We saw Pat B, the radiation oncologist, this morning. The news was good: the PSA has gone down from 6.5 to 5.1. This may not seem a large reduction, but it is more than 20% (relative to the previous score). Pat said that the radiation treatment will continue to have an effect for 6 to 12 months. Therefore, assuming that the cancer doesn’t start behaving aggressively again, the PSA should continue to decline.
The radiation treatment I had after Easter was focused solely on the metastasis on the sternum. The rationale for this was that this spot was identified from the CT scans as dominant (i.e. having “progressed”, which I guess is a nice way to say “grown”). Apparently there is a lot of research which indicates the value of just treating these dominant spots. Each spot or cancer site can be regarded as having its own population. The population of a spot that has become dominant has figured out a way to resist the Zolodex treatment. The idea is to stop this population from colonising other spots.
The Zolodex treatment continues to keep the other spots quiet, and I will continue with this. (I am due for the next implant on 9 June.) I will also continue having a CT scan every three months. These will identify any other spots that might become dominant. Phillip P will remain my medical oncologist; I will go on seeing him every 6 weeks. Pat B is my radiation oncologist; he said I didn’t need to continue seeing him as well as Phillip. Pat will be available, however, to be brought in again should that be appropriate. So it is good to have a team approach to my treatment.
I have explained how the radiation treatment has worked as best I can from the notes I took at the consultation this morning. I appreciate everyone’s interest and concern. Please bear in mind, however, I neither have special knowledge of oncology, nor do I have anything to add to the explanation I have given above. If people have questions about this treatment, there is a lot of information available from free and reliable sources. (I list some of these under Resources in the blog sidebar.) If I received questions about the treatment, I would just be consulting these sources. It has been a worrying six weeks for us since the radiation treatment finished. I would quite like to have a break from thinking about prostate cancer for a bit, and enjoy this little bit of medical sunshine.