I have been talking with men that had prostate cancer. They have offered advice, shared their experiences and shed a lot of light on the process. They have also put into context the information I have picked up from my doctor.
Tomorrow morning I have a consult with the radiologist, followed by a consult with my primary urologist/surgeon.
Barring any unexpected additional information from either of these experts, I will be choosing to have the prostate removed (surgery) in lieu of undergoing radiation treatments. There is a risk of permanent incontinence, as well as ED problems, although none of these men I spoke with have complained of this. One pastor I talked did say his father suffered from permanent incontinence. It is not pretty.
The side effects and permanent damage caused by radiation can ultimately cause more problems and my prostate is already causing problems. I have been told that surgery AFTER undergoing radiation is more difficult and healing can be a problem.
My urologist has basically said that with surgery you deal with any problems and side effects up front. With radiation you deal with them on the back end. Since I “seem” to be relatively healthy I would rather deal with them on the front end. With radiation there can also be damage and cancer risk to other organs.
The one downside in talking to these men is that even though they were told (as I was) that the cancer had not spread, once the prostate was removed there was evidence that the cancer had spread beyond the prostate and a couple of these men had to undergo the radiation and hormone shots after undergoing the surgery. That could be a problem, but I am aware of that going into this and I will discuss that with the doctors tomorrow.