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Old 07-18-2012, 08:47 PM   #1
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Smile My prostate cancer journey so far

I was diagnosed with Pca in Sept. 2011 with a PSA score of 67, Gleason 4+3=7 cancer, 80 percent involvement with seminal vesicle invasion. Clear bone and lymph nodes via MRI, CT Scan and Prostascint scan.
To establish a pre-treatment base line, a Bone Density test was performed which revealed a surprising diagnosis of osteoporosis with a -2.8 T score. Being 51 and male, this is rare. I am quite lightweight though and have been all my life. Osteoporosis is also in my family and my 90 year old mother is severely osteoporotic. As hormone therapy can reduce bone mass this is concerning. I am on Fosamax (which I am a little spooked of) and daily 1200 mg calcium and 5000 iu of Vit D should help.

There was an initial trying time of navigating treatment options as I was getting differing opinions by different doctors and other sources. Urologists wanted to do surgery but I found out that since my cancer was not fully contained I would need supplemental radiation anyway. After reading the favorable odds (upwards of 80%), that some centers (Dr. Dattoli, etc.) achieve in curing locally advanced disease with Brachytherapy and IMRT radiation it was clear to me which direction I wanted to go. I wanted to be as aggressive as possible.
One of my MOST informative sources of information came from you folks on this message board and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your input. You have all been incredibly invaluable.

So far my treatment scenario has been triple blockade ADT hormone therapy, brachytherapy and IMRT radiation. I had the Brachytherapy performed a few months ago and just finished IMRT. I am now on hormone therapy for two more years.

ADT
My original ADT consisted of Firmagon injections, 50 mg of Casodex and Avodart. “Firm- a -Gone” (there must be a comedian in the drug maker’s marketing department) worked as advertised. Libido was pretty much shot down and with it my PSA score dropped without any flare up which you apparently see with Lupron. The Firmagon was injected every month for four months. The injection site was quite sore for several days (bordering minor crippling to some degree) following administration and I seemed to get slightly more reactive which each progressive dose. At first it was simply quite sore at the injection site, then I was starting to form a bit of an injection site knot for a few days after an injection. On my fifth visit I was switched to Lupron which was a breeze in comparison and is now administered every four months. That was a very nice change. Now that my radiation is done my radiologist wants me to get off the Casodex and Avodart as he states there is no documented proof there is any benefit to do so. This seems maybe contrary to what I’ve read but since I am on ADT at this point to augment the radiation treatments I am not sure if it really matters?? Any opportunity to not take a drug is very welcome but I am defaulting to be as aggressive as possible if there is any real doubt. Any of you have any feelings on this?

Brachytherapy.
The prostate shrank well with an initial 3 months course of ADT and 51 seeds were implanted during radiation. I chose to wait a bit longer after beginning ADT than what I was recommended with the desire to get the prostate shrunk as small as possible prior to seed implant. That seemed to work well as 50 seeds is on the lower limit of what they usually seem to install. The treatment went ok with common symptoms of heavy site bruising, soreness, some fatigue, blood in my urine and frequent urination. Flomax kept my urine stream healthy and I noticed the difference in my ability to urinate well if I stopped taking it for a few days while recovering. I react heavily to anesthesia and my digestive system was fairly shut down after the procedure. I had a rough time getting back on track and suffered a bit. I think in retrospect I’d ask to be put on Reglan (a peristaltic encouraging drug) right after treatment. If I ever have anesthesia again I will ask for this. This may just be me though. I had misdiagnosed untreated chronic giardia for ten years when I was in my twenties and my digestive system has always been my weak link.

