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    Old 09-22-2012, 12:08 PM   #16
    Tall Allen
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    re: Pca

    Your exercise regimen will pay off in improved results, so I'm really happy to hear how well you're doing it.

    For some tips about the hot flashes, go to this link:
    http://www.healthboards.com/boards/cancer-prostate/863967-hot-flashes-adt.html
    Estrogen patches make me nervous for several reasons. Acupuncture would be my first choice, especially seeing how well it worked for Baptista.

    Eventually your hormone therapy will shrink the prostate, which should relieve those symptoms. In the meantime, you might get some immediate relief from your urinary symptoms with the following combination:
    1. an alpha blocker like Rapaflo
    2. Proscar or Avodart
    3. Cialis (recently FDA-approved for BPH)
    You can ask your urologist.

    Cialis has the added benefit of protecting the penile vasculature from radiation damage. I took it from the start and for almost a year afterward as a preventative measure, and have had no ED at all. There will be an important paper recommending its prophyllactic use with radiation therapy to protect sexual function that will be presented by Dr. Zelefsky at the ASTRO meeting in a couple of weeks.

    - Allen

     
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    Old 09-22-2012, 02:38 PM   #17
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    re: Pca

    See if your Doc will prescribe Flomax for the Urinary problems. The hot flashes come and go. I'm a couple of weeks into my 2nd 6-month injection.

     
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    Old 09-22-2012, 04:03 PM   #18
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    re: Pca

    I did flomax, avodart, and saw palmetto prior to being diagnosed. The fact that none of these things improved my condition was the reason I was referred to urologist.

    Iíll switch to soy milk and see if that makes any difference.

     
    Old 09-22-2012, 07:28 PM   #19
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    re: Pca

    RJV,
    I suggest that before you agree to radiation treatment in Vancouver that you research Proton Therapy. I live in Kamloops and rejected radiation treatment at the BC Cancer Centre in Kelowna and instead went to Loma Linda University Medical Center for Proton Therapy. I'm sure that I made the right decision and achieved a cure without the common side effects such as impotence, incontinence, and toxic bowel problems. Check out the James M. Slater Proton Treatment and Research Center at Loma Linda for cutting edge treatment not available in Canada.
    Best of luck,
    Bob

     
    Old 09-23-2012, 10:53 AM   #20
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    re: Pca

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by harpman View Post
    RJV,
    I suggest that before you agree to radiation treatment in Vancouver that you research Proton Therapy. I live in Kamloops and rejected radiation treatment at the BC Cancer Centre in Kelowna and instead went to Loma Linda University Medical Center for Proton Therapy. I'm sure that I made the right decision and achieved a cure without the common side effects such as impotence, incontinence, and toxic bowel problems. Check out the James M. Slater Proton Treatment and Research Center at Loma Linda for cutting edge treatment not available in Canada.
    Best of luck,
    Bob
    Bob;
    I took a quick look at proton beam therapy; gotta love the internet if you need conflicting advise. Google ďprostate protonĒ and you get a variety of pro and con articles. There seems to be a lack of consensus as to whether Protons are any more effective than conventional radiation. The deeper you dig the more confused you get.

    I have requested an info package from Loma Linda.

    Having gone thru the procedure can you give me some idea of the cost for a Canadian? Not only the treatment but living expenses etc.

    RJV

     
    Old 09-23-2012, 06:02 PM   #21
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    re: Pca

    RJV,
    I have found that it is best to request information over the phone as opposed to filling in an internet form for whatever reason. I have found this to be the case at every institution I contacted.

    Bob

    Last edited by Administrator; 10-26-2012 at 02:24 PM.

     
    Old 10-18-2012, 08:31 AM   #22
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    Looking for alternatives.

    The process goes on. The hormones seem to be working, at least the side effects. Hot flashes, fatigue, fighting to keep my weigh in check and ED.

    Iíve been doing a lot of reading about natural treatments. Changing lifestyle to let the bodyís immune system combat the cancer. I have booked an appointment with a naturopath next week to see what options might be available.

