Prostate Cancer Choices
Hi, I have recently been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. It's not aggressive but serious enough to need to be removed. I now need to choose between surgery and radiation. I have read about both options and would be grateful for experiences for others who have been through one or the other and the long term effects, such as incontinence.
Thank you for posting on the online community.
I am sorry to read about your diagnosis of prostate cancer. It is very helpful to learn more about other peoples experience of the different treatment options for prostate cancer. The Irish Cancer Society run a peer to peer support programme for newly diagnosed patients. Our trained volunteers give support and practical information. We could put you in contact with both someone who has had surgery for prostate cancer and someone who had radiotherapy for prostate cancer. I have attached a link for our information page on the peer to peer service here.
If you think that you would find this service helpful please contact one of our nurses on the Support Line, Freephone 1800 200 700, Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.
I was diagnosed 2 years ago and had surgery .The most difficult part was not having someone to chat to My biggest mistake was not telling people except for those closest to me .When I returned to work and told people why I was out I found so many men who had been on the journey. If you have any questions ask away ..I went in blind as this was the best option for me .
Hi Donal Thanks for sharing. How do you do after surgery? Is there any side effects due to prostectomy? Did your psa level reduce?
I have had similar diagnosis and found it difficult to get support about different choices, mainly because both radiation and surgery seem to be good choices and the difference is very nuanced. In the end it seems to come down to personal preference rather than one being medically superior. I think this makes it really difficult.
You are kind of left with a difficult paradox, on the one hand I want a choice but on the other side I don't want to make it.
I the end I have decided to go with Da Vinci surgery as it seems to give me better options should cancer return.
Surgery is scheduled for December 9th.
I have come to terms with fact that both choices carry risks and it will be just one of those things if it does not workout as well as I would like.
How did your surgery go? Please share your experience. Thanks.
I had robotic surgery on December 9th.
At 61 it was my first time in hospital so nothing really to compare it with.
I found my surgeon Dr K. O'Malley and Urology Nursec Cassie to be super supportive.
I had to spend 2 extra nights in hospital as some minor complications. Didn't mind too much as I came home stronger.
Post Op pain etc was very manageable.
What really helped me was specialist nurse taking me through every step of surgery and what to expect afterwards. So mentally I was well prepared. Would highly recommend doing this.
I came home with cathera and once I got the hang of found it ok.
I had the cathera out on 19th. Painless straight forward procedure. Also had had badages removed and was really suprised how well everything healed.
I had really difficult night cathera removed as I was very bloated and as bladder started to wake up gaz had to go somewhere. It was unexpected and difficult , but I got through it. To be fair I think it was a bit unique to me.
Since then apart from some cramps have been relatively pain free.
I would consider myself to be generaly fit and am surprised as to how tired I am. I was given a recovery programme by physio, which involves daily walking; 20mins building up to 60 mins over 6 weeks. I thought I could manage more but am finding it more than enough.
The main challenge now is regaining urinary continence, which I am finding physically and mentally challenging. Again got good advice; to be open and honest with family and close friends. In that way they can support you within your limits. Eg friends wanted to walk on beach and once I explained need to have easy access to toilets we walked around howth. Main issue for me is urgecy to get to bathroom and feeling of constantly leaking during the day. Pads take a bit of getting used to but they work. Night time not too bad except up about every two hours to go to bathroom.
I have been told that this is a spectrum and different for everyone. While I freely admit I am finding it physically and mentally challenging, I am working hard to accept that it may take a couple of months. I have scheduled an appointment with a specialist physio who I hope will be able to give me an assessment as to where I am at.
Finally, I got histology report and cancer seems to have been contained in prostate. So fingers crossed no further treatment.
I hope this is helpful.
I am in Clontarf Dublin and would be more than happy to meet you if that would help.
Let me know and we can arrange something.
Best of luck with everything
Thanks a lot for your reply. It is really helpful. Will they give enema before the surgery at the hospital?
Appreciate your invite. I am in Dublin 15. Certainly we would meet once I recover from the surgery. I will update you and ask questions once my surgery is over.
This seems to vary from surgeon to surgeon. On the various website I read it seemed to be standard practice. But my surgeon did not require one.
Who is your surgeon, and when and where are you having it. Is it Da Vinci Robotic surgery.
Dont worry it will be explained at pre op assessment
I forgot to say that my wonderful wife has been so supportive and made my journey so much easier and for this I will be eternally grateful. Ask for help and tell those who are close to how you are feeling and how they can help you.
Once last think I haven't even thought about ED but guess I will have to face in not to distant future
Hey Hughie. I was here looking for help regarding my fathers side effects after radiation. His was 10 years ago, so maybe radiation has improved. Get the top urologist going. Look at the US, they are using cyro - freezing the prostate, with less damage to the body. My father has a fistula that he may likely die from because the radiation ruined his cells- pretty common it seems. Do lots of research, talk to others, leave no stone unturned. I wish you well, keep strong and say no to apathetic doctors! Best, G