IMRT.
My wife and I were busy moving and I had to wait three months after seed implants to start IMRT. Since I had brachytherapy I was put on a 5 week schedule for a total of 25 treatments. Without Brachytherapy I would have had 9 weeks. In retrospect, for me at least, the less 4 weeks of IMRT is motivation enough to choose Brachytherapy in combination with IMRT. As the implanted seeds are localized and the radiation is contained within the area of the gland I am mentally more comfortable with Brachytherapy than external beam as in my mind there is less exposure to healthy tissue. I had to have external beam to reach the seminal vesicles and lymph nodes (treated to cover possible micro metastasis) but I am happy I was able to minimize its use.
Preferred by my radiologist is the use of an inflatable rectal balloon which helps protect internal organs from radiation. The daily rectal balloon was not fun to say the least. If the definition of happiness is living in contrast to accumulated suffering, then I think I should be happy for quite some time.
My radiation experience was somewhat miserable in that again, my digestion was adversely affected. A common side effect is diarrhea. My reaction was opposite in that my digestion slowed down on me again. I think the balloon didn’t help and in conjunction with the full bladder I had to maintain during treatments I was exposed to pressures not normal to my system and I think it affected me adversely. I mentioned my lack of peristalsis to my doc. He was somewhat perplexed by this as he never really sees this in patients. He prescribed Reglan which helped quite a bit as did some anti-nausea medication. Taking a teaspoon of psyllium seed powder twice a day helped motility as well. I don’t want to be too graphic here but if anybody can benefit from this I’d like to pass on what worked for me. I do think others often have a different experience than I had.

I am at the end of my second week following radiation and my symptoms are fairly tolerable. I am a bit sensitive to some foods but am generally ok if I don’t over eat. Incontinence is not an issue and no rectal bleeding. I do need to urinate every hour or so and could take Flomax if I wanted but I am fine without it. Flomax can affect motility so I am interest in avoiding it. I am somewhat fatigued as well and my general endurance is definitely down. I am slowly improving though. Surprising yet halfhearted , very occasional erections continues to occur. Sex is very rare, quite muted but still possible though I don’t know for how much longer.

Hot flashes are hell, especially living in South Carolina in the summer. I have been prescribed Effexor for the hot flashes and have been experimenting with it. It works somewhat but makes me feel a bit weird and a bit nauseous at times. I understand you acclimate to the drug. I am not happy about being on an anti-depressant as being depressed, I am not. I am concerned about the long term use of the drug and considering just using it during the summer. I had an episode around a month ago where I went running and after a mile and a half almost fell down from feeling faint. My doc said ADT can make you more heat sensitive and I think I was experiencing some degree of heat stroke. I am sure the effects of the radiation contributed to my weakened state as well.
All in all I have much confidence in my care and have only one concern that continues to nag at me a bit. I have read that radiation values of 70gr or so is more effective than lower dosages at killing Pca cells. My dosage from the brachytherapy was a total of 105gr. Seeds were placed within the prostate gland but not the seminal vesicles. The supplemental dosage total from IMRT was 45gr. When I asked my radiologist whether my seminal vesicles got adequate dosing he said the carry over radiation from the seeds would help raise the total dosage to them. Since I’ve read that radiation extends to only 5mm or so outside of a seed I am concerned whether he is right or not. Any opinions on this would be much appreciated.

In reflecting on my cancer I can’t help but want to make sure that whatever environment was present that augmented the creation and growth of the cancer is not present now. This of course can be tricky as it’s often hard to singularly pinpoint what creates cancer growth but I do have hints. I have always been very attentive to my diet so in my case I think dietary contributors are quite limited. I haven’t eaten red meat in 15 years and have consumed little dairy. We grow most of our own vegetables and I would say my wife and I have eaten with pretty much consistency a largely Mediterranean / Asian diet. Not totally though and fast foods has happened if I found myself starved, as well as an occasional minor ice cream binge. All in all though my diet has been pretty clean with fish or chicken, many vegetables and little fried food. The two factors of concern that stick out in my mind is stress and long term exposure to industrial chemicals. I own a stressful business of servicing and refurbishing medical instruments. Prior to that I used to repair and restore automobiles. Between the two industries I’ve been exposed to a plethora of various solvents, paints, etc.
At work, we use quite a bit of electrical contact cleaner and other solvents which I’ve breathed in and had skin contact over the last ten years. A brother of a friend owns an auto electric shop and just got diagnosed with a PSA of 134. He is in his mid fifties. We spoke and he has used electrical contact cleaner like water to clean his hands, etc. This may be an anecdotal co-incidence but I can’t help but see this as a possible flag. His brother has low psa, as does my brother and neither had exposure to solvents in their work. Both of our fathers had prostate cancer later in life so we both had genetic predisposition to start out with. It’s dumb to extract huge significance from singular situations such as ours I fully understand, but in our society of elevated cancer occurrences in general it’s hard not to view our society’s general elevated exposure to environmental toxins as cause and effect contributors. That all said, I am drastically reducing my exposure to solvents, etc. and trying my best to reduce stress as much as possible. Working in my garden helps much.