    Iím not sure if any comparative studies are being done here in BC but will ask my oncologist. I am leaning towards postponing more hormone and radiation treatments until I have given some of the natural remedies a shot. The beauty of the natural treatments is that even if they donít work they wonít do much harm with the exception of delaying the conventional treatments.

    I have a CT scan scheduled for Nov 2nd and a Drís appointment to review the results on the 13th. Iíll have to make some kind of decision at that time.

     
    Old 10-18-2012, 09:54 AM   #23
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    Re: Looking for alternatives.

    I'm confused -- I thought you were having the hormone therapy in preparation for definitive radiation therapy. If so, the hormones help the radiation do its job and you wouldn't want to come off it before the radiation treatment. Also, you have to be careful about taking large amounts of any natural antioxidants or free radical absorbers that might interfere with your therapy.

     
    Old 10-18-2012, 11:31 AM   #24
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    Re: Looking for alternatives.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tall Allen View Post
    I'm confused -- I thought you were having the hormone therapy in preparation for definitive radiation therapy. If so, the hormones help the radiation do its job and you wouldn't want to come off it before the radiation treatment. Also, you have to be careful about taking large amounts of any natural antioxidants or free radical absorbers that might interfere with your therapy.
    You are not the only one confused. Since being diagnosed with ďaggressiveĒ cancer I naturally put my faith in the medical community. I read about the available treatments, the side effects and the survival rates. I pretty well had my therapy mapped out. Maybe I should have quit there.

    However I kept at it. The beauty or more than likely the curse of the Internet is that you easily have all sorts of info available to you. Eventually I clicked on a site that hinted there was more than one way to skin a cat and more than one method of dealing with cancer.

    There are limited studies that show diet, exercise, and spiritual well being aid in the slowing down or stopping the growth of cancer cells. No one wants to do the studies because there is no money to be made if you canít patent the cure.

    I donít consider myself a conspiracy theory type of guy. Iím taking with a grain of salt the stories of cures that have been rejected and made illegal by the FDA. Essiac, Hoxsey and Gerson are some examples. But think of the blow to the pharmaceutical industry not to mention the fast food industry if it was proved you could combat cancer by simply changing your diet.

    I havenít made any decision as of yet. Still researching, actually getting to know people who were diagnosed as terminal and still alive 20 years later. One girl who was diagnosed with cancer, took holistic treatments in the US, got rid of the cancer. The reaction of the medical community was ďWe must have made a mistakeĒ. There was no interest in how she had treated her cancer. The anecdotal evidence is there. Double blind studies with scientific evidence havenít been done and are not likely to be done in time to do me any good.

    Iím still confused by the contradictory evidence. But look at all the smokescreens that were thrown up when it was first suggested there was a link between smoking and cancer. Remember the ads, 3 out of 4 Drs smoke Camels.

    Iím not making any decision until I have discussed this with both the naturopath and the oncologist. It may be that Iíll combine the therapies. At this point I just donít know.

     
    Old 10-18-2012, 02:24 PM   #25
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    re: Pca

    Hey RJV,

    Thanks for posting your continuing story Ė it helps us all in trying to understand and deal with our own situations. (Canít help but wonder what your more recent PSA numbers are? Ė if you donít mind sharing).

    I was right with you Ė figuring you were getting good advice and asking all the right questions - right up to your last couple posts, where youíre implying perhaps that now you are not so sure?

    I guess we all post our thoughts here seeking others opinions, so for what itís worth, here are my thoughts. From my reading and studies, Iíd agree that prostate cancer treatment is super confusing Ė especially if you have a Gleason 6 (or even 7). But one-way to think about your situation is that with a Gleason 8, treatment choices actually become much less confusing.

    From what you've told us Ė you are already on about the best available plan for your situation Ė probably your medical team has got a million times more knowledge and experience in this matter than youíll ever get in the next few months from Dr. Google!

