When i asked the urologist about treatment options, his response was “flip a coin”. That wasn’t much help, so it was time to do some research.
- Do nothing. Also known as Watchful Waiting or Active Surveillance.
- Surgery to remove the prostate. Considered the best option by many.
- Radiation. Comes in various forms.
- Hormone Treatment. aka Chemical Castration.
Do nothing did not seem much of an option at the time. After all, you have the knowledge that this malignant “thing” is growing inside of you and will probably eventually kill you if you don’t die of something else first. Depressing thoughts. I also had other health issues and ended up on disability pension for two years. I should have stayed at work.
Next was a bone scan, ct scans and a range of tests. I saw a Radiation Oncologist who started me on Zoladex 10.8. This is a pellet that is injected into your belly. It lasts 3 months and costs over $1000 per time. Lucky it is provided virtually free for Australian pensioners. The Zoladex reduces the tumour so that there is a smaller target for the radiation beam. The next step was to have gold ‘seeds’implanted in the prostate so the radiographer can find it.
I was still not sure which way to go. The more questions I asked, the more confusing it became. The end result was that there are no good options. It is a lucky dip. You may as well spin a wheel or flip a coin as the man said.
Either way, the pressure was on to make a decision…
I considered radiation, but realised it would cook my insides to a crisp and would probably result in erectile dysfunction and possibly incontinence as well. Not much of an option.