Prostatectomy v radiotherapy

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Hi,I'm 53 and just diagnosed with prostate cancer.....I'm actually ok with it as I knew I had it but wasn't sure to what degree. I'm now Gleason score 2 and PSA of 5.2.....ive been given either prostatectomy or radiotherapy as options so I'm wandering what's best for my age and active lifestyle

  • Hi Psmike.

    Thanks for getting in touch and welcome to our online community. My name is Sherrye and I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists on the Macmillan Support Line. I can see you’ve joined the prostate cancer forum; I do hope you’re finding it helpful and supportive.

    Making treatment decisions can be difficult and no one can make the decision for you, but we can help provide you the tools and information to make an informed decision.

    Treatment for prostate cancer is decided on several things such as general health, age, risk group in early prostate cancer, your Gleason score and cancer grade, the stage of the cancer and your personal preferences.

    At Macmillan Cancer Support we don’t have access to any of the NHS systems or anyone’s medical records so we’re unable to give specific information but can give general information.

    If your oncology team have given you some time to make your decision there should be another appointment coming up to start preparing you for the treatment you decide to have.

    You may find it helpful to write down the risk’s v’s benefits for you for both treatments and any other questions you think of before you next speak or meet with your consultant or clinical nurse specialist (CNS).  

    A prostatectomy is to remove the prostate when the cancer is contained in the prostate with the aim of removing all the cancer cells. This surgery can be performed in one of three ways – laparoscopic, robotic-assisted laparoscopic or open. Your surgeon will explain with type is best suited for you.

    The length of time in hospital does depend on the type of surgery you have – laparoscopic or robotic usually requires a 1 to 2 day stay and open is usually between 3 and 7 days. You can start normal activities 4 to 12 weeks post-surgery depending on how you’re recovering.

    Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells in the area targeted. The aim of radiotherapy for prostate cancer is to cure the cancer or to control it for many years. There are two different ways radiotherapy can be given for prostate cancer – external beam or brachytherapy (internally). External beam is more common and is given over 4 or 7 weeks. You may be given hormone therapy before, during and after radiotherapy, this helps make the radiotherapy more effective.

    Here is the link to the benefits / disadvantages for both radiotherapy and prostatectomy. You will have a follow up plan after both treatments.

    Decisions like this can be difficult, if you feel it will be beneficial to talk this through with one of the support line nurses please don’t hesitate to call us, we will be more than happy to talk to you.  

    I hope this information helps. Please feel free to get back in touch if you want more information or support.

    Best wishes,

    Sherrye H,

    Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm), send us an email or contact us through webchat.

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