As of now I am taking the following supplements.
1200 mg.Calcium from New Chapter. The calcium source is from algae which they claim can be easier assimilated as its food based. Does this really make a difference? Maybe my next bone density test will tell.
5000 iu of Vit. D I’ve been on this dose for years and I have good Vit d levels in my blood.
Tumeric extract from New Chapter.
LycoPom from New Chapter. A concentrate of lycopene and pomegranate. Reading a book on a holistic approach to Pca the author has somewhat compelling sentiments towards its effectiveness.
Soy Isoflavinoids.
Daily Flor Essence tea. Another holistic claim towards effectiveness. I don’t know if I really have faith in this but if it won’t hurt me, why would I not be opened minded to non traditional supplementation if there is any evidence what so ever of effectiveness? Anecdotal claims are everywhere I know but I am willing to drift a bit from my general attitude of only clinically proven based treatment to include a few non traditional approaches. If nothing else maybe a little placebo faith can reduce some fear and stress.

When I am in the mood, which seems to cycle on and off, I have also taken to drinking juiced vegetables of carrots, kale, beets, red cabbage to try to boost my immunity. I did notice last winter that I did not get sick while others around me did. I think the juice and supplements kept my immunity higher than usual. Also, this spring I did not get my usual pollen allergy symptoms near as bad as usual. I am not a chronic sufferer but usually get pretty dragged down during the pine and oak pollen release. It was confirming to me that my immunity was being affected by my diet and supplement intake.

Now it’s a waiting game and I don’t know if there is much more I can do. If I do anything I may make an appointment with Dr. Meyers, go over my case and see if he has any sentiments or further suggestions for me.

My daughter is pregnant with her first child, our granddaughter to be. I am hoping to be around for a long time and see her turn into a mature adult. I truly hope this is so.

Please feel free to comment on any of this writing.

Many thanks,

Michael

Last edited by yarbo3; 07-19-2012 at 05:37 AM.

 
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:11 AM   #2
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Re: My prostate cancer journey so far

Miguel

I am very glad to know about your treatment choice and successful outcome. Thanks for describing your story and details. Many here will benefit a lot from your shared information.

The RT protocol with 105 Gy (braky) plus 45 Gy (IMRT) may have been decided due to the size of your prostate gland (after ADT). The number of seeds depends on the Gy and on the volume to be radiated. 105Gy for 50 seeds equals to 2Gy per seed which is on the higher levels. In any case, the IMRT isodose planning may have contributed to the fewer number of seeds in Brackytherapy.
45Gy in 25 sections also is common delivery for a dose of 1.8Gy per section. IMRT is delivered with higher doses of 2 to 2.2Gy per section when done as a treatment alone (no bracky) to the prostate area. Doses of 1.8Gy are more directional to “delicate” parts at the bladder, iliac and rectum (other than gland). However, the isodose planning by your doctor may have covered the seminal vesicles too.

Only time will tell on the outcomes. Be confident. RT and ADT have given a blow to the beast.
Can you share your latest results on blood tests (PSA, T, DHT, Lipids, etc). What about osteoporosis, any improvement?


The best to you.
Baptista

Last edited by Administrator; 07-25-2012 at 01:34 PM.

