Discussions that mention flomax

Cancer: Prostate board

Daff - can you tell us more about the proton radiation treatments? How many did you have and did you have any side effects? How did it affect your PSA?


Hi Ken-

Thanks for the followups you posted- sorry I didn't respond sooner, but I've just returned home from a trip, so am now trying to catch up on things.

I've made many postings on this board about how and why I chose proton beam therapy instead of robotic surgery (or any other treatment) for my prostate cancer-- so those are available if you want to read more. Basically, it's a treatment done in only a few places, but more centers are now being built at costs exceeding $100 million. That's a big reason it's not been widely available, although thousands have been treated since 1990, the vast majority at Loma Linda, California, since there have been few other choices until recently (I went to University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville about a year ago).

The treatment consists of 40 (some a little more, some get fewer) daily treatments, that don't take very long. The dosage is 2 Grey per treatment, although there is consideration, and even some ongoing trials, where there will be a higher dosage given to lower the number of treatments. The radiation is very targeted, so that it bombards the prostate but doesn't have an exit dose, so side effects are generally minor versus some other forms of radiation. I experienced a weak urine flow and some burning about 2 to 3 weeks into the process, but that was managed by Flomax and didn't last that long.

Most patients experience a drop in PSA levels to somewhere between 0.3 and 1.0 after about one to two years-- and then remain at that low point, or nadir. The reason PSA doesn't fall more, is that the prostate is still there and producing some PSA. My PSA was about 4 prior to treatment, and has been dropping, with my 9-month reading at 0.9.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. I learned about this from Robert Marckini's book, You Can Beat Prostate Cancer.