Recent Blog Articles
Seeing red? 4 steps to try before responding
Tics and TikTok: Can social media trigger illness?
Pandemic challenges may affect babies — possibly in long-lasting ways
4 immune-boosting strategies that count right now
If you have knee pain, telehealth may help
How to address opposition in young children
New study investigates treatment-associated regrets in prostate cancer
Minimizing successes and magnifying failures? Change your distorted thinking
Are poinsettias, mistletoe, or holly plants dangerous?
Waiting for motivation to strike? Try rethinking that
Long-term hormonal therapy benefits men with locally advanced prostate cancer
- By Charlie Schmidt, Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
While these findings seem interesting, I’m a little surprised that they’re being presented as new.
My consultant at the Royal Free Hospital in London who in 2001 – when following the removal of my cancerous prostrate it was found not only that (contrary to the reading in the pre-operative biopsy) the cancer was grade 9 on the Gleason scale but also that, to judge from my PSA, some of it had survived in the margins – applied topical radiotherapy to the area, proposed following the course of radiotherapy with two years of hormone treatment. This was because, she said, the statistics showed such follow-up treatment to produce something like a 50% higher chance of success in obtaining 5+ years survival. She explained the possible side effects but advised that, with my (then) being a 62-year old who did a good bit of hard impact exercise such as hill walking, the benefits would be likely to outweigh the harm risked, and I agreed to the treatment. My PSA, tested first every three and then every six months because of the grade 9 Gleason reading, has been >0.03 ug/L since.
The conversation with my consultant took place, as I say, fifteen years ago. So I’m puzzled that, if analysis of the statistics on the benefits of hormone treatment for 2-years following topical radiotherapy to eradicate prostrate cancer, was well enough known then, it has taken till now for it to give rise to the study on which you’ve reported here.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am 77 years old, have BR and Gleason score 4/4. My personal experience is the following. Not dying of prostate cancer may mask the statistics of dying of the side effects of hormonal therapy and living with a greatly decreased QOL, as it is usually abbreviated. My side effects were close to unbearable, with constant and increasing risk of pulling muscles and tendons when doing what I have been used to in terms of physical exercise. Now, I am still able to exercise, go hiking in mountains above 10,000 feet and regularly burn about 900 cal on an almost daily basis in the gym. I could not have done anything like that with continuing hormonal therapy. Obviously, this has been my personal decision and may not apply necessarily to everybody but I also do not need to take any medication whatsoever and feel good in terms of quality of life overall and go to work full-time simply because I like to do that and can do it.
Commenting has been closed for this post.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!