 
Old 07-19-2012, 09:49 AM   #3
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Re: My prostate cancer journey so far

Hi Yarbo:

Thank you for your detailed review. We, too, have followed the same diet that you have done and I believe it has helped slow my husband's PSA rises. He also takes the same supplements. His treatment was only IMRT with 78 gry's. He had only fatique as a side effect and it lasted a whole year. Treatment failed, and PSA rose to 6.0...fought with his rad onc for hormone therapy and finally (after 3 yrs and an appt with Dr. Myers) on Trelstar and Casodex. He prescribed Casodex for 4 weeks prior to the initial Trestar shot but when his PSA dropped to 1.0 before the shot, he finally agreed to let us continue with Casodex. PSA dropped to .11 within 4 weeks of initial shot. We go to get next shot in early Aug. The rad onc says intermittent is 9 months and Dr. Myers says one year...another fight. The reason I say "fight" is that we are in Canada and the largest cancer treatment centre here is very conservative...even though treatments are free.

All the best positive thoughts to you.

Livingatlake

 
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:57 PM   #4
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Smile Re: My prostate cancer journey so far

Hi Baptista,

Great to hear from you again. I hope all is well over in Portugal! Sorry for the delayed response. During the week I'm rather useless after work these days.

Thanks for the analysis. I am comforted in that it seems you think I probably got proper dosing.

I haven't had readings done in four months but here are my last scores. I get labs done during the ADT injections and I'm due in a couple weeks. This does bring up a question I have. It's been near four months since I had my injection of Lupron and I can't say that my side effects from it have tapered off much. My question is, How long does the effects of Lupron last after you are finished with treatment? It obviously lasts longer that four months but when do you start getting your testosterone back. Which brings up another, more sensitive question. I noticed my penis and testicles are considerably smaller. Is this permanent?

I do notice an increased emotional state soon after an injection which seems to stabilize after around a week. Other than that, I don't notice any drop off. Hot flashes seem to be fairly constant and don't change in intensity over time. It makes me wonder how long the stuff stays with you.

OK, my labs..

These were done on April 12th.

CRC (circulating tumor cell) negative at 2 cells/ 7.5 ml of blood
PSA .10 NG/ML
Testosterone 47 NG/ml
Calcium 9.9 MG/DL

Cholesterol total 234
HDL-C 47
HDL-P 27.5
LDL size 21
LDL-C 150
LDL-P 1545
LP-IR score 70
small LDL-P 617
Triglycerides 183

(I was told I should go on cholesterol medication...)

How is your treatment going? I hope all is well.


Best regards,

Michael

 
Old 07-21-2012, 07:06 PM   #5
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Re: My prostate cancer journey so far

Hi Livingatlake,

Thanks for the response and input. I'm sorry to hear the cancer returned after the IMRT. I imagine that even though it returned it is still positive that the IMRT was done since the volume of cancer must have been reduced. I don't know much but I would hope there is still benefit even though it didn't totally succeed. How long did it take fro the re-occurrence to happen? It sounds like Dr. Meyers is helping you guys gain control and I hope it goes well going forward.

Good luck navigating the system!

Best Regards,

Michael

 
Old 07-21-2012, 07:09 PM   #6
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Re: My prostate cancer journey so far

Hi Baptista, You asked about the osteoporosis. I went to an Endocrinologist and I am going to have another bone density test next week. She wants to verify the accuracy of the initial test first. hopefully there will be some improvement in score.

Thanks,

Michael

 
Old 07-23-2012, 08:15 AM   #7
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Re: My prostate cancer journey so far

Quote:
Originally Posted by yarbo3 View Post
Hi Baptista, You asked about the osteoporosis. I went to an Endocrinologist and I am going to have another bone density test next week. She wants to verify the accuracy of the initial test first. hopefully there will be some improvement in score.

Thanks,
Michael

Thanks for the well wishes.
You know that I am not a doctor and that my answers are from a layman’s “perspective”.
In any case, it seems that your diet is not correct. Your lipids are all in the upper range. Your cholesterol is very high and so it is the triglycerides. (medium high). I would suggest you to consider a “review” of what you are eating.
The PSA and the Testosterone levels are also in ranges higher than what doctors as Myers consider “good”. The castration levels in fact depend on the drugs and the type of cocktail used in the protocol, but 47 ng/dL (I believe that these are the units you wanted to write) should be lower than 30. The PSA indicating remission is for levels lower than 0.05 ng/ml (0.01 for Myers).

