Prostate cancer

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Hi all I,m new to this I,ve just been diagnosed with early stage prostrate cancer and been offered 2 types of treatments the radical prostatectomy or hormone and radiotherapy. I,m unsure which to go for because I,m quite apprehensive  about the prostatectomy because of the side effects but think is it best been cut out?I was hoping someone who has been in the same situation could help with some advice. Thanks 


  • Hi Mike. There are pros and cons to both treatment choices. I opted for Prostatectomy and I am now 3+ months post op. My PSA is undetectable and I am now on 6monthly PSA tests. To me that is an excellent initial result. I regained continence quickly but continue to do pelvic floor exercises. On the issue of ED, the jury is out. You will get advice on both options here. I am not advocating for Prostatectomy, merely briefly describing my experience.  Other people will describe Radiotherapy etc. It may be an idea to put some information on your profile to allow our wonderful champions to comment and advise. Gleason score etc. Best of luck whatever choice you make. The support here is invaluable.  S

  • Hello Michael ( 

    A warm welcome to the Macmillan Online Prostate Community - I am so sorry to find you here but we are a decent bunch.

    Yours is the $64,000 question - surgery or HT/RT and at the end of the day it's down to personal choice.

    You need to research both options, use trusted sources, Macmillan's & Prostate Cancer UK (NOT Dr Google) and make a list of pros and cons for each treatment as to how they affect you personally.

    Many of the Community members have documented their personal journey and you can read these by clicking on a members avatar or name (my journey is HT/RT but I had other issues as well!). You can also browse old threads to read about personal experiences.

    Any Community member will be happy to answer specific questions and none are considered too trivial.

    I hope this helps.

    Best wishes - Brian.

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    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

    Strength, Courage, Faith, Hope, Defiance, VICTORY.

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  • Hi MF

    If ED is a major concern, and perhaps it's not to everyone going thru PC,  then do carefully consider surgery because can be an issue, obviously not always.

    Perhaps the one drawback to RT is that surgery not possible after RT but RT is possible after surgery.

    One other thing that I do see quite often, 'just want to get it out/get rid of it,  IE surgery but sometimes it does still return although does perhaps depend on your original stats and again obviously not everyone has the PC return. And then u still have the RT as back up.

    So taking all that into account I still went for RT in 2017.

    So lots to consider , take your time.

    Good luck


  • Hi Michael

    i was diagnosed 3+4 a short while ago and was offered the choice of the operation or hormone & radiotherapy, my operation is on the 5Th July in two weeks and my reasons for choosing this over the other route are

    1, I have been assured that the removal will be the end of the cancer so I will have 6 to 8 weeks of recovery 

    2. ED for me can be helped by Viagra as I’m only losing the nerves on one side of the prostate not both

    3. For me I was looking at 18 months of hormone therapy and the side effects that this brings with it

    The next was the clincher for me

    4. if I chose hormone & radiotherapy and it didn’t work after 18 months then I couldn’t choose to have the operation next as there’d be too much damage done to the area by the radiotherapy, so for me the question that this raised was, why would I deny myself one of the routes to a possible cure if the first one didn’t work, because if the operation doesn’t in fact get it all, then I can get the hormone & radiotherapy next before going to last resort of chemotherapy 

    amyway that’s me and why I’m having my op in 16 days time

    take care, read everything provided by McMillan & Prostate Csncer UK and give yourself the opportunity to make an informed choice.

    best of luck 


  • Hi Mike 

    I had a prostatectomy last September. I am 62. My stats were Gleeson 4+3=7, T2c. PC on both sides of the prostate but contained. All went well and I am now having regular PSA tests. Clear so far. I don't have any incontinence issues. Erections not quite as good as they were but acceptable. I'm very happy with the results and the decision about which treatment to go for. My own thinking was that I wanted to get the treatment over and done with as quick as possible and being otherwise fairly fit and healthy I wasn't too worried about having a major op. A friend of mine with similar stats, but a bit older went down the HT/RT as they preferred it to surgery.

    It would be helpful to people responding if you could post your stats and age, as these might have a bearing on the advice they might offer. There might also be other treatment options available to you.

    I am not a medical professional but having researched the treatment options for people like me with early stage PC, both surgery and HT/RT have similar success rates.

    It's more about your preference having weighed up the pros and cons. My understanding is the risks of ED and incontinence are higher with surgery, but not completely excluded with HT/RT. 

    If you are undecided it might be worth asking your Surgeon about the extent to which nerve sparing can be achieved in your case (if not already done so). This can have a bearing on the likelihood of the side effects mentioned above. 

    You might also want to ask your Oncologist about the potential risks of these issues and also of problems in later life from the specific radiotherapy treatment they are proposing.

    Good luck with your treatment. If I can help in any way don't hesitate to ask.


  • Thanks Cliff ( 

    Great reply.I always answer the question and forget that bit!!

    To add your diagnosis and journey to date to your profile:

    * Go to your home page and click on the icon of the chair - top right.

    * Then click on "Profile" and the "Edit" and fill in your details.

    * Don't forget to click on "save" 

    Best wishes - Brian.

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    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

    Strength, Courage, Faith, Hope, Defiance, VICTORY.

    I am a Macmillan volunteer.

  • Hi Michael F.

    Good afternoon it's great to have you here but I am very sorry that we have met under these circumstances.

    Yes I was diagnosed with prostate cancer this time last year with a PSA off 1000+

    I was put straight on HT & my PSA is now 0.9.

    My consultant seems very happy for me to be on HT only and has mentioned that if the PSA numbers increase then I will have chemo as the next course of treatment.

    Hopefully you will receive some good information and advice from many members who have already experienced the treatment's that you have mentioned.

    But please let me know if there is anything that I can help/support you with???

    Prostate Worrier 

  • Hi like your self I opted for the same reason as you I am now just over a year post surgery and ED is a problem I was told the managed to save all my nerves so I was confident that I would not suffer with ED I have tried the pills and creams not a twinge have just started with injection but at the moment still not a lot of action down there don’t build your hopes up too much like I did if injection doesn’t work there is always implant 

  • Hello Mike

    as already agreed, this is a big decision to make! My husband opted for RT and HT. we were both very apprehensive about the RT ( scared silly in fact!) but need not have been! The HT has been more difficult as the side effects have been troublesome but not drastic. Life has still carried on and we have had lovely holidays, family times etc. He actively did not want the surgery. He had his last 3 monthly injection in February and is already feeling more ‘with it’.

    My best advice is to get as much information as you possibly can about treatments etc. you’ve made a brilliant start by getting personal experiences here. But ( and it’s a big but) no treatment offers a guarantee that the cancer will be completely obliterated. There is every intention to get it out ( surgery) or to give treatment ‘with the intention to cure’ ( Rt and HT) and this can and does happen but there is always the possibility that rogue cancer cells live to fight another day.

    I think the route to be taken is a very personal choice. You don’t mention a spouse or partner but if you have one please consider their thoughts too!

    best of luck!

  • I had a Prostatectomy on 6th of March. See my profile for details and journey so far.


    1. I was told if I had the radio therapy a prostatectomy afterwards is a lot harder.

    2. Looking on the forum, there seemed to be a lot of side affects with HT and RT

    3. I am relatively fit and my recovery time was about 6 weeks.

    I suppose the big aspect for me was weighing up the balance, remove the cancer in its entirety against incontinence and ED problems.

    at the moment I am dry day and night. I wear a very thin pad during the day really for confidence when I'm in public but when they run out I won't buy any more.

    No erections at the moment but can still orgasm. I am taking sildenafil and using a pump daily for penile rehab. I just have to be patient to see what happens.