Cyberknife treatment update
It's now Feb 1, 2011 and I just received the results from my primary's office and my PSA is now at 0.9. I see Dr Williamson tomorrow and expect that she will be pleased with that numbers. From a high of 8.0 to 0.9 one year post therapy I would take as a good sign of progress.
As far as how I feel, the therapy has had no effect on my life as everything functions normally. My sex life is as good as ever, and I can only hope that it continues in this vein, although I am aware that radiation side effects don't show themselves right away. For the uninitiated, radiation therapy takes 12-18+ months to fully realize its effects on the body, so any permanent side effects show themselves at the end of the process. I can report that from time to time that I experience transient sensations, all of which are mild in nature. As the radiation gradually effects changes in me, it's not without its moments. Sometimes I experience slight urethral burning or discomfort, but it's very mild, not even close to the post-therapy recovery in intensity, which was very bearable. Sometimes I experience, for lack of a better handle on the experience an "awareness". I put that in quotes because I can't exactly describe it. It's not pain, although sometimes it can manifest as a short, tiny sharp transient pain. Mostly it's a vague, transitory discomfort that passes. Beyond that, nothing else to report.
Some very good news: The oldest study of CyberKnife treatment for prostate cancer, the one that Dr King is doing at Stamford, has come out with the 5-year results, you can see the results here:
In a nutshell, the median biochemical progression-free survival rate is 93%, with very low side effects. I think that this certainly bodes well for my continued health and for my decision to undergo this therapy over the surgical option.
On a personal note, I realize that while every case is different and not all options are open to everyone, I felt that this therapy was worth my risk. I had to do quite a bit of soul-searching and research first, but in the end I decided that the science was solid and that some have to pave the statistical way for others. That is why I sought out and joined a study and why I decided to write about my experiences here. Hopefully relating my experience will help someone else take charge of their therapy and make the best decision in their own interest. For me, this decision looks like it is working out.
I will continue to update this thread as time goes on.