Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1.Head over to this page:

    2.Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3.Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    Includes Expert Content
    Prostate cancer
    An_251920 posted:
    My 80 year old dad was diagnosed few weeks ago with prostate cancer I do not know what his stats are, he lives in another state and we do not speak that much, but my sister called and told me. She said that because of his age they will not do any surgery. Is this correct and why? He is overall in great health walks every day not over weight and eats very healthy. My sister said he was told will need 42 radiation treatments, how will this effect him? When I was 17 he did go thru colon cancer but no problems since then that was 1979. Can this issue now effect his colon again? I need answers due to no one in my family will tell me anything.
    billh99 responded:
    It is really not possible to give much of a answer without more details.

    In many cases PC is slow growing and people in their 80's would not be treated as they would probably die from something else.

    But surgery is not unknown.

    Possibly the biopsy shows a higher grade of cancer and their is concern that it might have escaped the prostate. If that is the case then surgery would not contain it.

    Also if it is higher grade than there might be a more urgent need treat it and not wait.

    Radiation can have a side effect of damaging the colon. But off hand I don't know the percentage. And it might also depend on where his colon cancer was and what kind of treatment that he had.
    jaysteitz responded:
    I just had this done i am 58 the doctors told me all depends on the age and more then likely something else will make him pass away before the prostate cancer will,it all depends how far the cancer has gone.
    bogie11 responded:
    I was 84 when I opted for proton radiation, which is more precise than X-ray radiation and has minimal to zero side effects. That was over four years ago, and I have been delighted with the results: no side effects and no change in my daily activities. I was also told that I was too old for surgery, but I would have still chosen proton therapy after researching all of the alternatives.
    justgeno replied to bogie11's response:
    That is what I'm mad about,I HAVE BEEN TOLD BY SEVERAL DOCTORS AND PEOPLE,that due to my age they should have just left it alone,because it was small and I would probably die of old age before it had any effect on me.Knowing what I now know I believe that it was just greed that made him go ahead and do the surgery without discussing it with me more.He has not asked about me and not seen me again since the surgery,of course he was not my Urologist,he just was in the group.But I feel my Urologist feels guilty about the intire thing.Its probably too late to talk to a lawyer about this,and I'm not one to sue anyone.
    Basir U Tareen, MD responded:
    With all prostate cancer diagnoses you and your doctor should discuss:

    1. active surveillance
    2. radical prostatectomy
    3. radiation
    4. cryotherapy

    The decision is made based on the aggressiveness of the tumor/PSA/Gleason score, etc as well as the patient's age and health. If you have more questions and want a second opinion do not be afraid to seek this out.

    Take your time and make a decision you will be comfortable with.

    Dr Tareen
    PeteEvans responded:
    Only medical experts will be able to help answer your questions. All we can say is that usually prostate cancer is very slow moving. It is more likely that your grandfather will die of ripe old age than he would from prostate cancer. Some have used nutritional therapies like beta sitosterol to allievate urinary problems but that is more for an aging prostate.
    fwhast replied to Basir U Tareen, MD's response:
    Dr. Tareen,
    Do you have an opinion on the new but expensive oncotype dx
    test to help evaluate more aggressive vs less aggressive prostate cancers. And how does one get private insurance and or the veterans administration to help cover the costs?

    Helpful Tips

    Recovery of Erectile Function after Radical ProstatectomyExpert
    Patients will often ask me if there is anything they can do to improve erectile function after radical prostatectomy. In general, I tell ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    21 of 24 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Prostate Cancer Center