    So my caution to you would be not to jeopardize the timing of your current hormone and radiation treatment plan by postponing it for any further study. My advice would be to sit down with a good cigar and single malt on the rocks and stay off the Internet (kidding!)!

    Actually itís time for me to quit writing and enjoy a drink myself with Dr. Smirnoff!

     
    Old 10-18-2012, 04:02 PM   #26
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    Re: Looking for alternatives.

    RJV,
    I was 53 PSA 3.95, Gleason 7 when I had my RP surgery and the cancer was already outside the prostate so it seems to me that men older, with higher PSA, and higher Gleason grade might be wise to seriously consider a radiation therapy instead of surgery. I would not advise anyone wanting to get a cure to go the supplements and naturopathic route. They do not work and there is little evidence that they delay the progression of the disease. If you delay you may quickly lose the chance for a cure or disease control.
    Bob

     
    Old 10-18-2012, 07:41 PM   #27
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    re: Pca

    SiestaKeyJimmy and Harpman;

    Yes I’m looking for feedback,

    Firstly the easy question to answer is my last PSA reading was 2.7

    The tougher question is whether alternative treatments work or not, and why I would consider not taking conventional treatment. The number one reason is side effects. Radiation causes cancer so using radiation to fight cancer doesn’t make much sense. The risks were explained to me by my oncologist. I may end up trading prostate cancer for colon or other cancer down the road.

    As for natural treatment not working; again I don’t see any evidence that they don’t because there haven’t been any scientific studies done. Anecdotal evidence is there. Not off the Internet but from people that I have met. So I would ask both of you, have you met or know of someone who tried a natural route that had sub-optimal results?

    Is there any evidence that a delay of 3 or 4 months will be detrimental? I will ask my oncologist.

    Jimmy I think it was Groucho who said He had read an article on alcohol abuse that scared him so bad he quit reading. When I read that both Cigars and Scotch were to be avoided by people with cancer I almost quit reading.

    I found helpful “Dean Ornish on reversing prostate cancer,” an online video that’ll take you 5 minutesto view.

    Last edited by mod85; 10-18-2012 at 09:55 PM.

     
    Old 10-18-2012, 08:44 PM   #28
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    re: Pca

    RJV,
    I recently read an article entitled, "Prostate Cancer: Curcumin Curbs Metastases, Study Shows" which mentioned that they intended to do a clinical trial. As for side effects from radiation that is one of the reasons I selected Proton Beam Therapy. My urologist in Kamloops was not aware of it and I don't imagine that in Central BC your urologist is familiar with it either. In Canada many doctors are emotionally invested in our government run medical system and are very biased against seeking treatment in the much better and advanced facilities in the USA. Watch the Loma Linda videos and see what you think.
    Bob

     
    Old 10-18-2012, 09:00 PM   #29
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    re: Pca

    RJV,
    For your information Loma Linda University Center recommends a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. That is fruit, vegetables, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and milk. These are the meals I had whenever I ate at one of many cafeterias on the hospital and campus. Some vegan options available. Good food tastily prepared and presented. You can get more information searching online.
    Bob

     
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    Old 10-18-2012, 11:48 PM   #30
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    re: Pca

    RJV,
    Since you seem to be a fan of anecdotes, let me share one with you. My friend Tom, in my PC Support group, found out he was Gleason 8 about 10 years ago. He had a prostatectomy, but several years later his PSA started to rise quickly. Bone scans revealed it had spread and it was then too late for radiation. He went on Hormone Therapy, and that failed after about 7 years. Several rounds of Taxotere took a toll on him, but kept his PSA down for another year. Then he was given a platinum-based chemo cocktail, which was withdrawn when his kidneys began to fail. He died last year. He told me he wished he'd had radiation initially. Maybe acai berries or some such may have cured him, but I doubt it, don't you?

