I had brachytherapy 3 years ago. My psa has been decliing steadily from 3.5 to 0.6 now. For the most part i have no symptoms. But...... starting at 24 months after the Brachy, about once a month or so, for a day or 2, i will get anal bleeding. The cancer doctor referred me to a proctologist. the Procto said after an optical exam that i have some mild radiation proctitis in the colon near the anus. He gave me some suppositories, but that seemed to have no effect. I can live with this side effect. I have 2 questions for you. 1. How many of you who had BRachy have had anal issues similar to this, and has it stayed the same, improved or gotten worse over the years and 2. After seeing the Cancer Doctor 2x a year for 3 years, i notice that all he does is give me the "glove" and ask me how am i doing. He doesnt seem to be of much use. I am wondering how many of you stop seeing your cancer doctor and just monitor your Psa number? In my case, I am thinking of just seeing my proctologist as needed as this is the area i am having some symptoms.
I am just a newbie at this since I have not had any treatment as of yet but I am leaning towards Brachy. I saw Dr. Peter Grimm yesterday for a Ultrasound and consutation and the one thing he made clear to me is IF you do have rectal bleeding after Brachy, you don't let any one cotterize it. This could lead to a rectal fistula and a collostamy.
Like I said I am still new at this and my learning curve is still very steep, but am sure one of the Vets will chime in and give some advise. I have found this board to be very open , caring and knowageable.
Apart from an appointment after 4 weeks, I have not seen my doctors - follow up has been by questionnaire and reporting PSA blood test result. I presume though that I would have been called back if anything abnormal was seen.
Peter, Brachytherapy in Guildford, England March 2008
The reason I asked, is that when i decided to cancel my appointment with the cancer doctor, his nurse acted like I was putting myself at great risk by not seeing the doctor. My sense was he just didnt want to lose the business. I am under the impression that the psa number tells the whole story.. does anyone disagree?