Hopefully the results on the osteoporosis show improvement so that you may lower your fosamax doses. Too much of the staff is not “healthy” too.

Regarding the effectiveness of Lupron (leuprolide acetate) it real has a short half life of 7 days, therefore the drug’s “power” losses the effect just after the end of the period of effectiveness (in your case; 4 months plus alfa). However, what causes the majority of symptoms is the condition on castration due to stoppage of the “factory” (the testes). To start fabrication of testosterone the pituitary must start sending down the orders/signals to the testes. This differs from person to person, with the majority reporting of periods between two to twelve months, and in some cases the system does not recuperate at all. Hypogonadism is scaring and many need help from TRT treatments.

My experience on ADT is relatively “light” because I was on Eligard 6-month shots (mono blockade) alone and both; the cancer and my system responded well as seen on decreasing PSA values and castration levels. I started ADT with a PSA=1 ng/ml and I also have no prostate in place (RP done in 2000) to be producing serum from benign tissue.

I am now on the vacations’ period OFF-Drugs and at first sight it shows that all is working in my favour.
The last 6-month Eligard shot was done in November 2011 and its effectiveness has ended last May 2012. The tests in May were; PSA= 0.02 and T=<0.1 and next set is scheduled for August 15.
You can see the chronology of my previous tests in this link;
http://www.healthboards.com/boards/cancer-prostate/879442-i-got-lower-psa.html

The side effects from ADT were numerous but mild being fatigue the one most annoying. Some effects were present but unnoticed. Now two months since the end of drug’s effectiveness I can identify additional effects that I thought being a cause from other factors.
One example is the rheumatism/arthritis like symptoms which existed in the whole joints but suddenly (one month ago) start disappearing and now have gone completely. I also feel more energetic (fatigue is down to 2 in a scale of 1 to 10) and the testicles are bigger. The penis continues smaller though. Mood changes are lesser and overall I feel much better.
I wonder what T looks like now. Surely the symptoms are all indicative that the factory (testes) is operation again.
I will inform you next month.

The best to you.

Baptista

Last edited by Administrator; 07-25-2012 at 01:23 PM.

 
Old 07-23-2012, 11:40 AM   #8
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Re: My prostate cancer journey so far

Hi Yarbo:

My husband's IMRT was done in 2008, PSA only reached 1.9 at 9 months after IMRT. It jumped to 3.1, 3 months later. We immediately began a vegan diet and his PSA remained fairly stable for until 2011 when it rose from the 3's to 6.1 when we saw Dr. Myers. He was not on any medication for this duration of time.

I hesitate to tell you how quickly it rose after the IMRT because I believe that with your HT before radiation, this was a positive thing to do. The very conservative Canadian approach at that time did not do HT before IMRT. BTW, his Gleason was 3 + 4 as well.

I do believe the diet/supplements do help to keep the PSA down.

Sincere wishes for a wonderfully low PSA to you!

Take care,
livingatlake

 
Old 07-24-2012, 03:56 PM   #9
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Re: My prostate cancer journey so far

Hi Baptista,

I just read your post from 11/26/11. You have been on quite a journey. I noticed that it was quite some years between 2001 and 2006 that you did not have any treatment after your beginning slight rise in PSA. Does this mean you do not have aggressive Pca or is this fairly typical?


Well I had my Bone Density test done and I am at -2.7. At least it didn't get worse. I have been only taking the Fosamax every other week instead of every week. As long as my T-score doesn't go higher I'm ok with it I guess. I'll be exercising more though for sure.

As far as PSA and Testosterone I'll get that in a week or two and I'll find out then. I imagine after both my radiation treatments that should help bring the PSA down. If the T is still up I'll question my doc about it. Thanks for the review.

I think I am kind of doomed as far as cholesterol. I have the smallest numbers in my family and we all eat way better than the norm. My sister was over 300 initially. I don't really know what more I can do diet wise. Maybe cut out all butter and palm oils completely. I do have a minor sweet tooth but nothing horrendous. I eat a few eggs a week. Damn, I do want to enjoy life a bit....

