Prostate planning session

Hi . I have prostate cancer and have elected for radiotherapy.  My planning session is one week away . I would be grateful for any advice , especially regarding diet . I am a normally windy person !!! and need to reduce this . Also any other tips . Thanks 

Comments

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 824 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Phil

    Hi Phil

    Good to hear from you. 
    I had radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer three years ago. Because the cancer had spread beyond the prostate I was not offered the surgery option.  I am interested to hear that you elected for radiotherapy and personally, I believe it is the better choice for reasons I imagine you have already discussed. 
    Three months before the radiotherapy was due to begin, I received androgen deprivation therapy to reduce the tumour size  in advance. I was also given three small tattoo marks in the pelvic area which were used to line me up for the beam prior to each session. 
    I had twenty treatments, one each weekday over four weeks.  As you know, it is important that your bowels are empty and that your bladder is comfortably full before you commence each treatment. I was asked to arrive forty minutes before each session and to drink two cups of water over the next ten minutes, allowing thirty minutes for my bladder to fill up.  
    The radiotherapy itself lasted about ten minutes for each session during which you must remain very still.  I did not experience any discomfort during treatments, but I started to tire a little after the first two weeks. It was around that time that I started to get urges to empty my bowels even though they were already empty and I found that I needed to be fairly near a toilet just in case.  The effects of radiotherapy are cumulative and I experienced some tiredness and mild toileting issues for quite a few months after the sessions finished. 
    I imagine that you will get advice about your diet at your planning meeting, but if not, I have an NHS list of what to eat and what not to eat prior to and during your radiotherapy. I can send it to you as a pdf document if you wish. Ironically, the list of suitable foods are highly processed such as products made with white flour. Wholemeal and wholegrain foods are out. Unfortunately, (looking at your photo) so is beer 🍺 though wine 🍷 is OK. Coffee and tea should be decaf. 
    If your bowels are not empty prior to radiotherapy, the session will be delayed. I asked for morning sessions and skipped breakfast and that only happened to me once. 
    The radiographers scanned me before each session and lined me up with the laser very carefully,  and combined with the empty bowels and full bladder, I had no serious side effects. 
    The radiotherapy combined with androgen deprivation therapy have been effective for me and I feel well even though I am still on hormone treatment and have no testosterone in my body. 
    If you wish to discuss the possible side effects of this situation, you are welcome to contact me privately. 

    Good to have you on board. We are a friendly and welcoming group and we like to chat and support one another through the cancer journey and beyond. 

    Cheers
    Rob 

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 426 mod
    @Phil, @RobertA

    Hi Phil,

    I knew Rob would have all the information you need having been through all if this himself. 
     Reading through what Rob has posted, I have to say, I think you are very brave. Clearly, radiotherapy is so different depending on the type of cancer being treated. The effects it has on a person are so varied. I am really glad you are here, and it is great that you are able to chat about things. 
    I hope the planning session goes to plan, please keep in touch with your progress. 

    Lou x
  • PhilPhil Posts: 8
    Thank you both for your replies . A list of cans and can't eat would be useful , I did find a NHS one but couldn't get it to print , would only print page one so a PDF format one would be brilliant thanks . By the way Rob if I have to drink wine it's not a problem !!
  • RobertARobertA Posts: 824 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Phil
    Hi Phil
    If you wish to contact me privately with your email address I will get that info and send it to you. 

    Cheers
    Rob
  • PhilPhil Posts: 8

    Well just had final 20th radiotherapy treatment and can honestly say , apart from going to toilet for more wee's, I have had no other side effects . Kept myself well hydrated and followed the diet sheet that Rob kindly sent me . The hardest part of it was trying to keep a full bladder before treatment , especially if running late . The treatment itself was surprisingly easy and quick .Seeing same people at treatment was good even if topic of conversation was mainly about drinking water and weeing!! . Staff brilliant at Hull Castle Hill Hospital and so friendly . Told I have to wait around 4 weeks for follow up appointment . Thanks again Rob for advice.

