My Journey: Updates
Let me begin by saying that it has now been 14 years since I had my IMRT treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Dr Zelefsky is doing an extensive study of all patients who had IMRT more than 10 years ago and I just finished completing his questionnaire.
After I did that, I realized that the last PSA Test I had was back in 2007. I did wonder how I was doing 4 years later so I had another PSA test last week.
The results of the PSA test in 2007 was 0.8.
The results of the PSA test I had on July 15, 2011 was 0.6! I used the same lab as the one I used in 2007.
Dr Zelefsky rated these results an "incredible" and indicative of a complete cure!!! Everything is fine, and perfectly normal with my physical functions . I never had any negative, or undesirable consequences of the treatment whatsoever.
It has now been ten years since I began my treatment with IMRT, almost to the day.
I skipped having a PSA test performed last year but went for one April 5, 2007.
The test indicated that my PSA is 0.8. That demonstrates a low and stable PSA over many years.
I returned to Memorial Sloan Kettering for my annual checkup today. This marks 8 years since I received my IMRT.
My PSA lab test indicated a reading of 0.74, which was lower than the preceding ones, though all of them were considered excellent results.
My Doctor now considers this a complete cure based not only on my own results but those from other patients who received similar treatment over the past ten years. He said that the combined data indicates a cure rate of 97%.
In consideration of the continual excellent test results over an 8 year period, and absolutely NO negative effects resulting from the treatment for all of that time, my doctor discharged me from the hospital. While I no longer have to return to MSK for an annual PSA test, the doctor did indicate that I might consider having a PSA test done at my local clinic every three years or so and then forwarding the results to him at MSK, to be included in my file.
It may therefore be several years until I add another update to this story.
Needless to say, I am very pleased that I chose IMRT as the treatment for my Prostate Cancer and chose to have it administered in a hospital which has been continually been rated the best in the country, for cancer treatment, by US News and World Reports.
I close by referring to something I said much earlier in this report: Prostate Cancer is NOT a death sentence! It can be cured and cured with minimum or NO adverse side effects. I am living proof of that statement!!!! The key is early detection and treatment. In my case, I pushed "Watchful Waiting' to the limit over many years and did not begin treatment until my PSA reached a level of 14.7.
On June 29, 2004, I returned to Memorial Sloan Kettering for my annual checkup. It has now been seven years since I received my IMRT treatment. Seven years is considered something of a milestone. A patient who has had IMRT, with a PSA stabilized in a low range, is generally considered to have a permanent cure.
My doctor gave me a DRE and found that my prostate was in perfect condition and was healthy in every respect.
My PSA tested at 0.98 and that is in the range it has been for the past 7 years. My doctor expressed his satisfaction that my PSA has stabilized in this range. (0.8 - 1.0)
As indicated previously, I continue to have absolutely no negative effects resulting from the IMRT treatment and am in excellent health. I take no medication at all, with the exception of the usual regimen of vitamin pills. At this writing, I am now 77 years old.
In April 2003 I went for my annual check up at the facility which has provided the treatment and monitoring up to the present time.
My doctor once again performed a D.R.E. and found that my prostate was healthy and perfectly normal. My PSA test results showed a reading of 0.89. That is essentially the same reading I have had for the past several years and it is excellent.
I continue to be in perfect health and never had a single negative, long term, or delayed, reaction resulting from the IMRT treatment. Of course I am delighted that I chose the treatment I did and that I chose to have MSK perform the work.
In April 2002, I returned to Memorial Sloan Kettering for a PSA test and an examination by my doctor. A full year had passed since my last check-up. It was now five years since my treatment.
The doctor conducted a D.R.E and reported that my prostate was perfectly normal. "Completely smooth and symmetrical".
The PSA test gave a result of 0.9. That indicates a continuation of the good prior results with a stabilization at 0.9. The doctor again stressed that the goal is STABILIZATION of the PSA at a low value, rather than a low value by itself, is the goal, since all men have their own level, which would indicate a successful procedure.
I am pleased to also report that, over the past five years, I have never experienced any negative effects from the treatment. That includes all things physical, sexual, and emotional.
I am delighted that I chose the path I did for "My Journey". I was in superb hands at MSK. !!
It has now been 4 years since I completed my treatment. I had a checkup by my doctor on 5/9/01. A digital examination of my prostate revealed it to be in "perfect condition" (To quote my doctor). Perfectly smooth with no irregularities whatsoever. My PSA came back from the lab as 0.8. My doctor confirmed my independent reading which said that a continual low range PSA for 4 years after receiving 3-D CRT virtually guarantees at least a 90% assurance of a complete cure . The low absolute number is not as important as consistent low readings in a uniform range. The number may cycle back and forth within that range since all men seem to have different levels which are suitable for them. For 4 years my readings have consistently remained in a range of 0.8 plus or minus 0.2 and that is fine. So my journey continues. With low PSA readings and without a single negative effect resulting from the treatment after all this time.
I get mail from men who wonder how I am doing since I last updated "My Journey." For the benefit of all those men who have been wondering what happened to me:
I just completed my exam three years after I completed treatment. My PSA is now 0.871 and all is well. I have had no delayed reactions at all and my doctor is very pleased with the results to date. The D.R.E. has indicated that my prostate is now perfectly normal.
I just completed my 18-month exam. The PSA is 0.50 which indicates that it has leveled off after the effects of the Lupron have finally dissipated. The Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) indicated that my prostate was perfectly normal. My doctor indicated that any PSA less than 1.0 was acceptable. He considers this result "excellent". So - my good progress continues.Email