Discussions that mention flomax

Cancer: Prostate board


[QUOTE=tck44;3361839]thank you Daff for your reply. I'm 63 and in good health. Is the proton beam anything like the ProstRcision procedure out of Atlanta that uses seeds followed by linear accelerator irradiation? What are the side effects of the proton? I will try to do more research. Thanks

As you might suspect, I'm a strong proponent of proton beam radiation, having done a couple months worth of due diligence before committing to this. The majority of posters on this board have experience with surgery, but that doesn't mean there aren't other good approaches. Once you've seen them all and done your homework, you'll come to the right decision for you.

Most urologists don't even mention proton treatment. Of the 70 or so that were being treated in Jacksonville, nearly all were self-referred. The Marckini book is the best place to start. It's one of the top two or three books on prostate cancer on the Amazon website. You'll learn all about this, and about the group of more than 3,000 members who have taken this route.

It's most definitely not like the ProstRcision route. It's highly targeted proton radiation given over a period of about two months, so it's a big time commitment. Many, but not all, insurance companies pay for this (mine did, despite some delays at first) because of the expense. The physical plant costs about $125 million. The benefit vs traditional forms of radiation is that the radiation's energy is released in one's prostate and little damage is done to surrounding tissue. There's essentially no entry or exit dose that affects healthy tissue. There is some radiation that does hit the bladder and rectum, but very little.

Side effects for many are just urinary related-- part-way into the treatment, some have weak stream, urgency, and sometimes some burning. Drugs like Flomax generally relieve these side effects. There is nearly zero incontinence- I've never heard of anyone with that problem. Impotence is said to be less, but one may end up being in about the same or better situation than after surgery or other radiation treatments. (Of course, after surgery impotence is immediate and then hopefully functionality returns in a matter of months.)

They've been using proton beams since 1990 in Loma Linda, California, having done 7,000 or more prostates. The facility I went to in Jacksonville is only a little more than a year old, and I was very happy with that choice.
There is good testing done at the outset (bone scan, chest xray, mris and the like). I came across several that were there following surgery that didn't cure the cancer (they were having the prostate bed treated).

I'd be happy to answer more questions, but strongly suggest you inititally read the book I mentioned. If nothing else, you'll know what the alternatives are.
There are several more proton centers in the planning or building stage- it's used for other tumors (eyes, neck etc) in addition to prostate cancer. There is one being built at University of Pennsylvania to be completed in a year or so. Others in the works for Florida, Virginia, and Oklahoma.

Please ask if you have other questions, as I'm happy to help. And I'm not necessarily negative on surgery- it can fit the bill for some.