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oh crap. Dad has prostate cancer. What happens now?

(10 Posts)
Meglet Wed 12-Aug-09 12:07:55

Dad has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He's had MRI and bone scan and will see the consultant this week to find out what they are going to do.

Anyone else know someone who has been through it, even if the outcome wasn't good sad. Dad has lost a lot of weight the last 3 months and has pain in his stomach, back and neck - that's not good is it? My step mum is understandably dead worried and they don't seem to be asking the doc's any questions or finding out anything for themselves so me and my sister are finding it hard to find out what might be going on. oh help sad.

CMOTdibbler Wed 12-Aug-09 12:15:13

Without knowing the results of the bone scan, MRI and his PSA level, it's obviously hard to know what might happen.

With prostate cancer, the really good news is that it is normally very slow moving - so the outcome for men with early prostate cancer is v v good (most results are that 95% of men are disease free at 10 years after treatment), and even if the cancer has moved to the bone, it can often be controlled for a long time.

If your dad has early prostate cancer, there are lots of options for treatment, but if it is advanced, then most men will go on hormone blockers (which put the brakes on the cancer as it needs testosterone to grow), and have radiotherapy to control the cancer where tumours can be found.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 12-Aug-09 12:26:40

I'm sorry you're going through this.

The treatment really does depend on the extent of the cancer.

I have an Uncle whose prostate cancer was treated with surgery and he is now fine.

DH's Uncle has prostate cancer bu has been told it is very slow growing and old age will get him before the cancer does.

FIL was diagnosed with a fairly agressive type nearly 3 years ago. He's had surgery, injections, now he's having chemotherapy. His cancer had spread beyond the prostate when he was diagnosed. The prognosis is not great for FIL, he's been told he has 2-3 years.

It really does just depend on how advanced the cancer is. I hope you get more answers this week.

Meglet Wed 12-Aug-09 12:29:20

thank you smile. I did hear that prostate cancer was usually one of the 'better' cancers, but its the pain in his neck that sounds ominous. I have to say the NHS have not messed around and he has had non stop appointments since his diagnosis, our local hospital has been trialling groudbreaking treatment which Dad might eventually benefit from, so he's in a good place for it.

LIZS Wed 12-Aug-09 12:31:18

Hopefully the test results will clarify the extent pretty quickly. My dad had it diagnosed 2 years ago, very early stage, but had radiotherapy and so far all other tests have been fine. Fingers crossed.

AstronomyDomine Wed 12-Aug-09 12:31:23

So sorry that you're going through this.
My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer about 4-5 years ago, his PSA reading was very high and it quickly spread. BUT he was a very heavy smoker - we're talking about 60 a day. No really!

It didn't work out for him but I think he was a typical bloke... he knew something was wrong but didn't want to see his doctor so it was quite late when he found out.

Fingers crossed for you.

moonmother Wed 12-Aug-09 12:35:07

My Dad was diagnosed with Prostrate Cancer 2 years ago.

He was in his early 60's.He like your father, ached alot , lost weight and was very tired.

He was able to go private through his work, which speeded up his treatment, although his main treatment was done though the NHS as all prostrate cancer treatment is done though the NHS.

After all the scans etc he was advised to have Brachytherapy - this is where they implant radioactive 'Seeds' into the prostrate.

Due to other health problems his operation wasn't done straight away and he had to have hormone injections into his stomach for 2 months, this stops the testosterone making the tumours grow.

The operation went smoothly, and obviously Dad had quite a bit discomfort , as well as waterwork problems for a couple of months. They do give medication to help with this, but I know the waterwork bothered my dad alot. I was living with them at the time, and was at home with him whilst he recuperated, and witnessed how humilated and embarrassed the incontinence made him.

He was off work for a couple of months, and obviously had to have regular check ups to his PSA levels etc.

I also know that it bothered my Dad , that my children couldn't give him a cuddle/sit on his lap for the first few months, due to the radioactiveness of the seeds. Although that does wear off after about 6- months to a year.

My Dad had his last check up in May and they have said he only needs to go for yearly appointments now.

Prostrate cancer found early is easily treatable.

Good Luck to you all, it can be very worrying for everyone, especially when the diagnosis has just been made.

Northernlurker Wed 12-Aug-09 12:39:46

Obviously the pain could be associated - but it may not be. If you didn't know about the cancer he'd just be thinking he'd done too much or was developing athritis or something so don't leap ahead of yourself too far.

Something you need to consider is how much does you dad and his wife want to know - we tend to think that information is power but not everybody feels that way and if somebody really doesn't want to know all the gritty details then that should be respected. However you obviously do want to know - you could ask your dad to give his consultant permission to speak to you about his case. In any case you could sit down with them and draft a list of questions - having it writing makes it much easier to remember when they're actually face to face with the doctor. I just think you need to prepare yourself for the fact that there may be some questions they don't want to ask or don't want you to know the answer too. A big part of the side effects of prostate cancer and treatment is loss of sexual function. Your dad is not I think, going to want to update you on the liklihood of that for example. The tests and treatment are all going to be dealing with an area of ourselves that we usually keep private and I know you need to know what's happening to your loved one - but you also need to know that he may still want privacy in this. All the best.

ThingOne Wed 12-Aug-09 22:24:16

Sorry to hear your news. Have you heard of www.cancerbackup.org? It's a reliable website for finding out more detail about cancer.

My dad had prostate cancer a few years ago and is now clear. He had to take hormones for a while - three years I think - but his PSA readings were good all the time.

Meglet Sat 15-Aug-09 13:54:21

Thanks for your replies everyone. Dad saw the consultant yesterday and he has prostate and bone cancer, which is what we'd suspected. He's seeing the oncologist in 2 weeks so they can decide on treatment.

The good news is that he has his warped sense of humour back and even went to work yesterday afternoon, so he's not going down without a fight smile.

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