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 824 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Phil

    Hi Phil

    Thanks for getting back to us, much appreciated. It all sounds really good and I am pleased that it went so smoothly for you.

    Well, you have earned that pint of beer and it will be worth an extra trip to the loo I would say.

    🍻 Cheers

    Rob

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 426 mod

    @Phil

    Hi Phil,

    That is great news to hear you have managed to come through the radiotherapy so well, although it does sound as if it was very uncomfortable at times! I am really pleased for you that you have had so few side effects. It is great to hear how well you have been cared for too by your medical team. When we go through these treatments we do get to know a little about the others who are being treated at the same time, I remember chatting to several others, being so glad for them when they got to the end while I still had a while to go. The world becomes a smaller place when you find yourself in this situation. So many others like us, all going through similar things.

    I hope you continue to make a great recovery from all your treatment, long may that continue!

    Take care,

    Lou xx

  • PhilPhil Posts: 8

    Thanks for your replies . We have a bell to ring at hospital when our treatment ended . Was wonderful to hear people ringing it and to eventually ring it myself .

  • ladyoftheharpladyoftheharp Posts: 2

    Hi, Phil and Rob,

    I am the wife of a 72-year-old man who underwent 39 radiation treatments for advanced prostate cancer more than four years ago at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston. He had two ADT shots of six-month Lupron before his radiation treatment. I am curious about others side effects from adt therapy. A few months ago my husband was diagnosed with emphysema, which we assumed was from smoking for most of his earlier life (stopped about 15 years ago). However, after research we have found that emphysema can be a rare but severe side effect of lupron. He has been short of breath almost since starting the lupron. Since my husband was a serious walker before his diagnosis, this has been very hard for him to deal with.

    Has anyone else developed emphysema after taking lupron?

    HarpLady72

  • PhilPhil Posts: 8

    Hi . Sorry to hear about your husbands emphysema . I am on Zoladex injections for 2 years , had 9 months worth in 3 monthly instalments . Can honestly say , apart from hot flushes , have had no side effects .

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 824 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ladyoftheharp @Phil

    Hi there Harp Lady

    I am sorry to hear of your husband's emphysema and I do hope that he is able to have treatments to help him to manage it and to enjoy his walks again. I am in a group of over 30 men who are in treatment for prostate cancer and to date I have not heard anyone mention emphysema as an issue.

    I had radiotherapy treatments three years ago since when I have been on triporelin which is also an ADT therapy. I do have some inconvenient side effects, the most frustrating of which are bone pain and osteoporosis and I am receiving additional treatments for those.

    Kind regards

    Rob

  • ladyoftheharpladyoftheharp Posts: 2

    Thank you, Phil and Robert, for responding. I have not heard of the ADT drugs that you mentioned. Do drugs have different names in Britain?

    We are very thankful to be close enough to MD Anderson to go there, and we know the doctors there are the best. It's hard not to compare others' treatments when reading about them, however. My husband has had had three spots show up on his spine as well as in his prostate again. That is why he is back on the lupron. One spot was treated with stereotactic radiation, and that spot has disappeared. Since he has has been back on the lupron for two months, his psa has gone done to 1.something, but it has not become the 0 we were expecting. That is concerning. Next week we go back to Houston for a checkup with the "stereotactic" radiologist and an MRI. However his radiation oncologist does not want to see him again until his PSA has gone up twice. Will let you know how next week goes.

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 824 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ladyoftheharp

    Hi

    I am not sure about different names for the drugs, and I am not an expert, but I believe that there are different drugs which have the same effect. I know that mine is ADT and that it removes the testosterone and oestrogen which the cancer thrives on.

    I will be interested to hear how your husband gets on next week.

    My oldest sister lives in Austin as does her daughter Margaret who lives with cancer. Margaret used to drive to Houston every three weeks where she was treated with a trial drug. Fortunately, the drug has been approved for general use and she can now be treated in Austin. British Airways run a direct flight from Heathrow to Austin which takes about 10 hours. I have been over on several occasions and I love the City.

    All the best

    Rob x

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