Salvage radiation after Hormone Therapy?
I had a radical prostatectomy three years ago in October. There has been undetectable psa on every six month checkup until the last one this past October. It was 0.1. I had a Gleason 8 cancer, and apparently it might have returned after almost 3 years.
My urologist, of course, said we will do another psa test at the end of this month to see what's happening. He mentioned that if it went up, I would be a candidate for salvage radiation of the pelvic area.
However, after my RP, he said that everything was clear. The margins of my prostate gland were clear and all the peripheries were clear as well. But since I had a Gleason 8 cancer, it would seem that perhaps some cancer cells escaped in my blood system. I guess this would mean that they could be anywhere in my body. Because of this possibility, I personlly think that hormone blockade therapy would be the only viable answer.
I have read about some of the side effects of radiation, and I don't like what I read. Urinary and bowel problems seem to be the main issues after radiation. I've already had my share of urinary problems after my RP. I developed bladder neck scar tissue and I had to self catheratize myself for almost a year to keep the scar tissue at bay. The scar tissue finally matured and now I don't have to use a catheter. But if I developed even more scar tissue after radiation, there is the possibility that I will have to use a catheter for the rest of my life. So this is why I'm not too crazy about having radiation .
And what happens if after radiation, it is discovered that I still have a psa reading which means that there are still cancer cells somewhere. At that point, hormone therapy would be my only choice. Plus I would have to live with the other problems caused by radiation.
So my thinking is, why not just start hormone therapy and see what happens. If it ever gets to the point where I need radiation in the pelvis area or somewhere else, would having the hormone therapy first, affect the effectiveness of the radiation?
I'm sure that there must be someone out there that has gone through this same scenario and perhaps they will share their experience with me.
Thanks so much......Flyfisher37