Thanks again,

Michael

Last edited by Administrator; 07-25-2012 at 01:18 PM.

 
Old 07-24-2012, 04:06 PM   #10
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Re: My prostate cancer journey so far

Hi Livingatlake,

Thank you for telling me of the positive effect your husband's diet on his PSA. That's really great that is was diet alone that stalled the PSA rise. Any other supplements of note? That sounds frustrating to have to battle with the health system to get proper treatment.

I have insurance here and I too had to push for triple blockade and a bone density test. Good thing I got it or I'd not know of my osteoporosis. Keep at it.

Take care,

Michael

Last edited by Administrator; 07-25-2012 at 01:19 PM.

 
Old 07-25-2012, 02:04 AM   #11
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Re: My prostate cancer journey so far

Hi Michael,

Please note that prostate cancer acts differently in different “bodies”, therefore, one may have similar cases but the results may be different. Your “inquisition” in regards to the reason for the long period I managed to stay away from a salvage treatment could be the low Gleason grade of cancer (PSADT > 14 months) but I prefer to explain it with the evidence as follows;

Back in 2000, they graded my cancer at biopsy as Gleason score 5 (2+3). This is related to well differentiate cancer cells not much aggressive. The volume of cancer was very high (70%) and it was judged contained for the negative DRE and negative image studies (MRI/CT and X-Ray usually are positive for metastases in cases with high PSA, mine at the time was high at 22.4). In spite of that, after surgery recurrence was evident not just for the increasing PSA (0.12/0.18/0.26) but for the positive extra-capsular extensions.

Doctors diagnosed me with micro-metastases.
This is a condition where cancer spreads and forms small colonies which tumour size cannot be caught by traditional image studies. Without a target radiation is not recommended (you shouldn’t expect to hit the many bull’s-eyes throwing arrows in the dark) and a substitute hormonal therapy is not usually started at low PSA levels (mine at recurrence was 0.26). Conclusion; I was put on a Watchful Waiting status (similar to Active Surveillance). That was prolonged to 6 years of negative MRI et al tests, until the rising PSA reached 3.60.
This is when my “new set” of doctors following my case decided to “throw the arrows” even in the dark. The results were again another recurrence, but this time one knows that the radiation hit the cancer hard because it sent the PSA to a nadir of 0.05 (13 months post RT). I believe that the radiation treated what we call as oligometastases but left some spots in unreachable areas. That classifies my case now as systemic.

In present times similar cases are now fortunate for having newer methods to find oligometastatic cancer. There are newer contrast agents (C11/F18/Feraheme) and higher resolution equipments permitting a better picture of our insides. I could try it but spot/focal radiation done over a radiated tissue is dangerous and could cause trouble.
I am fortunate for having a cancer that responded well to hormonal manipulations. Hopefully it continues that way.

<removed>


Regarding diet; Testosterone is manufactured from Cholesterol. A lower level of C may help in decreasing T.
Japanese green tea is known for cleaning the blood from too much of the staff. It might help in lowering your hereditary high cholesterol. You only need to add it to your enjoyable dinners.

Best wishes.
Baptista

Last edited by Administrator; 07-25-2012 at 01:19 PM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 07-28-2012, 04:27 AM   #12
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Re: My prostate cancer journey so far

Hi Baptista,

Wow, what an incredibly beautiful place. My insides relax just looking at it and imagining how incredible it must be.

My cousin just died a few days ago after batting multiple myeloma for several years. I am feeling especially sentimental, sad and a little defeated lately. Imagining sitting in a hotspring surrounded by snow (which I know is beautiful from having done it) is lifiting my spirits, Thanks!

Most of my experience is with undeveloped hotsprings in natural settings but I have gone to quite a few resorts. I actually lived in one for a few months and the daily soaks definitely transformed me.

I was thinking you were on Watchful Waiting during that period of time. That's wonderful that you were able to be off so long from treatment. I hope I can claim the same and I will be scrupulous with my diet as Living at lake suggests to help keep the beast at bay.

