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still don't know if my decision is the right one!
miguelito51 posted:
i have scheduled robotic surgery at the mayo clinic on dec. 23rd. i'm very concerned however. the reality of a diminished romantic life is disappointing. being cancer free is of course, much more important. with standard radiation treatment, which would be easier, and less radical, is a person's love life compromised as much? i realize there are many factors involved. i am 51, and my psa has spiked a little to a 2.2 - i need to get this done, but someone help me out here. i've talked to a couple of guys that have had the radiation treatment, and it's sort of a mixed bag. at my age, what do i do? there is always the risk of the cancer coming back after radiation, and sometimes results are iffy, but now i'm worrying a bit. the surgery, in my case, would be the cure, per se, but surgery vs. radiation? still perplexed. gleason 6 perhaps 7 now. have talked to several people, but am having trouble making the decision.
An_216480 responded:
"still don't know..." Neither do I and I had robotic surgery over a year ago. I remember laying on a gurney outside the OR wondering what in the world I was doing - no pain or problems from the PC, yet I was about to have part of me cut out - possibly changing my life forever. I thought about getting up and walking out. Was it the right decision? Maybe, but all treatments for prostate cancer have associated risks and anyone who tells you different isn't being completely honest. Fortunately for you, (from the information you gave) you are not in a high risk category and you have time for second (and third) opinions. For robotic surgery, I hope your surgeon has performed at least several hundred (500). He/she should be able to provide you with statistics from personal experience (with patients having similar conditions to yours) on post-surgical incontinence, ED and other complications as well as positive margins. Similarly, a meeting with a radiation oncologist should give you information (side effects, chances of successful treatment in your particular case, follow-up treatment, and whether it would really be "easier") to help you decide. ultimately, it is you who has to decide. I was frustrated at first by the experts who told me there was no one right answer but I refused the advice of the one who insisted there was only one way to treat my cancer following surgery. Some good general advice at if you want it. Once you've collected the expert opinions (surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist),the question should really be "is your decision the right one for you?"
bogie11 replied to An_216480's response:
I can only give you my experience. I had proton therapy 2 years ago and have had no side effects at all. I've talked to several who also chose the same, and they all said that they were very glad that they did. I've also talked to some who had surgery, and they nearly all had temporary or permanent incontinence and/or impotence. One friend had photon radiation, and his bowels were burned, and he has to use immodium regularly.

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For more information, visit the Duke Health Prostate Cancer Center