Hi there. My 80 year old father, who is otherwise healthy, was just dx with PCa. His urologist has given him all the test results and has referred him to a leading Cancer Center in this part of the country for another opinion with an Oncologist. His immediate thoughts are radiation, followed by hormone treatment.
Im very new to radiation therapy and what it entails. My dad lives almost 2 hours from me, and was told probably 30 days of treatment. Can anyone tell me what he can expect? Will he be in much pain? Will he be able to care for himself? Should I be taking a month off to care for him? My brothers and sisters live closer then I do; however its ME he is asking the healthcare questions of since he knows I deal with my own health conditions. (I have MS). This stuff is all new to me and Im just wondering if anyone can clue me in on what to expect. They say its "treatable" and that he isnt a candidate for surgery due to his age. Not sure I agree with that, but I am going to go to the Oncologist with him to hear more...
Bumping this up because I find it hard to believe that 80 people have read this and not one person can tell me what to expect from radiation therapy for my father? Any info would be appreciated.
People react to radiation in different ways. Normally it is painless and has few side affects. He may experience fatigue, because of his age and some urinary issues, frequency and burning that will resolve themselves in a few weeks. If he does not need care now it is doubtful that he will require care during radiation. There are side affects such as bowel issues and urinary constriction that may occurr months after his radiation.
The question I would be asking is does he have to be treated at all. Depending what his gleason score is and how fast his psa is increasing he may be better off doing nothing if his life expectancy is less than what it would take for his PC to show symptoms. His oncologist would be the best judge of this. Hormone treatment alone may prolong his life for another 10 to 15 years without having to live without any of the additional side affects of radiation.
Thank you John. I appreciate your response. I do not have those scores - yet. Ill be going to see him this weekend and will be hearing more about what the Oncologist recommends- you may be right, it was his urologist who suggested the radiation and hormone therapy. I honestly dont know much about this disease and am just trying to educate myself.
However, I do plan on getting those scores in hand, so I can see for myself where he falls in the bigger picture- and of course taking it from there, with the advice of a Oncologist.
My main concern is if he is determined to put himself thru radiation, then what I can expect as far as his needs....you helped by what you said, so thank you.
I appreciate your post, silvershark. It came at just the right time to help my attitude. I have an appointment with my urologist in about an hour to look at my CT scan and x-rays to determine if lymph nodes outside the prostate or other areas (such as bone) are affected.
My 12 biopsies taken disclosed only one positive biopsy: "Adenocarcinoma (Gleason Score 3 + 3 = 6) involving 1% of the specimen (1 of 2 cores contain cancer). Cancer length 0.03 cm." My urologist initially told me this was like 1% of 1% of the biopsies taken, so I am encouraged by your post, since there seems to be a chance that they may have to treat only prostate and seminal vesicle. I know there are other factors which might be involved, but at least you have given me a ray of hope this morning - which I needed. Optimistically going to the Dr in 30 minutes. Thanks.
Worked every day of treatment and the days the followed.
There were 3-4 days where urgency and frequency of urination and rectal function required being close to a bath room. At two weeks post CyberKnife all functions back to 80% of base line. At two months 100% normal for all functions. Urinaction actually improved after treatment. Before CK 2-3 trips to the bathroom at night now 0-1/night.
Viper, I think you are responding to the wrong person. My father is NOT having surgery of any sort...he is 80 years old and doesnt work, he lives alone and still drives and is independent. I simply asked a question which was already answered.
Appreciate your enthusiasm, but I got what I was looking for, maybe you want to respond to the other guy who jumped into this thread and threw it off topic? I think he could use your assistance more then I can. I think what you are describing isnt really applicable to my question. But thank you for your efforts?!