 get regular tests and if you find out you have it panic not the clever folk who deal with this are getting better at it all the time.
Enjoy your familys and all the very best to you all.
Just an update on ongoing success with beating the beast using brachytherapy.
Its almost 10 years now from the time of surgery and I have no side effects or anything to concern me.
I know I am one of us lucky ones and wish you the same and all the best in your journey to defeat the dam thing.
As always early detection and good doctors made the difference.
All the best
Just an update to let you know I am still vertical in great health with no side effects whatsoever, it truly is as though it had never happened.
I know I am really lucky in that I caught it quick and early and had a great team looking after me.
I also truly hope that is your experience as well, the very best to you all and Merry Christmas and a very happy and cancer free New Year
Allan's e-mail address is: allan.sims AT orcon.net.nz (replace "AT" with "@")