Thursday, June 9, 2016

Radiation for Gynecomestia: Dr. Myers Relents

My memo to Dr. Myers dated 6/8/16 appears below

As per our recent exchange of e-mails I met with a radiation oncologist (RO) and his physician assistant (PA). We began the appointment with a fairly detailed review of my PCa history and a thorough physical examination of my upper body. The RO concluded I am a suitable candidate for radiation treatment. which would involve three brief exposures over a one week period. "What kind of outcome can I expect", I asked.  A summary of their responses appears below:
--An eighty per cent reduction in the size of your breasts.
--A temporary reddening of your breast tissue
--No damage to the heart, lungs or breasts.
"Please address the risk of breast cancer" I requested. The PO responded: "The likelihood of causing such a cancer is ten thousand to one, and it would take thirty years to develop."
My concerns about the Cabergollne/Arimidex remedy appear below:
--It means  adding two medications to the many I now take daily.
--A few of the side effects listed for Cabergoline include dizziness, nausea and a spinning sensation. On a drug with similar side effects awhile back, i. e., Pentoxifylline, I experienced a stroke-like event during the middle of the night. The following three days I had significant dizziness, nausea and indigestion. A visit to my primary physician resulted in a brain scan. Fortunately the worst the brain scan revealed was that I no longer have the brain of a 30 year old. Less fortunately. for the past year or so, I suffer mild vertigo which comes and goes throughout the day.
 My doctor and I reviewed my medical history and medication list. He concluded the likely cause of these problems was Pentoxifylline. I discontinued its use. Suffice it to say I am reluctant to reinitiate its use or start any other drug(s) with similar side effects.
The PA mentioned the risk of osteoporosis associated with Arimidex.
Based on my research effort and my recent experience as outlined above, my preference would be to radiate.. By no means do I advocate radiation as a better option in general.  I have attempted to make a case that for me and my circumstances radiation is a reasonable approach. I hope and pray you agree. I want very much to  continue as your patient on Hormone Lite.
Respectfully,   Don O.
Today Dr. Myers pleasantly surprised me with the following affirmative response: "You have my ok to proceed with radiation".


Ken Schuster said...

Don, the amount of time you spend on your log to help other men with PCa is commendable. Thank you! It certainly has been helpful to me.

I was having severe hot flashes three times an hour, around the clock, from a six-month Eligard implant. After three months I was at the point of digging that thing out of me with some do-it-yourself surgery.

In the middle of a severe soaker, I revisited Sunffy's recommendations to me a decade ago about transdermal estradiol for some relief, and I researched more recent papers online. Richard Wassersug's research and personal contact was pivotal to my decision to lobby oncologist to do it.

To make a long story less long... I finally got an Rx for "the patch", and it really does work. Most of the flashes are mild, and only one or two comparatively mild soakers in an entire day. The only side effect reported in the literature is gynecomastia. I was a gymnast in my youth and built-up some pecs that have stayed with me all of these decades later, so I don't see or feel breast enlargement, but my nipples are sometimes hard as a rock and always tender. Do you think radiation would address that, or is it only for enlargement?

proton don said...

Favorable feedback like yours makes it all worth while.
As you probably know Wassersug gave me a gentle shove in the right direction too.
My concern was size and appearance so sensitivity and/or tenderness never got addressed I will have ample time to explore this issue and get us an answer. If I can figure out how to get back to you I will let you know what I find out.
Don O.