    Think of a clinical trial this way. If there were 500 men in a clinical trial who received hormones+radiation, and 400 of them showed no sign of PSA failure 15 years later, that's 400 anecdotes for you right there. The power of large numbers is because they are projectable -- you can reasonably expect, in that case, that the treatment will have a 4 in 5 chance of succeeding for you. When you elect to follow the course of some random person who had a miraculous cure, what are the chances of that succeeding? Would you spend $10,000 to play that lottery ticket?

    Let me address directly a few of your specific comments:

    Quote:
    Radiation causes cancer so using radiation to fight cancer doesnít make much sense. The risks were explained to me by my oncologist. I may end up trading prostate cancer for colon or other cancer down the road.
    The reason radiation cures cancer is because it takes advantage of a key difference between healthy cells and cancer cells. Healthy cells have a self-repair mechanism that allows them to recover from ionizing radiation. Recovery takes only a few hours. If they can't, they self-destruct in a process called apoptosis. Cancer cells, if left alone, are immortal and can't repair the damage to the DNA and can't undergo apoptosis. Many of them are killed immediately by the radiation. For the rest, when their DNA absorbs hydroxyl radicals from the radiation, they find they cannot divide and grow. Eventually (and it can occur over years) they die. Radiation has been used to cure cancer for over a hundred years.

    As for secondary tumors, here are the latest figures I've seen from Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC (and these are so new that even your oncologist may not have seen them). They looked at 3 groups of men who were treated for prostate cancer. They followed the men who'd only had a prostatectomy (RP) which was the control group who received no radiation vs two groups that did: either EBRT or Seeds (BT). They specifically looked at each group for the development of colorectal or bladder cancer 10 years after their treatment. They found that 3% of the men who'd had RP developed one of those cancers, and it was statistically no different from the men who'd had BT (2%) or EBRT (4%). The only factors that led to more secondary cancers anywhere on their bodies were age and smoking. Here's an abstract of the study:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22889401

    Quote:
    As for natural treatment not working; again I donít see any evidence that they donít because there havenít been any scientific studies done.
    I can't imagine why you'd think no studies are done. There have been literally thousands of them. I just went to the clinicaltrials.gov website and put in the words "prostate cancer" and "dietary" and it came up with a list of 139 studies. Go into pubmed and you'll find many more that have already been completed. Diet and supplements are subjected to intense scrutiny in many epidemiological and cohort studies as well as lab studies. Grad students love to do these because they are a cheap and easy way to get published. What rising grad student would not want to prove that drinking beer prevents cancer? Controlled prospective studies are expensive, especially because of the cost of following men for so many years. There have been a few (e.g., the SELECT study of Vitamin E and Selenium, and several on lycopene, which was hot for a while) but I agree that there can always be more. There's a big one going on now on red yeast rice. Sometimes university medical centers finance them, sometimes the NIH. The ones that get funded are the ones for which there's usually some preliminary evidence it might work. Why waste precious funds on, say, maple syrup, if they already know that French Canadians and Vermonters have the same incidence of PC as everyone else?

    Quote:
    Is there any evidence that a delay of 3 or 4 months will be detrimental? I will ask my oncologist.
    Yes there is, especially with high risk PC like yours. The survival stats deteriorate sharply with time till therapy. The danger is, of course, metastasis. Once it leaves the local area (where it can be cured with hormones+radiation) there is no hope of curing it. Ask my friend Tom, may he rest in peace.

    The other thing I would suggest to you is to be very careful where you get your information from. If it's from a peer-reviewed journal listed by NIH, you can be reasonably sure there's some good science behind it. If it's from some random website that has a headline like "what the drug companies don't want you to know," you can be reasonably sure they're preying on the fears of cancer victims.

    Also, be very wary of anyone who tries to lump all cancers together. Cancers are different as night and day in the way they react to drugs and environmental factors. From the recent development of high-throughput genomic testing, we are beginning to learn the hundreds of ways in which each cancer is unique and how even the same cancer may be expressed differently in different people. It is more complex than we ever thought. Anyone who tries to tell you differently, probably hasn't studied it very deeply.

    I'm hoping you stay on the road to a cure.

    - Allen

     
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