It’s been an interesting few weeks trying to find out as much as I can about prostate cancer and how to treat it. I’ve read books and looked on the web. Also spent over an hour talking with my doctor about it. I have found that there are three basic options for treatment with sub-options for two of them. One treatment option is to do nothing and hope the cancer does not kill you before you die naturally; not a bad option for someone either much older or much poorer shape than I am in.
There are several forms of radiation that are used to treat the cancer. This option is much easier than surgery but can take a long time and has no guarantee of actually eliminating the cancer. More generally it is thought of as a control mechanism. The primary potential long term complication of this treatment is impotence.
Surgery also has several different options but they all include removal of the prostate along with a hospital stay and recovery period. The biggest plus for the surgery is that the prostate is gone and, so long as the cancer has not spread, there is little chance of having a second bout. The potential complications of surgery include impotence and incontinence. If the cancer has spread beyond the prostate, determined by biopsy, then other treatment may be required, otherwise it should be the end of the cancer.
The biopsies I had earlier, plus my PSA reading, indicate that the cancer is in an early stage and should be contained within the prostate. Based on that, my age, general health, and desire to ‘know’ where I stand when it’s all done, I have opted for surgery. It seems to offer the best long term outlook for me. Surgery has been scheduled for Feb 14th with several pre-op activities leading up to that date. This will be my first over night stay at a hospital as a patient since I was born. Should be interesting.
In the meantime Sue is reading up on dietary treatment for prostate cancer. Looks like I am going to have to learn to like tofu 🙁