I guess its possible that I am cured, but with my initial numbers I am not really counting on it. Time will tell.

I did not know that cholesterol manufactures testosterone. Would it be smart to go on statins because of this? My GP wants me to do so but with the other drugs I'm on I am hesitant to add yet another compound.

Thanks for sharing your information. It helps. I will raise a cup of green tea towards Portugal this morning in your honor!

My wife Jenny and I saw some very big pine stumps in the neighborhood that someone is throwing away. I have a box truck for my business with a lift gate on it. We are going now to go collect the stumps to use for a backyard table and chairs. This task aught to help build up some bone!

Take care,

Michael

Last edited by yarbo3; 07-28-2012 at 04:34 AM.

 
Old 07-28-2012, 06:45 PM   #13
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Re: My prostate cancer journey so far

Hi,
You wrote:
Quote:
I did not know that cholesterol manufactures testosterone. Would it be smart to go on statins because of this? My GP wants me to do so but with the other drugs I'm on I am hesitant to add yet another compound.
Cholesterol is what our bodies use to manufacture all the steroids our bodies use (and also the bile acids, cellular membranes and Vitamin D). It is so important that if your body doesn't have enough cholesterol from dietary sources, your liver and other organs will manufacture more. Of course, too much clogs arteries. Statins can help prevent the over-supply and our cardiovascular health is the best reason to take them.

The evidence for statins and prostate cancer is equivocal -- I'm not convinced in either direction yet. Statins may slow down the growth of advanced, high grade androgen-independent PC cells. However, this association has been found only in some epidemiological and retrospective studies, and not all of them. Some researchers believe that health-conscious men are both more likely to take statins and to get PSA tested earlier, which would explain why those men show up with less advanced disease. Some lab studies support its role. A large controlled prospective study is now underway, using red yeast rice as a statin surrogate; the results may provide a more definitive answer. Meanwhile, there seem to be few downsides and many potential upsides, especially cardiovascular health, to taking low doses as part of the cocktail.

If you want to look at some of the evidence yourself, here are some Pro-Statin Studies:

Aspirin and Statin Nonuse Associated With Early Biochemical Failure After Prostate Radiation Therapy.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22652109


Association of statin use with pathological tumor characteristics and prostate cancer recurrence after surgery
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21334020

Statin medication use and the risk of biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20586112

Statin use and risk of prostate cancer recurrence in men treated with radiation therapy.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20421534

Association of statin and NSAID use with prostate cancer outcomes
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20151961

Statin use and risk of prostate cancer in a population of men who underwent biopsy.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21571344

Statin use and fatal prostate cancer: A matched case-control study.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22180145

And here are some studies that could not find a PC benefit to Statins:

Preoperative Statin Therapy is not Associated with Biochemical Recurrence After Radical Prostatectomy
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22818136

Statin and NSAID use and prostate cancer risk.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20582910

Effect of statin use on biochemical outcome following radical prostatectomy.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21453350


This probably isn't the clear response you were hoping for. I've actually been looking into which Rx medicines it might make sense to discuss with our doctors adding to hormone therapy to possibly make a cocktail of medicines that might synergistically increase their effectiveness. "Cocktails" are common in chemotherapy and HIV meds, and often allows for reduced dosages (and side effects!) from each ingredient.

- Allen

Last edited by Tall Allen; 07-28-2012 at 08:55 PM. Reason: clarify that this is something to discuss with doctors

 
Old 07-29-2012, 05:15 AM   #14
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Folly Beach, SC. USA
Posts: 41
yarbo3 HB Useryarbo3 HB User
Re: My prostate cancer journey so far

Hi Tall Allen,

Thanks for all those links. Very kind of you and very informative!

I did extract from reading through those links that taking statins seem to be beneficial in high risk patients like myself during radiation. It looks like I missed the boat on that one as I just got told my cholesterol was too high at 234 and my GP now wants to prescribe statins for me. Too bad, but at least I was on RT during radiation. I would think my radiologist would be on top of that. ???

Well, it looks like taking statins won't be a negative for me and perhaps positive. Good enough.

Many many thanks,

Michael

 
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