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Getting ready for radiation treatment

I’m 66 and my PSA jumped a bit from 3.6 a year ago to 5.7. Family history of Prostrate cancer. MRI showed a spot on my Prostrate so biopsy ordered. Biopsy confirmed cancer, Gleason 3+4. Bloodwork fine, no deviants or other concerns. Talked with Urologist, Radiation Oncologist and Medical Oncologist. Have decided on external radiation treatment with the SpaceOAR Hydrogel. 5 treatments over two weeks. All doctors felt it was a good option for me. But the medical oncologist indicated it was a relatively new treatment so it does not have a well documented track record. Radiologist indicated it was as effective as the seeds.

Anyone else have this 5X external radiation treatment process? How did it go for you? How has the follow up been? Steady drop in PSA? I would welcome to hear any experiences on this treatment. Thanks.

  1. When I was 66 I too, received biopsy results of Gleason 7 (3+4). And, just as you, my PSA jumped dramatically in one year from 3.2 to 7.1. One year ago yesterday I had my 1st of 20 external beam radiation treatments. Making the treatment decision was one of the hardest I ever made. I took my time, talked to all my doctors, read and researched. In the end I made the best decision for myself. A 5 treatment plan was not offered to me. All I can offer you is gather as much information as you need. Once you feel comfortable, make your decision. Please come back here and let us know how and what you are doing.

    1. Sorry, when I said seeds I meant the gold markers that they are using along with the SpaceOAR. I'm getting the 28 week RT

    2. My appointments were 15 minutes, but each treatment was 90 seconds long...the time when "the machine" was actually rotating around me. Most of the rest of the time was getting me positioned on the table prior to the treatment.

      After the 2nd treatment I noticed a lot of gas, even though they had me taking gasX. That and loose stools were helped a bit by trying to eliminate spicy, acidic foods (no pizza for 5 months) reducing fiber intake, and an occasional Pepcid. 1 year after treatment things are much better, and I'm handling spice better.

      I've been on Flomax since the 2nd week of treatment and that's worked well for me. A few months ago my urologist diagnosed prostatitis, which cleared with a 2 week dose of an antibiotic.

      I was fatigued while in treatment, but I was able to push through it. About a month after my last treatment my energy was back to normal.

      In my individual case, ED struck right away. I had been divorced after a lengthy marriage the year before, and wasn't ready to face starting a new relationship, so I discussed it with my doctors and deferred addressing the problem until recently. My urologist has started me on tadalafil, and he is optimistic that will solve the problem. Hopefully he's right.

      That's what the last year has been like for me. Considering what not treating PCa means, it has all been worth it and I would make the same decision again.

      I wish you well in your treatment, and that you too emerge feeling comfortable with your decision.

  2. Hi . It sounds like the treatment you are referring to is Cyberknife. While it is relatively new there is starting to be some research documenting its effectiveness. This article looks at research on Cyberknife treatment and five year results: This even more recent article has findings that "suggest that stereotactic body radiotherapy is associated with a long-term clinical outcomes profile—both in terms of toxic events and disease control—that is comparable with other, more widely used treatments for low-risk and intermediate-risk prostate cancer:" In addition, I want to note that it has a longer track record of treating other cancers, such as lung cancer, particularly that metastasized to the brain. More anecdotally, I can tell you that my father-in-law had a combination of Cyberknife and traditional radiation a couple of years ago and, so far, his results have been good, with minimal side effects. Hopefully others will chime in with their experiences. Best, Richard ( Team). Best, Richard ( Team)

    1. that you for your comments. Very helpful and consistent with research I’ve done so far on this procedure. Feeling more comfortable with it.

  3. Bstump2 ...Been through 40 EBRT and Lupron following surgery - so far all has been good since 2018 - We all react differently to treatment I had very few side effects from radiation other than some constipation along with being tired.

    My reactions to LUPRON was a different story and yet I know men in my support group who had no reaction to the drug - Go figure that one. Hope all works out for you and you find your self in remission Deciding not to treat is one I have never understood yet it happens -

    1. As mentioned, it sounds like CyberKnife. I researched it 18 months ago and decided that it was a better way to go than RP. The good news is that the 5 sessions are all about an hour to 90 min and there's no pain, just a bit of urination issues for a week or two. Other than that no side effect at all.

      The bad news for me anyway is that the cancer is back after 18 months so now I'm researching secondary focused treatments. If I had to do it over again I'd do the same thing. I'm 73 and do not want to have to deal with serious urinary SE after a RP.

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